Never take the immediate pocket merely because it looks easy. Where should the object ball be left? That is the question; or, if potting, “Where should the cue ball be left?”
In playing fine from well above the object ball into a middle pocket running side is useful as it both cuts the ball (in and out of baulk) and enlarges the pocket
Even good players are sometimes unnecessarily apprehensive of a kiss when running through into a corner pocket If both balls are against the cushion at only six inch intervals the object ball has time to clear away if the cue ball be retarded by slightly lower cueing, and when both balls are transverse across the table the substitution of running for check side often effects the required clearance.
With the two object balls close together and just out of baulk by the side cushion it is often better to play from hand back on to the baulk bottom cushion rather than direct out of baulk This seems obvious, but it is not always remembered
One of the most paying strokes in billiards, with the red on the spot, and the other balls near the top, is a thin cut across the table off the white into the top corner pocket instead of a fuller contact. The former nearly always leaves good position and the latter only when the other ball is on the player’s side The divergence caused by slow side increases with the length and slowness of the travel, and the aim must be varied accordingly. If the same allowance is made for half-length and full-length travel the result will be all wrong.
Great respect should always be paid to the nearer shoulder of a pocket in playing in-offs, especially when the pocket is a trifle blind. There is a certain margin for the ball that gets safely past this shoulder, but none for the ball that collides with it Consequently the striking angle should always be adjusted towards the open shoulder.
So much is said of the follow-through of the cue that there is danger of forgetting the equal necessity of drawing the cue well back, instead of giving a short dig. This is especially necessary in screw backs and the effect upon the rippling-like return of the cue ball is remarkable.
It is especially necessary to take the striking angle on to the more open shoulder of a pocket when the object ball is near to the pocket as the angle under these circumstances appears wider than it really is Although “top” usually makes a ball travel more, it has the opposite effect when the top-laden ball encounters a cushion broadside, and particularly so when an object ball has first been struck rather full. Under these conditions it will even stop dead on the cushion and is sometimes a useful stroke when potting the red in a top corner pocket and retaining the cross-loser position “Top” has three distinct uses. It facilitates “run-through”; it preserves the half-ball angle at near range; and in fine quick in-offs it helps the cue ball into a pocket just as topping a croquet ball helps it through a hoop.