Decide angle, point of aim, and strength before settling to the stroke.
Make run-throughs fuller than they look and fine shots finer than they look.
Play very fine shots fast when the object ball is almost touching a cushion. The kiss can frequently be” dodged ” in this way.
Good forcing stroke practice may be got from the baulk line with the red on the pyramid spot. Swing the cue freely and easily. Don’t flog or “press.”
Don’t try for too exact position when the immediate stroke is at all difficult. Leave a shot of some kind on, if possible, and trust to your treatment of stroke No. 2 to regain more ideal position.
A good position hint, taken generally, is to play the red over a pocket and the white somewhere towards the middle of the table, but make sure of the score in the former case, otherwise the red is left for your opponent.
In playing all round the table to strike a ball or balls in baulk plain or running side strokes amount to much the same thing, but when a ball is played off first, instead of a side cushion, the fine running side stroke is the equivalent of the half ball plain stroke, the subsequent cushion divergences making up for the finer angle.
Practise in-off from centre-spot to the top pockets morning, noon, and night. Keep the butt end of the cue well down, drive clean through with a light hold, and do not regard the stroke as made until the object ball can be brought at will either back to the centre spot or in position for middle pocket play. To get middle table position spot and aim slightly finer and increase strength proportionately.
Place a ball up the table in the line of one of the baulk end spots a long cue’s distance (4ft. joins.) from the top cushion. This is a slow running side half-ball shot (aimed full) for the top pocket farthest from the spot and leaves the ball in good position for another in-off into the same pocket. The plain half-ball shot is” three ball diameters lower and also leaves good position, if played with easy strength.
The two most treacherous half-ball positions are long range in-offs from the centre spot in baulk and the long in-off from hand when the object ball is a little above the centre spot on the table. The first, at medium pace, leaves the object ball in baulk and should, therefore, be played with plenty of drag or freely. The second loses the object ball and the spotting for this should be a little finer than half-ball with a proportionately fuller (preferable) or finer contact.
The advice is sometimes given to refer all angles to the natural angle. A better plan still is to know the other three anglesthe three-eighths ball, the quarter-ball, and the eighth ballat sight, and go for them, whether a cushion intervenes, or not, without hesitation, always remembering that the counterpart run-throughs are the seven-eighths, the three-quarter, and the five-eighths, the cue ball taking the same direction in each pair, if freely revolving and centrally struck.