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Pool and Billiard Trick Shots

Updated on August 25, 2011

Artistic Pool and Trick Shots

This lens is a collection of trick shot links and resources along with commentary and observations about trick shots, pool, billiards, and snooker in general. Included are upcoming tournaments, trick shot videos, and tutorial links.

If you're a beginner, you can get started right away with some simple but head-turning tricks. If you're more experienced, you can expand your repertoire with a huge library of shots. When you think you're ready, consider competing in trick shot tournaments.

Introduction to Trick Shots

What are trick shots? What is artistic pool?

Trick shots (or artistic pool) are a challenging and entertaining discipline of pool, billiards, and snooker. Often, the balls do unexpected things like travel in near circles or make hard turns, or many balls are sunk in one shot. Trick shots also utilize props to give the shot an aesthetic appeal or add difficulty to a shot.

There are two aspects to trick shots: the setup and the execution. The overall difficulty level of a shot is a combination of these. It is easier for a pool novice to concentrate on the easy execution shots, even if the setup is more difficult. This just takes patience and precision in setting up the shot. A more advanced pool player will have the skills necessary to execute some of the more difficult shots, adding spin to the ball or making it jump in the air.

Trick shots are broadly classed into two categories: artistic shots and skill shots. Artistic shots are those where the setup is more critical and multiple balls go into the pockets. Skill shots are those where the execution is more critical and certain spins must be added to the balls. Trick shots are further divided up into 8 disciplines for sanctioned tournaments -- trick and fancy, prop/novelty, draw, follow, bank/kick, stroke, jump, and masse.

Top Trick Shot Artists

The big boys of trick shots (no women yet!)

The world rankings are determined by tournament participation and personal score in each tournament. Current rankings are determined by the Artistic Pool and Trick Shot Association.


(left to right) #1-Andy Segal, #2-Nick Nikolaidis, #3-Tom Rossman,


(left to right) #4-Sebastian Giumelli, #5-Eric Yow, Retired #1-Mike Massey

Nominated for 2009 Giant Squid Award

Thank you for the nomination

This lens was nominated for the 2009 Giant Squid Award in Best Outdoor/Sports Category. Thank you, readers! Be sure to check out the other nominated lenses at 2009 Giant Squid Awards.

Trick Shot Resources - The must-have trick shots book for every beginner

Mike Massey's World of Trick Shots
Mike Massey's World of Trick Shots

This book is a fantastic resource written by perhaps the most famous face in trick shots. It diagrams and details around 170 shots, from the very easy to the very difficult, including finger pool, along with giving some fundamental instructions for understanding trick shots and tips on giving exhibitions. If you're serious about trick shots, you need to have this book!

 

2010 Masters Champion

Nick Nikolaidis wins the Masters for the 2nd time!

Upcoming Trick Shot Tournaments

If you can, check out these trick shot tournaments in person

APTSA Tournaments:

  • 2011 World Artistic Pool Championships March 10-13, 2011, Valley Forge, PA.
  • Past APTSA tournament results can be found here.
Ultimate Trick Shot Tour (challenge opponents with your own trick shot inventions!):
  • Tour Stop #3 May 28, 2011, Shooter's Billiards, Gardner, MA. $1000 added!
Dr. Cue Classic Artistic Pool Tour (geared toward amateurs!):
  • No upcoming tournaments scheduled.
Independent Tournaments:
  • No upcoming tournaments scheduled.
Watch trick shots on TV. Check Pool & Billiard Magazine's TV schedule.


2008 Dr. Cue Classic Artistic Cup

More Trick Shot Resources - Great instructional trick shot videos

Byrne's Standard Video of Trick Shots - Vol. III (video) by Robert Byrne
Byrne's Standard Video of Trick Shots - Vol. III (video) by Robert Byrne

Byrne's videos present a lot of trick shots found in his book. Most of the trick shots are on the easier side and there's also some good hustler tricks that'll win you bets at your local bar or pool hall.

 
Byrne's Standard Video of More Trick Shots - Vol. IV (video) by Robert Byrne
Byrne's Standard Video of More Trick Shots - Vol. IV (video) by Robert Byrne

The is the continuation video of Byrne's Standard Video of Trick Shots (Vol III). Also a wonderful video.

 

It's important to know in what direction the balls will travel after hitting them. In general, if you hit the cue ball in to an object ball, the object ball will follow the line that connects the center of the two balls on contact. Similarly, if you two balls are touching (balls A and B), and the cue ball hits ball A, ball B will follow the line that connects the centers of balls A and B. But where will ball A go? Ball A will tend to follow the tangent line between the two balls, perpendicular to the line that connects balls A and B.

All of this, unfortunately, is overly simplified as there are friction effects, but this is a great starting point. Be sure to check out Tim Chin's article on throw for tips and drills. He also has a new article on spin and basic ball setup.

Possibly the most popular trick shot there is. This is a classic shot made popular by Steve Mizerak in a light beer commercial back in the 70's. Two balls end up going in the side pocket by the cluster, and then one each in the opposite side and two lower corner pockets. Meanwhile, the cue ball runs three rails around the table to get the last ball hanging in the upper left corner. Get the rest of the Just Showing Off tutorial.

Presented with permission of Tim Chin. More trick shot tutorials and diagrams can be found on Trick Shot Tim. Diagrams are also available at 10 Billiard Trick Shots to WOW Your Friends.

More Trick Shot Resources - To help improve your trick shots skills

Artistic Pool Trick Shot Templates
Artistic Pool Trick Shot Templates

This is a useful disc to have to learn some of the setup shots that look very impressive. Seven shots are diagrammed and templates can be printed out so you can set them up on your own table. Each shot has a shooter's perspective and video too, along with tips on how to make adjustments for different tables. This will get you pocketing 7 balls with one shot with ease!

 
Byrne's Treasury of Trick Shots in Pool and Billiards
Byrne's Treasury of Trick Shots in Pool and Billiards

Byrne's trick shot book was maybe the first great collection of trick shots compiled in to one place. Some of the instructions are lacking, so there will definitely be some trial and error, but the diagrams are clear and there are great back stories to a lot of the shots. Highly recommended if you want to show off to your friends!

 

Trick Shot Videos - Best of the best trick shot videos on YouTube

More Trick Shot Resources - Great pool trick shots stuff

Artistic Pool Manual
Artistic Pool Manual

This is a great resource to have as it diagrams every single shot from the original professional shot program used in tournaments, complete with shooter-perspective views, videos, and what adjustments to make if you miss. If you want to enter the world of professional trick shots, this is invaluable!

 
Kimura's "Mind Blowing" Trick Shots
Kimura's "Mind Blowing" Trick Shots

This video is by the legendary Japanese trick shot artist Yoshikazu Kimura and it truly is mind blowing. This is fantastic entertainment for the trick shot enthusiast and will even impress non-pool fans. Trying to replicate all of these shots would take years, but would be very impressive.

 

Do you like artistic pool? Share your thoughts on pool trick shots here! Also, you can rate this lens at The Isle of Squid or even submit your own lens there.

Can you do trick shots? - Are pool trick shots your thing?

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    • profile image

      AkashPrasad 4 years ago

      An interesting lens.Got to learn some tips on trickshot.

    • DaveGSE profile image

      DaveGSE 5 years ago

      Great lens, always love to throw in a few trick shots to show off ;)

    • profile image

      cylomi 5 years ago

      Great post,I like it very much. It's helpful to me.By the way would please give some advise to my lens euro 2012 uefa.Thanks a lot.

    • SteveMcGUK profile image

      SteveMcGUK 5 years ago

      love trick shots, wish I had more time to play. Thanks for the great lens.

    • GabStar profile image

      GabStar 5 years ago

      I love playing pool, wish we had a table here as most pubs have removed their tables.

    • profile image

      garip1 5 years ago

      I like Semih Sayginer

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      garip1 5 years ago

      I like Semih Sayginer

    • WayneDave LM profile image

      WayneDave LM 5 years ago

      This is such a great lens. Love it! Thanks a lot for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      From the most ranked amateur to the most experienced hustler, anyone who spends any time playing pool knows the power of trick shots to wow an audience and impress competitors. Whether they're simple or elaborate, trick shots are an exciting way to spice up a pool game - and they offer control that will boost your performance and give you an advantage over your opponent.

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    • profile image

      cmontijo 5 years ago

      Forgot to say this is a Great Lens A+++

    • nebraska lm profile image

      nebraska lm 6 years ago

      Some great info on pool trick shots. I saw Massey at a Vegas tournament a few years ago and it was some amazing trick shots!

    • plrsource profile image

      plrsource 6 years ago

      Great Lens

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      Great Lens, from a football blog

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      Melissa 6 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      Fun to consider these trick shots. This lens blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image

      tipofthecue 6 years ago

      An Impressive collection of trickshots, if you ever need the perfect cue to carry out your shots visit my site www.tipofthecue.com

    • profile image

      catherinenbrooks 6 years ago

      I never play it.but this lens inspire to me to play this pooling game.I will use your tricks when i will play pooling.well done...

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      You have made a very nice blog. Your texts is extremely good content. It would be super with a widget like Facebook like buttom. I have integrated it on my blog and it attracts attention. The more comments the more motivated you will become in designing your next piece.

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      indosquid 6 years ago

      Wow.. I love trick shot :)

      Check out my new lens about Sexy Miss Billiards Anastasia Luppova :)

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      benzwm021 lm 6 years ago

      Wow this is sweet. I will share some of this on my Piano Tuners Pittsburgh site for pool lovers. Thanks for the trick shots.

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      Stock_Market_Tips 6 years ago

      I just check this blog, I like the information, I want to say thank you for the information you have shared. Just continue writing this kind of post. I will be your loyal reader. Ton of thanks.

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      JesPiddlin 6 years ago

      These guys are so awesome and we're proud to be associated with them!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great stuff!! I like your lens; itâs very informative and engaging. Iâm also building a site Drinking how much is too much which is really useful for drinkers.

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      smartrich22 6 years ago

      I'm not a billyard lover, but I say, that trick is an awesome! :D

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      Selbst 6 years ago

      Thanks for this great detailed lens. Nice trick! :)

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 6 years ago

      Terrific lens!

    • itsmuzza2011 profile image

      itsmuzza2011 6 years ago

      ive played snooker for years and i always swear by a 9mm blue diamond tip its never let me down and ive made over 50 century breaks, ive only ever used 3 cues in 30 years of playing the game, a good tip to finding a great cue is to find an old cue from years back its stood the test of time and wont warp like some modern day cues do... good lens well done from a BIG snooker fan. Everyone who plays snooker or pool knows the odd trick shot but after reading this i now know a few more and can't wait to try them out... Many thanks

    • JackieBlock profile image

      Jackie Block 6 years ago from SE Michigan

      I love to play pool, but I have a lot of work ahead of me before I can make trick shots! Nice lens. Thank you.

    • JeremiahStanghini profile image

      JeremiahStanghini 6 years ago

      Trick shots are some of the more fun things to do on a table. I used to love watching Mike Massey on TV when I was a kid. :-)

      With Love and Gratitude,

      Jeremiah

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      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great fun. Blessed by a squid angel.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

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      Mrmakingusmile LM 6 years ago

      I enjoy shooting pool. Thanks for making me smile. Come visit soon.

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      charder 6 years ago

      I learned a lot, thanks!

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Andy 6 years ago from London, England

      Great lens. I understand the theory, but I can never put it into practice.

    • Meloramus profile image

      Meloramus 6 years ago

      I enjoy playing pool, but I'm not very good. Thanks for sharing these tips. Who knows, I may turn Pro yet!

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Enjoyed reading this lens! "5 stars-favorited".

      Happy New 2010!

      God bless.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Hey man you have a awesome website i haven't seen another one like it. I've used your tutorials to learn most of the shots i can do. i am starting to get the setup shots figured out i have made most of them that you have already. I'm going to put a video on youtube to show my family and friends.I am trying to get the 10 in one shot i seen from eric yows website down better,but what i really want to learn mike masseys impossible cluster shot but i can't find i diagram anywhere i didn't know if you could help me out with this? i got my masse starting to work good,but i was wandering if my worn down house felt is the reason i can't jump shot? because i can't come close to clearing a ball. thanks for the website bro.

    • profile image

      troyarren 7 years ago

      Thanks for the great site. I am building a similar lens and was searching around different billiard sites to see what others like yourself were doing. Great work!

      Troy

      http://www.squidoo.com/All-Things-Pool

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Cool Lens. Congratulations on your Purple Star and 2009 Giant Squid Nomination! :)

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      Well crafted and detailed lens!

      Congratulations on your 2009 Giant Squid Awards!

      Dom.

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      sukkran trichy 7 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      very interesting lens with lot of useful information. great work

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      Christine Cameron 8 years ago

      Love this lens! I played Mike Massey a game of 8-ball once... it was a very short game, lol. Great work, 5 stars!

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      Smartshops 8 years ago

      Great lens with lots of information! 5*s from your friends at Smartshops

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    • AndrewGreen LM profile image

      AndrewGreen LM 8 years ago

      Tried a couple of the shots. I think i might need a bit more practice. Thanks for the helpful vids.

    • FootballCrazy LM profile image

      FootballCrazy LM 8 years ago

      I'm pretty terrible when it comes to pool, I love watching trick shots, but I like to leave the actual doing of them to the professionals! Interesting lens you've put together there.

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      tokyobabydoll 8 years ago

      very cool. i love efren bata reyes.

    • WritingforYourW profile image

      WritingforYourW 9 years ago

      Great information. It's amazing at how bad I am at pool considering we had a table when I was growing up. Where was this lens then? ;)

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      My son Sebastian, 11, does some pretty cool pool trick shots. Check'em out at http://www.youtube.com/user/vmanvideos

    • profile image

      bdkz 9 years ago

      This is a really informative lens. I gave you 5 Stars and a Squid Angel Blessing!

    • profile image

      beachbum_gabby 9 years ago

      I enjoy watching this in TV. How I wish I could do what they're doin'.

    • The Eclectic Muse profile image

      The Eclectic Muse 9 years ago

      Love this lens!

    • profile image

      Deb_Wood 9 years ago

      Great Lens! It reminds me of when my dad used to play pool when I was little. He used to think he could do all these shots. Maybe if he would have read this he could have actually done them :)

    • profile image

      RedSportNiac 9 years ago

      Well done. I really enjoy your lens. It would definitely help anyone who needs some guidance on this topics.

    • profile image

      rockycha 9 years ago

      great lens! Graphics for the trick shots are perfect!

    • Teacher Adez7 profile image

      Teacher Adez7 9 years ago

      Very Nice. :)

    • profile image

      Rock_The_Ice 9 years ago

      A brilliant lens. 5* As someone who practises pool and trick shots for about an hour a day I can relate to this. You've presented artistic pool in an artistic fashion!