Billiard Trick Shots: How to Pocket 4 Pool Balls in 1 Shot

Stun Friends and Pool Sharks with Trick Shots

Although I love to play billiards, I'm a long way from being an expert. I learned how to set up and hit four balls in one shot, and sometimes I even make it! Last year, I started playing on an APA (American Pool Association) league that has some phenomenal players - some of the best amateur players in the nation and the world.

That's why I asked Mike Lacy, one of the best players in the league, to help demonstrate a trick shot I learned a long time ago but haven't yet mastered. He shared tips with me on how to make this shot consistently.

With a little practice, you can too!

How to Make a 4 Ball Trick Shot

Setting up for this shot isn't difficult, but you have to be careful. As you can see in the photo below, the four balls must be "frozen." That means they have to be touching each other. The first one is as close to the edge of the side pocket hole as it can be.

The balls must be "frozen" to each other and the ball next to the side pocket must be as close as possible.
The balls must be "frozen" to each other and the ball next to the side pocket must be as close as possible. | Source

Next, Place Your Cue Ball

Counting from the corner pocket, look for the second diamond - it's halfway between the corner and side pocket. Imagine a line that's parallel to the line made by the four balls you'll be hitting. Next, look for the diamond next to the corner pocket on the short end of the table. Draw a line in your mind from that diamond to your four balls. This line is perpendicular like a "T."

Place your cue ball at the point where your two imaginary lines intersect, as shown in the photo below.

The second diamond is tough to see with the glare off the table, but the four balls are to the left of this photo. The cue ball is on the point where the imaginary lines described above intersect.
The second diamond is tough to see with the glare off the table, but the four balls are to the left of this photo. The cue ball is on the point where the imaginary lines described above intersect. | Source
Aim about three cue tip widths to the right of vertical center, and one cue tip width below the horizontal centerline.
Aim about three cue tip widths to the right of vertical center, and one cue tip width below the horizontal centerline. | Source

Ready, Aim, Shoot!

This is the tricky part of the shot.

As shown in the photo to the right, you'll use a bit of what's called "English." English puts a particular spin on the cue ball that drives the balls you strike to go faster, slower, or veer slightly. In this trick shot, you'll aim to the right of the vertical center, and a bit below the horizontal center. As you look down the direction of your stick, it should be aimed at a point between the center of the third ball from the side pocket, and where that ball's edge touches the second ball. In the photo above, it would be a point about 1/4th of the distance between the blue two ball and the red three ball, striking the striped one.

(If you're confused, start by aiming at the very center of all four balls and then shift your aim slightly to the right until the shot works for you.)

Other Pool Trick Shots You Can Practice

There are many different kinds of trick shots, but if you can master this one, you'll be able to impress your friends even if you're a casual pool player.

Although I've been playing pool for a couple of decades, I'm just now learning how to control the cue ball and my game because I'm playing alongside some of the best players in the United States. If you're more serious about your game, and want to improve it, take a look at some items that are recommended by some of the best players in the nation:

The Black Widow's Guide to Killer Pool: Become the Player to Beat
The Black Widow's Guide to Killer Pool: Become the Player to Beat

Jeanette Lee, the Black Widow, is known as one of the best pool players in the world. She offers workshops at the pool hall where my league competes and is an unbelievably good player.

 
The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards
The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards

Understanding how the balls interact with each other and the banks is vital. This guide reveals the physics and geometry you need without sending you back to high school!

 
Capelle's Practicing Pool
Capelle's Practicing Pool

Even when you have a great understanding of billiard principles, there aren't any shortcuts to becoming a top notch player. Practice drills will help you master your shots.

 

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Comments 5 comments

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

Cool stuff! I had a physics teacher in high school who always explained physics in pool terms, so this makes perfect sense to me.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Occasionally, my hubby and I venture over to play pool. I do it for fun, but he's pretty competitive. It's fascinating to see how just the right angle will accomplish these tricks.


jellygator profile image

jellygator 4 years ago from USA Author

I find it fascinating and challenging. I never had any coaching until recently, and it has been exciting to learn how to do more on the table with the same basic tools just by learning the angles and spins.


twinstimes2 profile image

twinstimes2 4 years ago from Ohio

Cool article and video!


jellygator profile image

jellygator 4 years ago from USA Author

Thank you! :)

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