Confusion!.......Spin the Cue ball or Center Cue ball MOSTLY?

fastone371

Certifiable
Silver Member
CTE or Pro One demands that you hit center ball or you will miss. I dabbled in the CTE world for a couple of years when I realized that under pressure sometimes center ball is really hard to hit. I spin it so much now it makes me dizzy and the game has gotten more fun and I believe I’ve improved.
I spin the cue ball using CTE all the time, you make you english adjustment after you are lined up on the cue ball, or at least that's what I did initially, now I know where I need to be with my cue relative to my CTE alignment for english just thru repetition.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Good anaylsis here. Some players just gravitated to using lots of english on almost all their shots and other players hit more of a flat ball most of the time. On one extreme was Efren who could spin that ball in any direction he wanted and control it! All the Filipinos seem to follow suit using extreme english on many shots. Earl and Corey may be the best American players who shoot in this style. On the other hand the disciples of the East Coast 14.1 circles probably used as little english as possible to move the cue ball around, depending instead on speed of stroke and playing natural running english on most shots. A lot easier to play accurate position this way imo. They might use throw on tight little shots near the pocket. You tell me Fran if I'm close here. I do know Ginky could really spin the cue ball if he had to.
Yes. I agree with everything you're saying. We started to see more spin players on the East Coast when 9 Ball became more popular.
 

Tennesseejoe

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Just my opinion....If I was just starting to play I would start with straight in center ball shots until proficiency at various distances and speeds. Then I would learn English by shooting straight in shots with just 3 o'clock English until I became proficient with the variations that as I did with straight in shots . After that, of course, would be the rest of the positions on the clock.

The other option is just "hit a million balls baby".
 

BlueRaider

Registered
I think it's good to be skeptical of most people who aren't at least A players (either now or earlier in life) telling others to spin the crap out of the cue ball. Because they likely don't fully understand/have mastery of the vertical axis themselves. Thus they can't possibly understand spin well enough to use it properly.

But it's also good to be skeptical of people who say pros don't spin the ball much. If they're in line, they may not need to on certain racks, but there's just way too much advantage to be gained from spinning the ball to not use it.

Plus, there are certain shots in rotation games, especially on big tables, that absolutely demand spin. And not just spin, but near maximum spin. And those shots come up all the time, which means that by default, every pro has absolutely mastered them.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I spin the cue ball using CTE all the time, you make you english adjustment after you are lined up on the cue ball, or at least that's what I did initially, now I know where I need to be with my cue relative to my CTE alignment for english just thru repetition.

So now you are aiming by "feel" like everyone else that does not use an aiming system like CTE LOL
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
what do you mean "gives a bit of bite"?
( I also prefer little inside on thin cuts if possible )
OB comes off the CB a little faster?, doesn’t slip. That’s the best I can explain it. CJ can explain it better than me. The TOI thing.

best I can explain it, that’s a piss poor explanation. It’s a feel thing

best
Fatboy
 

sparkle84

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
All right where do I start. First of all how did "english" all of a sudden become "spin?" :)
We never called the use of english on the cue ball spin, NEVER! If we used outside english we might call it "throw" and inside english was just called "inside."

Okay, I got that out of the way. Secondly, it's very hard to hit dead center on the cue ball and only a few ever mastered that art, Buddy Hall being one of them. Buddy used center ball like a kill shot that would slowly roll forward after contact with the object ball. When he hit the cue ball with center ball it made a different and distinctive sound. It sounded like the cleanest of clean hits on the cue ball and very few others could duplicate that. That said, Buddy and all real pool players rarely try to hit center ball, using some degree of english on most every shot, whether it be high, low, left or right, or some variation of these, like high-left or low-right. I have to say it kind of bugs me when someone talks about using one tip inside english or a tip and half right or left english. I don't think the use of english can be categorized that finitely. A good player does not think about (and aim for) exactly one tip right, left or any other way. They are actually feeling the amount of english they need to execute the shot and it can't be described terms of one tip, two tips or any fraction in between. Instead it is a point on the cue ball where the player feels he needs to hit it (and at what speed) to move the cue ball to the next desired location. On one shot that may look like he's aiming slightly to the right of the vertical axis and also a little above the horizontal axis. And on another shot it will look completely different. Try discussing that point of aim using one tip this or that. You can't! That my friends is how english is applied to the cue ball by just about every player you are watching in these tournaments.

Okay I'll take a break now and see what comes up.
So, if you read this post and then go back to #8 and Cornerman's comments in #10 you'll have pretty much all that needs to be said on this subject.
 

Pin

Registered
I know of several who say they stay on the vertical axis, but watching their game it's obvious they're not. I have done hundreds of hours of commentary for professional events. There isn't a professional player that doesn't hit most shots with some kind of left/right spin,
Do you think the pros who say they stay on the vertical axis just don't realize what they're actually doing?

And does that apply to most pros - that they think they're on the vertical axis for most shots, but really aren't?
 

BasementDweller

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This topic is really interesting for me also because I learnt all by myself in small town where were not any good players. When I practiced alone I did shoot first year just vertical axis. When i had confidence that i can cut balls okay I moved using, understanding and learning english.
I am still happy i did that.

Couple years ago my little sister also started playing again after 20 years off from game. She is over 40 too and she did the same. She just played on vertical axis over year too.
I started coaching her 2019 and she made into women national team to eurochamps 2020.
Covid got it cancelled.. That was bummer coz it was gonna be in Finland too.

Last year i have been coaching her position play with English, break and kicking and banking.

Now she got again on team and won 10-ball women Finnish Champs and ranking events too. Dominating last events. Whitewashing people :)

So i am biased learning first without english and then move to using it when u got strong foundation. Makes learning more straight forward with less mess.
Now I need to change my previous post as you're clearly no idiot! ;)

If, and that's a HUGE if, you are wired like Poolmanis and you can stay interested in this game for a long period of time just using center ball then go for it, as that's a great way to ensure a straight stroke. I suspect more players are wired like me, without the exceptional attention span, and if forced to play without spin, they would quickly lose interest. The effects of english were just so interesting to me in the beginning. Playing without it would have felt like learning to throw darts.

I'm quite amazed our resident expert was able to pull this off.
 

SmoothStroke

Shane gets the 5 and the breaks.
Silver Member
I have not posted much in a long time but I must have 30 posts on the cue ball and control, this is a repeat I am sure. I'll just call this number 31. If you want to be a player , strike the cue ball everywhere on the face. If you are gun shy then accept your level of play and go bowling. There is nothing wrong with playing center cue ball, just 99 out of 99 great players use english, center included, and the percent may be higher than that.
You must be able to do it all, all of it, the whole Enchilada.

THE CUE BALL, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CUE BALL, everything else is secondary and is easily learned compared to the cue ball.
Straight stroke and cue ball knowledge and you have a winner winner lobster dinner.

Its the cue ball, the other balls are pretty in color, nice and shiney, and get in your way of moving the cue ball around the table, sometimes 2 inches, sometimes 18 ft.
You play pool with the cue ball while you solve puzzles with those 15 pretty colored balls. You should wake up in the morning and hug the cue ball, hug it, put it against your neck and say I love you cue ball.

Pocketing, aiming, banks,kicks, stance, eyes, games ,feet, patterns, systems, etc. are easy peasey to learn compared to the cue ball. Probably 95% of that you can get out of any book or the internet 100 times over. You can learn it in a few hours,,,even minutes. Practice !!!!


If you want to learn the cue ball more quickly get on a billiard table and play straight rail, 1,2,3 cushion billiards, eventually just playing 3 cushion. If a billiard table is not available then just use a 9 ft. table and deal with the pockets, you will cut your learning curve significantly.
You will learn every microdot there is to strike the cue ball clean and never think you will miscue as you slide out to the far edges. You will learn exactly how the cue ball will react with english, speed, and stroke technique. Shortening, sharpen and lengthen angles becomes no big deal. Your confidence will rise to the top as will your game. Once you play 3 cushion you may never want to play 9 ball again.

I believe playing inside the cueball, center, a notch left, right, a notch up and down , then sliding out to the edges to be the best approach .
It's a fairly easy concept to grasp but many people make it seem so difficult, like it's rocket science, it's not.
Straight stroke,shoot holes through the cue ball, solve puzzles.
Stroke speed is best learned in incriments of 3 and 4.
Learn to use the English ......PERIOD....more PERIODS......
Short stroke, mid stroke, and long stroke are a must to learn.
Of course Center and Stun goes without saying.
It all depends on how good you want to be.
Have a glass of water, add a lot of practice and English.
As was mentioned, it's left or right English, follow or draw.


And remember to hug your cue ball.
Sincerely: SS

Forgive the rant,,it's blowing 30 in the wrong direction and I planned on fishing tonight.
 

phreaticus

Active member
I have not posted much in a long time but I must have 30 posts on the cue ball and control, this is a repeat I am sure. I'll just call this number 31. If you want to be a player , strike the cue ball everywhere on the face. If you are gun shy then accept your level of play and go bowling. There is nothing wrong with playing center cue ball, just 99 out of 99 great players use english, center included, and the percent may be higher than that.
You must be able to do it all, all of it, the whole Enchilada.

THE CUE BALL, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CUE BALL, everything else is secondary and is easily learned compared to the cue ball.
Straight stroke and cue ball knowledge and you have a winner winner lobster dinner.

Its the cue ball, the other balls are pretty in color, nice and shiney, and get in your way of moving the cue ball around the table, sometimes 2 inches, sometimes 18 ft.
You play pool with the cue ball while you solve puzzles with those 15 pretty colored balls. You should wake up in the morning and hug the cue ball, hug it, put it against your neck and say I love you cue ball.

Pocketing, aiming, banks,kicks, stance, eyes, games ,feet, patterns, systems, etc. are easy peasey to learn compared to the cue ball. Probably 95% of that you can get out of any book or the internet 100 times over. You can learn it in a few hours,,,even minutes. Practice !!!!


If you want to learn the cue ball more quickly get on a billiard table and play straight rail, 1,2,3 cushion billiards, eventually just playing 3 cushion. If a billiard table is not available then just use a 9 ft. table and deal with the pockets, you will cut your learning curve significantly.
You will learn every microdot there is to strike the cue ball clean and never think you will miscue as you slide out to the far edges. You will learn exactly how the cue ball will react with english, speed, and stroke technique. Shortening, sharpen and lengthen angles becomes no big deal. Your confidence will rise to the top as will your game. Once you play 3 cushion you may never want to play 9 ball again.

I believe playing inside the cueball, center, a notch left, right, a notch up and down , then sliding out to the edges to be the best approach .
It's a fairly easy concept to grasp but many people make it seem so difficult, like it's rocket science, it's not.
Straight stroke,shoot holes through the cue ball, solve puzzles.
Stroke speed is best learned in incriments of 3 and 4.
Learn to use the English ......PERIOD....more PERIODS......
Short stroke, mid stroke, and long stroke are a must to learn.
Of course Center and Stun goes without saying.
It all depends on how good you want to be.
Have a glass of water, add a lot of practice and English.
As was mentioned, it's left or right English, follow or draw.


And remember to hug your cue ball.
Sincerely: SS

Forgive the rant,,it's blowing 30 in the wrong direction and I planned on fishing tonight.
What a great post. I’m sleeping with my CB tonight!
 

JazzyJeff87

AzB Plutonium Member
Silver Member
On the surface that may sound intuitive but I think the right answer was already given in post #49 quoted below. 5% off (or 10% etc) is 5% off regardless of where you started from/intended to hit. I think your belief may largely be caused by it being much easier to visually tell the difference between no spin and a little spin, than a little spin and a little more than a little spin, but the amount you were off, and the negative affect it is going to result in, are mostly the same either way. 5% is 5%.
On the surface that may sound intuitive but I think the right answer was already given in post #49 quoted below. 5% off (or 10% etc) is 5% off regardless of where you started from/intended to hit. I think your belief may largely be caused by it being much easier to visually tell the difference between no spin and a little spin, than a little spin and a little more than a little spin, but the amount you were off, and the negative affect it is going to result in, are mostly the same either way. 5% is 5%.
The thought here though is to be certain your not putting incorrect English on the shot.

Just like getting on the right side of the next ball. You can be here or twelve or even 36” away as long as you’re on the right side. If you end up straight or a hair left you die or whatever.

If you’re in a situation where any left English on the CB would be disastrous, you put a little right on the CB so if you’re slightly off your a bit too right or maybe at center. Going for center you have a even chance of a miss hit being a disastrous one.

Dramatic examples but that’s the general idea.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
I remember a story from years ago. A custom cue booth was next to a booth with a table and a man wanted to test hit a cue. "No problem, just don't chalk the tip." The man ran three quick racks, "you don't need chalk hitting center ball."

The game has changed with Texas Express being the primary game and dictating the style of play. Equipment has changed too. Finally, with the advent of video and the Filipino invasion, a loose style of play was shown to get the job done. I remember when it was cool to draw a ball a few feet, now cool was zinging the ball around three or four rails or more almost every shot!

Anyone that thinks pool is boring to play without using lots of spin hasn't tried learning speed and angles. I'll fry your brain for the first few weeks! No more three balls ahead, you had better have the whole rack planned or you are going to work yourself into a corner. Speed, angles, a little draw and follow to alter a cue ball's natural path, worked for hours of play. Mostly bartable because that is what I shot on most but any table from bartable to snooker, I used speed and angles. Once speed and angles were mastered there was little need for extreme spin. I used it on empty tables sometimes just for grins, but I rarely had to use it on a crowded table where it got most players in trouble. While I might have used it more, I needed it less than five times in a six or eight hour session.

There is a bit of yin and yang thing. If you have really mastered extreme spin you have less need for speed and angle control. If you have mastered speed and angles you need extreme spin far less.

Whichever you are best at is right for you. One thing, if you don't shoot yourself into trouble, you don't have to shoot yourself out of trouble. Do you get in more trouble with extreme spin or speed and angles? Once you give both a fair shot and decide which controls the cue ball best for you it is time to focus primarily on one style.

Hu
 

chenjy9

Well-known member
When I first started shooting pool, my good friend who taught me basically insisted that I only shoot center ball until I got decent at the game. I am probably paraphrasing him, but he essentially said this "If you have any intention of becoming pretty good at pool, this is the route you need to take." When I asked him why I shouldn't try applying any sort of English, his response was to the effect that without knowing how the cue ball reacts without English, how would I ever learn and know what kind of English to apply? He then followed it up with this "English is only for when you are trying to force the action or position, otherwise it's just another variable you have to deal with." This basically established my shooting mantra to this day; use English if you must, but let nature take its natural course whenever possible.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
When I first started shooting pool, my good friend who taught me basically insisted that I only shoot center ball until I got decent at the game. I am probably paraphrasing him, but he essentially said this "If you have any intention of becoming pretty good at pool, this is the route you need to take." When I asked him why I shouldn't try applying any sort of English, his response was to the effect that without knowing how the cue ball reacts without English, how would I ever learn and know what kind of English to apply? He then followed it up with this "English is only for when you are trying to force the action or position, otherwise it's just another variable you have to deal with." This basically established my shooting mantra to this day; use English if you must, but let nature take its natural course whenever possible.
To this day, the best players shoot most of their shots with natural running english, only using draw when necessary. Speed control is everything. Just watch! If you can get in line and stay in line pool is a much easier game to play. Doing that is the hard part!
 

chenjy9

Well-known member
To this day, the best players shoot most of their shots with natural running english, only using draw when necessary. Speed control is everything. Just watch! If you can get in line and stay in line pool is a much easier game to play. Doing that is the hard part!
If I am understanding this correctly, you are agreeing with my buddy and by extension, me. Is that correct? :D
 
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