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Straight Billiards – Playing Position

Yes, here it is, last but not least, our last Billiards Tips and Tricks for this season. We hope that this series has been of benefit to you and we also invite you to comment and share any more you have up your sleeves πŸ˜‰

Straight billiards is relatively simple even children can enjoy it. You do not win by making great shots but by not missing. The best way to avoid missing is to play only easy shots. This is what position is all about!

In straight billiards, easy shots are those where the three balls are close together. So one will try to move the balls as little as possible when they are already close to one another. If this is not possible, one ball can be sent away and back.

The return of the object ball

When it is not possible not to disturb the ball, it is possible to hit just hard enough to send the object ball to the opposite rail to get it back.

position on a draw
 

The same thing can be done along the length of the table instead of the width. The yellow ball has to travel about 20 feet and the cue ball only one, this is why little draw is used.

position on a draw
 

The importance of not being spontaneous

 

without playing position
If you draw directly to the red, the yellow flees away from the other balls and you next shot will be a long one…
playing position
… but you can hit the yellow thinner and take a rail (or two) before the red. The yellow stays with the other balls.
without playing position
This shot is of a common kind. The problem here is that the yellow will be sent away from the other two balls…
playing position
… while if the red is hit first, the balls stay together.
without playing position
This shot is fairly easy. But played as shown the yellow ball will end up at the other end of the table. Hitting harder would make it come back but then the cue ball would hit the red ball hard and they will be out of control (which is the opposite of playing position.)
playing position
If the yellow is hit fuller, it can be hit harder as the fuller hit will kill the speed of the cue ball. It will go the the other end of the table but it will be able to come back. Follow is used to bend the (trajectory of) the ball and thus compensate for the fuller ball.
without playing position
This is the obvious shot, the one which comes to mind naturally. The problem is that the yellow ball stays on the other end of the table. It seems that no variation of this shot (using some draw or follow) provides a good position for the next point.
playing position
This way the three balls are gathered in a corner. Sometimes you need to play a completely different shot if you want to play position. [As diagrammed, the three balls are quite close together at the end, but even if the shot is not this successfull the yellow will come to the neighborhood of the other balls.]
without playing position
This is what comes to mind first. But it will send the yellow far away.
playing position
This shot is not so easy but the yellow comes back close to the other two balls.

Until next time.. Happy playing πŸ˜‰

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