Postmans Knock

Standard cannon

This is a simple cannon, played thinner than half ball with some check side. The shot has been played well to leave a pot red.

Break: 2

A poor shot that looks good

It looks as though this has been a well-played shot because the pot has left the cue ball at the correct angle for the next cannon. However, the cannon can easily be made from anywhere in the shaded area (with the ideal position marked with the black cross) and it would have been a simple matter to stun the pot red to get inside this area. Although this stun pot would cause the cue ball to stun across the ideal line, it is easy enough to accept this and would have left the cue ball closer to the other balls for the cannon. Nevertheless, if you ever judge that the stun is too risky, the pot using the side cushion is a good second best.

Break: 5


Using check side and a thick contact, the red has been left for a pot. This shot was very well played and the left side on the cue ball squeezed the white to the right, back behind the spot.

Break: 7

Two Cog Effect

When a ball is jammed against a cushion (in this case the white) and a rotating ball hits it full ball, the two balls behave as though they are cogs in a piece of machinery. In this case the yellow is rotating clockwise due to the left side that was imparted on it from the cue tip. This causes the white to rotate anti-clockwise and it will move a very small amount along the top cushion, to the right. This is a very useful technique in Postman’s Knock as you can squeeze the object ball backwards and forwards to get it behind the Billiard spot.

Simple half ball pot

A half ball pot with a touch of check side has left a dead straight pot off the spot.

Break: 10

Screw-back to leave the balls close together

A clever shot. After this screw-back the cue ball is left very close to the red. This enables a shot to be made that would otherwise not be on.

Break: 13

Stun cannon

This stun cannon is played thick on the red with a touch of check side. Although a good contact was made on the white, the red is left too near to the top cushion.

Break: 15

Difficult stun pot

Quite a difficult shot here. Although there was the option of following through the red with some running side, playing the shot off two cushions, the player decided to stun the pot. In this type of situation you must score and it is best to play the shot that you feel more certain of getting. On very tight-pocketed tables the run through loser would definitely be the best option as the element of risk of the pot is too high. Due to concentrating on the pot the player has left the cue ball too near to the top cushion.

Break: 18

Half ball pot

There is not much option with this shot and it is just a case of playing it gently to leave a cannon. The cue ball has ended up very close to the side cushion, which although not ideal is not really a problem for the next shot. In this case it is far better to leave the correct angle and the balls apart than the wrong angle and the cue ball further off the cushion.

Break: 21

Slow cannon

This cannon was played reasonably well but the red has been left slightly awkward.

Break: 23

Thin pot red

If the shot is too risky to play slow it is best to bring the cue ball across the table, as has been done here. In this case however, the cue ball has not been brought to a good area. The shaded triangle shows an area that the player was aiming for, with the ideal point indicated by the black cross. Either too thin a contact on the red or too much check side has brought the cue ball to an awkward position.

Break: 26

Stun cannon

Usually the best shot to play from here is the stun cannon. Unless the pockets are big, even the best cueists are advised to avoid the pot red because it is too risky. Generally, if your game involves a sequence of shots that you can make only 8/10 to 9/10, it will not be long before you break down. So in this case, as the cannon is a certainty, it has been played. The white has been contacted a little on the left side, nudging it off the cushion and the red has just missed the other two balls to leave a pot or a run through loser. Although Postman's Knock has now been lost there is a nice opportunity to carry on the break from either Floating White top of the table or open Billiards.

Break: 28