First Time You Saw Back Hand English

skins

Likes to draw
Silver Member
A couple years out of high school, around 84ish, I had a moment of clarity and insite in a dream about a way to compensate for cue ball squirt when using english. I had never seen, heard, or was taught anything like this. I worked on it a bit then showed some local players at the halls I hung out at on the Chicago's south side. Some of them looked at me like I was crazy but some real strong players were quite interested in what I was showing them even so much so that some started using it in certain situations and one even naming it after me..LOL. They had never seen anything like this. Many years later I hear of a technique called Back Hand English, realized it was essentially what I was doing, and couldn't believe someone else other than those I told had heard of something like that.

It's been decades since then and was wondering how long has BHE, as we know it today, been known and when you first heard, saw, taught, or had an epiphany like myself?...:smile:
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
thats all we used. thought it was stupid to move the cue stick off to the side and try to make it go straight.
 

Chopdoc

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I found out a couple years ago that I had been using it naturally for decades and didn't even know it.
 

Cornerman

Cue Author...Sometimes
Gold Member
Silver Member
A couple years out of high school, around 84ish, I had a moment of clarity and insite in a dream about a way to compensate for cue ball squirt when using english. I had never seen, heard, or was taught anything like this. I worked on it a bit then showed some local players at the halls I hung out at on the Chicago's south side. Some of them looked at me like I was crazy but some real strong players were quite interested in what I was showing them even so much so that some started using it in certain situations and one even naming it after me..LOL. They had never seen anything like this. Many years later I hear of a technique called Back Hand English, realized it was essentially what I was doing, and couldn't believe someone else other than those I told had heard of something like that.

It's been decades since then and was wondering how long has BHE, as we know it today, been known and when you first heard, saw, taught, or had an epiphany like myself?...:smile:
Backhand English was shown in an illustration from the early works, maybe Michael Phelan.

Greenleaf was reported to use BHE.

Hal Houle is credited for educating the masses on the internet on compensating for english and other aim techniques by moving the grip hand and pivoting about the bridge. It was Hal who brought us the term “Backhand English” and may very well invented the term, although he did learn from Greenleaf.

The Aim & Pivot Test and eventual Method for Aiming for Squirit Compensation (see Bob Jewett’s FAQ) pre-dates (FAQ was early to mid 90’s) Hal’s appearance on the internet (~1997). It should be considered a subset of BHE as the Aim&Pivot Method focuses on finding the effective Pivot Point. BHE as taught by Hal doesn’t. There were no LD cues back when these things were hammered out.


If you read about Aim & Pivot, it read like just a test and it might not have been obvious how strong it is for actual play. I latched onto it as a playing method. I’ve been using the Aim & Pivot method since first reading it around ‘96, and I refined my aiming under Hal Houle’s methodology.

I see players like Nick Varner clearly use BHE (he called it ‘locking in the english’) and said he doesn’t know what Backhand English is. So the term might be Hal’s and not anyone else’s.

Freddie <~~~ and that’s the timeline
 

skins

Likes to draw
Silver Member
Backhand English was shown in an illustration from the early works, maybe Michael Phelan.

Greenleaf was reported to use BHE.

Hal Houle is credited for educating the masses on the internet on compensating for english and other aim techniques by moving the grip hand and pivoting about the bridge. It was Hal who brought us the term “Backhand English” and may very well invented the term, although he did learn from Greenleaf.

The Aim & Pivot Test and eventual Method for Aiming for Squirit Compensation (see Bob Jewett’s FAQ) pre-dates (FAQ was early to mid 90’s) Hal’s appearance on the internet (~1997). It should be considered a subset of BHE as the Aim&Pivot Method focuses on finding the effective Pivot Point. BHE as taught by Hal doesn’t. There were no LD cues back when these things were hammered out.


If you read about Aim & Pivot, it read like just a test and it might not have been obvious how strong it is for actual play. I latched onto it as a playing method. I’ve been using the Aim & Pivot method since first reading it around ‘96, and I refined my aiming under Hal Houle’s methodology.

I see players like Nick Varner clearly use BHE (he called it ‘locking in the english’) and said he doesn’t know what Backhand English is. So the term might be Hal’s and not anyone else’s.

Freddie <~~~ and that’s the timeline

Thanks Fred,

Back in 84 when it came to me and I was using it, I didnt have a name for it. It wasn't until I read things on here many years ago that the term and description BHE was what I came to realize back then.

I still haven't met one player who said they were using something similar before the ealy 80's so thats why I asked. I'd love to here stories from the 70's and earlier from players who had heard and used it and where they learned it.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Some of the older guys called it "tuck-n-roll". The BHE method for spin has been around for a long time. First time i personally was aware of it is when a good road player came thru Tulsa in the early 80's. He did it and kinda explained it to me. I was a parallel-shifter til then. This really opened my eyes to what was being done by better players.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I found out a couple years ago that I had been using it naturally for decades and didn't even know it.
I agree. I've played pool using spin for nearly 50 years and have likely been using BHE naturally almost from the start, but didn't realize I was doing it until the past few years. I assume most experienced players are naturally using BHE as well, whether or not they realize it.

The easiest way to confirm it - lay down a diagonal chalk line on your table from corner pockets. Then place both the cue ball and object ball on the chalk line (dead-in-shot) about 4-5 feet apart, or for that matter any distance apart. Then set up to shoot the ball to pocket it with significant L spin, and then with significant R spin. You can easily confirm, or better yet have someone observing you confirm that whenever you set up to apply the L or R spin, the back end of your cue automatically shifts off the chalk line opposite the spin you are applying. I didn't realize it, but this is BHE, and I'd been doing it naturally without even realizing it for all these years.
 
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MattPoland

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
For people that have adopted BHE consciously into their aiming process, do you put additional thought when applying it to a fuller hit vs. thinner cut?

I can see it compensating for deflection/squirt but I assume it doesn’t account for the varying magnitudes spin transfers into OB throw based on the cut angle.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Silver Member
Backhand English was shown in an illustration from the early works, maybe Michael Phelan.
...
Edwin Kentfield's book, "Billiards", published in 1839 had the following diagram showing a pivot point, backhand english, and swerve:

kentfield.gif

There is also a French book from around 1900 that very explicitly tells the reader to aim with center ball and then pivot around the bridge to get the side spin. (I can't find the actual book right now.)
 
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