How do you "cinch" a ball?

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In games where there is only one ball left to shoot, it makes some sense to shoot it with a firm stroke; playing the cue ball as well. That way you have the complete shot in your head and diminished likelihood of surprises.
 

Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Important to always take the free shot........that gives great ball separation if overcut.
 
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fastone371

Certifiable
Silver Member
So they don't leave it as hanger if they miss?
By pocket speed Im not talking about a slow roll, rather hard enough to easily make it to the hole but not slam the back of the pocket. I have seen players who like to fire them at about 3/4's break speed and rattle the ball on Diamond tables. I will take that easy shot on the 8 anytime, I certainly am not too good to win on my opponents hanger.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Cinching a shot is nominally shooting it in your comfort zone be it a certain speed, english, or angle. Often a player will sacrifice ideal position in order to cinch a shot ie. not miss it.
Exactly right. When you "cinch the shot", you sacrifice a little position to maximize your chance of pocketing the ball. Pros do it often when they face a very difficult shot, especially one in which the cue ball is against a rail.

A similar concept is to "cinch the angle", in which you play onto a slightly longer than optimal shot just to make sure that the correct angle is achieved.

Cinching the shot and cinching the angle are common techniques, even at pro level, and knowing when to use these methods to correctly manage risk at the table is one of the marks of a top player.
 

ChicagoRJ

EEEEEXCELLENT ;)
Silver Member
none of the above has anything to do with how to cinch a ball
That's what I think as well. Cinching a shot is making damn sure you make the shot and not worried too much about a good leave or any leave. That means moving your bridge hand closer to the cue ball. Taking a smaller back swing to ensure there is no stroke error. And hitting it with a average to below average speed. No English. Close to center ball hit.

Not saying everyone should use it or ever used it. But, when nerves are getting the best of you and you are shooting the money ball, it's not a bad idea at that particular time ;)
 

Rickhem

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Admittedly, I'm only playing a few years now, and still find lots to learn. That said, a guy that I played with a year or so ago once told me that it would be wise to hit the 8-ball hard enough to make sure a miss wasn't going to leave it sitting right in front of the pocket. I hit many of those shots slower thinking that made the pocket play bigger, but would leave hangers if I missed. That same philosophy applies to 9 and 10 ball shots and especially combo shots in those games. I see teammates shoot combos, barely miss, and leave the money ball hanging for an easy follow-up by their opponent.
I do agree though, that there are some that feel hitting their last shot of the game at full break speed is what punctuates their victory. Usually these are not the higher skill level players though.
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
...a guy that I played with a year or so ago once told me that it would be wise to hit the 8-ball hard enough to make sure a miss wasn't going to leave it sitting right in front of the pocket. I hit many of those shots slower thinking that made the pocket play bigger, but would leave hangers if I missed.
I think the main reason to avoid rolling shots is to avoid the the risk of the cueball veering out of spec. Obviously the object ball can veer off as well. Oddly there are cases when the object ball goes in cushion first where slow rolling the shot can actually cause the ball to hang. IOW hitting the cushion takes speed off the ball and subsequently hitting the open facing not only takes more speed off, the residual spin from grazing the rail can actually kill the rebound towards the lip causing the ball to remain in the pocket and that's not counting the object ball clinging or skidding into a steeper angle towards the cushion.
It's worthwhile to practice grazing the cushion on corner shots to get a feel for the speed zone the shot requires.
 
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