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How to Sink a Pool Ball

What do pool sharks know that you don’t about sinking a ball? Lots.


  • Step 1: Watch the pros Spend some time watching pool tournaments. See what tricks you can pick up from studying the pros.
  • Step 2: Chalk your cue Chalk your cue before each shot, holding the chalk at a slight angle as you gently brush it onto the tip. Don't chalk from side to side, and don't spin the tip into the chalk.
  • TIP: If a ring develops below the ferrule, which is the band right below the tip, you're not chalking correctly.
  • Step 3: Line up the shot While getting into your shooting stance, line up the shot with your chin.
  • Step 4: Keep the cue level Hold the cue as level as possible. The forearm of your dominant hand should be at a 90-degree angle to the floor.
  • TIP: Keep a loose hold on the cue; gripping it too tightly will ruin your shot.
  • Step 5: Straighten your head Make sure your head is pointing straight ahead. Amateurs tend to tilt their head in the direction of their dominant eye, which throws off their aim.
  • TIP: Press down on the fingertips of the hand that’s on the table, so that your arm doesn’t move when you make your shot.
  • Step 6: Pull your arm back slowly As you begin your shot, pull your arm back slowly and steadily, as if you were drawing back a bow and arrow.
  • Step 7: Fire! Keep the cue steady as you hit the ball, and stay in position until the ball (hopefully!) falls into a pocket.
  • FACT: In 1920, a billiards pro named Henry Lewis sank 46 balls without a miss -- using his nose!

You Will Need

  • A pool table
  • Pool balls
  • A rack
  • A pool cue

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