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The Point And Pivot System by Hal Houle


The Point And Pivot System by Hal Houle

I have worked on figuring out the The Point And Pivot method for about 4 years and I finally understand 90 percent of it. I am referring to Hal Houle's aiming system, if you like to call it a system that is. I prefer not to call it a system.

Any comments would be appreciated. I know this has be a topic before I am guessing, and I am trying to re open it.

I really believe I have some of the major keys to it and I am trying to see if I am on the right track.

What drew me to this is several years back I bought a pool table, and I determined I wanted yo be a good player so I started working on it. One day I started moving around the pool table in a rotation fashion, stopped got in the shot position and stroked, and made the ball in the pocket.

So my quest for answers started. I went to the Internet and started searching, I typed in Pool Pivot, and what do you know, Hal Houle's aiming system popped up.

For about the last year or so I have worked on it because it sounded a lot like what I did to make my shots.I really don't aim, I watch the pool table to make my shots. I am now trying to perfect it.

Any comments on the Hal Houle point and Pivot system from believers or non believers, that if understood, it is the key to to making any make-able shot?

The Point And Pivot System by Hal Houle

Replies & Comments

  1. Line UpFenwick on 2/18/2009 7:29:04 PM

    Hal Houle is getting up there in years and not in very good health sad to say. I have always used CTE for aiming round objects at other round object but must confess other then that I really don't fully understand his system - method. I've read as much about his system as I can and watched a few videos.

    I myself play, See ball make ball or See ball miss ball! SBMB for short. I wish I was one of the lucky ones to get a lesson from him. So are you going to share what you've discovered?

    Welcome to the forum.

  2. Line UpLine Up on 2/19/2009 4:31:17 AM

    Tell me what you don't understand about it, one thing at a time, and I'll do my best.

  3. Line Upquickshot on 2/19/2009 8:51:29 PM

    The basics?

  4. Line UpMitch Alsup on 2/19/2009 11:37:45 PM

    Point and pivot is a system whereby if you know (or know how to determine) the pivot point of a cue, that you can compensate for the deflection as side-spin (english) is applied to the stroke. Thus, you can aim at the shot as if no english were to be applied. And then make one movement of the cue (the pivot) and be in position to roll the cue ball down the original path but with english this time (with deflection canceled out).

  5. Line UpLine Up on 2/20/2009 3:10:10 AM

    Like I said I only have 90 percent of it figures out ,but do to research,first thing you have to know is where you need to start.This is determined on the intended pocket.As pointed put clearly,there are 2 laws of deflection,they call it the 30 degree rule and the 90 degree rule.in combination of the 2 rules together determines the angle to be shot,again the object of the game is to determine the angle to be shot ,not guess.The 30 degree rule is based on the cue ball rolling on impact,the 90 degree rule is based on the cue ball sliding on impact.I am no trying to be argumental but until you fully understand the two rules ,you cant go any further .Again one step at a time.In order for someone to understand you as some people say its better if you do it bye your self ,I am trying to say one point at a time ,take what I'm saying do the research ,then apply.Then go to the next point as given.One thing it has nothing to do with using English to make the shot .Sometimes you have to think a little opposite! ..

  6. Line UpMitch Alsup on 2/20/2009 11:34:46 AM

    "As pointed put clearly,there are 2 laws of deflection,they call it the 30 degree rule and the 90 degree rule."

    There is a third law of deflection (often called squirt) and this has to do with the direction a cue ball takes off when struck by a cue stick away from the center of the cue ball's equator. This effect is governed by the mass at the tip of the cue stick and the flexibility of the shaft of the cue stick. The Point and Pivot system is designed to null-out the deflection of the cue ball as it is struck by the cue stick when applying english. Cue-ball deflection has nothing to do with the 30 degree and 90 degree rules that govern the impact of the cue ball with the object ball.

  7. Line Upquickshot on 2/20/2009 7:06:11 PM

    I think that I will go with what Fenwick has said. See Ball..Make Ball. (Not miss...make.)

  8. Line UpLine Up on 2/21/2009 9:02:27 AM

    @Mitch Alsup, very good point, I did not think about that.

    1. Have you ever personally met Hal, or talked to Hal about his so called system?
    2. Do you use his system as your aiming system when you play?

    @Fenwick, That's cool but if you ever decide to try something new give me a shout. If you want shoot me a E-Mail.

  9. Line UpFenwick on 2/21/2009 11:06:03 AM

    Line Up,

    I'm all about learning something new. I actually tried Hal's pivot system Friday with limited success.

    When you said, "tell me what you don't understand,one at a time" I was a bit put off. Words in print can be easily misunderstood. I took it the wrong way.

    Same can be said with his system. Aside from CTE it's a lot to decipher but I have plenty of time.

    "If you want shoot me a E-Mail" I'll take you up on that offer very soon!

  10. Line UpLine Up on 2/21/2009 11:49:33 AM

    Fenwick,The Billiards Forum will not let me E mail you through this site ,You have to at least postings 15 postings to do so it says.If you can E mail me ,Then we can go from there

  11. Line UpMitch Alsup on 2/21/2009 12:03:32 PM

    I have never met Hal.

    I probably use his system but at a completely unconscious level. In a way, his system tells me something about cues, and why some cues just feel right in the bridge hand and some take significant getting used to. I suspect that the ones the feel right in the bridge hand have short pivot points (i.e. at or near the closed bridge itself), unfortunately I can't say with any definitive authority because I play with a low tip mass queue which has a long pivot point. But there are aspects about Hal's system that explain the changes I have had to make in my game to use this cue effectively.

    I do understand the physics behind his system.

  12. Line UpLine Up on 2/21/2009 2:58:06 PM

    Mich, OK,so the fact that you have not dealt with Hal means that you are doing the same thing as a lot of people are doing.You are creating a hypothesis on what YOU think Hal is saying in his article,I presume that you have read it and you do agree that there are only 3 angles for any given shot that is in the possible to pocket range. For right now I am not talking about bank shot ,kick shots,or combination shots.So what does the flex of the shaft,or the so called pivot point in the cue have to do with the 3 angles for any given shot.Again I have not yet perfected all of it nor do I completely understand it all but I do know it has nothing to do with using english to make the shot ,nor does it have anything to do wit a so called pivot point if their is one in a cue STICK.Read the article where does it say actually use english,where does it say CUE STICK.Hal is mainly saying there are only three angles for any given shot. Again I am not trying to be argue-mental .I have just read so many peoples hypothesise,and I don't know how the came up with there conclusions ,what was the guess based on,just there ideas or proven facts.

  13. Line UpMitch Alsup on 2/22/2009 3:48:13 PM

    I have noticed the pivot point of cues long before I became aware of Hal's article. My dad has an old book by Some well known pro from the 30-50s (Hoppe or Mosconi) on how to play pool. It (pivot points and/or cue deflection) was mentioned in that book I read back in high school (circa 1968).

    I am still contemplating whether Hal's statements that there are only 3 angles is meaningful or contraindicative. I have reached no conclusion on that mater.

    After reading that article (Point and Pivot) I became aware of some of the unconcious activities I perform while prepairing for a stroke. Here, I strongly agree with the system as proposed. a) that there is a pivot point in the cue, b) that using it can allow you to null out deflection(squirt), and c) that you still have to adjust for throw at the contact point to pot the intended ball. But, then, I approach most of my activities as a physicist--its my training.

    And finally: systems are for teaching. Once you have mastered a system, you then start to figure out where the system lets you down, and figure out how to override or compensate for that particular system. Diamond systems are similar--they get you in the ball park, and then you are on your own to refine the skill and put it to profitable pursuits.

  14. Line UpLine Up on 2/22/2009 6:30:23 PM

    Mich, so you approach things like this the same way I do,but that is not my trade that is my personality ,so were on the same page.From the information you have stated the way I look at that is that ,OK there is a pivot point in a cue ,I really don't understand that but I will research that.Even with that said I feel that your evaluations of the system only tells you how to compensate for english if you were to actually going to use english when making the shot.suppose you were not going to use english in your shot at all,but when when you LINE UP the shot you line as if you were going to use english then in the actual shot you you don't apply english at all.Second thought,point and piviot ,what are you pointing at? The three angles 30,45,15, That is the only thing that is possible ,how many point are in a triangle(isosceles)triangle? what type of triangle is in the pool table ? what is a billiards table actually in geometry terms? Hint it starts with EQUALL. for now just a couple things to think about.Just to leT people know I have not dealt with Hal,or know any one that has.but my mind is on the same page as his ANILITICALL.

  15. Line UpMitch Alsup on 2/22/2009 9:52:05 PM

    I think you are trying to over analyze this subject.

    To me, point and pivot is about applying english without allowing deflection to take the cue ball off line.

    As the cue ball contacts the object ball, one still has to account for the throw of the object ball due to the english on the cue ball.

    So the aim before applying english is the standard Ghost Ball theory (of geometrical pool). Then you pivot the cue to avoid deflection as english is applied, and finally, you adjust your aim point to accomodate the throw of the side-spinning cue at contact with object ball. If you try to put a rail in the mix, it all gets complicated in a big hurry.

  16. Line UpLine Up on 2/23/2009 4:36:37 AM

    @Mitch Alsup - Personally for me I look at every thing from every angle I can think of till I come up with the correct answer. So to me this is a case that needs to be solved, if you can't prove everything you or I are saying than the case is not solved. Hals system is the case. You have not bin able to tell me how there are ONLY three angles for any given shot. I have proven to myself how that is correct. That is one part that HAL stated in his article. If you don't break it down one part at a time how will one ever understand what he is trying to say. As I stated to Fenwick one point at a time. Try it all at one time I think no one will ever figure it out,that is if you want to. Sound right? With that said geometry first ,that's what I think. Only the geometry that applies to the pool table.

    That is where I started. Does not mean anyone else has to that's just my way. Does That make any sense to you?

    Also, I wanted to say that the ghost ball is still a form of guessing and you have to look at the pocket to pot the ball.

    The reason I joined this forum is to talk pool, my wife does not play pool, my son 17 does not play. I have a table in my basement and this is the only place I play (so I can smoke in my pool hall) LOL. My main thing I said to my self as a self taught person is if you cant make the shot you cant go any farther, meaning if you plan out the after shot but don't make the shot what good was it to plan the after shot.

    So with that said ,you can have the best form, the best stroke anyone has ever seen, have the best position skills and so on, but if you cant make the shot first all that goes down the tube. AND YES I DO WORK ON ALL THE PREVIOUS THINGS SAID. But it comes down to making the shot first! Last thing just to check to see what skill level I do have, I joined a TAP pool league, I was rated a 6 that tells me I am doing something right. The league was TAP I think the one where it is on a professional league format.

  17. Line UpMitch Alsup on 2/25/2009 5:01:46 PM

    I went out on Monday and practiced the P&P system by Hal.

    What happens is that you can put as much as 15 degrees of throw on the object ball with english (although I suspect that +/- 7.5 degrees would work just bout as well in most circumstances). Thus, if you can accurately meter the 3 shots he describes (15, 30, 45 degrees*), you can pot balls from all of the angles from 0-45 degrees. So, in effect, you only need to learn how to eyeball 3 angles and develop a touchy feely relationship between english and throw. These three angles are denoted in his system by the outer edges of the cue ball and the center of the cue ball. Over at he object bal there is the 1/4L, 0, and 1/4R contact points.

    The drawback on this system is that you are comitted to a certain amount of english whether you like it or not after the contact is made with the object ball. A second drawback is that by using this much english, you may not be able to use as much follow/draw as you might like.

    For me: I will continue using the pivot part without the point part.

    (*) I strongly suspect that he would include the straight shots as center to center--giving 4 aiming points.

  18. Line UpLine Up on 2/25/2009 6:56:07 PM

    Have you ever lined up or eyeballed something on the wall or looked down the edge of something to see if it were straight?

    If you notice you move your head OR eyes to see if it was LINED UP. But one thing your not noticing is you are going off of something else to see if it is straight or in line, the something you are going off of is in relationship to a to the point your going off of. FOR EXAMPLE, take your finger hold it straight in front of you don't move your finger, move your head or eyes rotate in one direction or the other. See it move in relationship to the other stationary object?

    Again don't move your finger from the fixed POINT Just your head and eyes. Now you kind of see that right?

    OK now same thing same way move your (presuming your right handed) look at the cue ball and the object ball straight on LINED UP straight in line rotate straight back and and to the side at the same time. Do you see anything kind of like its moving in relationship to the object ball? If you don't see it at firs try it a couple times till you see it move rotate from left side to right side back.

    Before I go any further let me know if you see what I'm trying to explain. I still insist it has nothing to do with the use of english to make the shot. That is if you want to try to learn this.My version of what I think is correct.And yes for 0-45 degrees I know everything seems to work right it is the after 45 degrees i have not seen anyone explain that but i can.one step at a time though.Let me know what happened when you tried that little exercise OK.

    @Mitch Alsup, On other thing... when you have time take a look at a diamond, if you are into analyzing, analyse what do you see about the angles. How many angles do you see? One ball has one diamond in it the other ball has one diamond in it together the EQUAL a rhombus, draw it out in a rectangle. Can you fit a full circle in a rectangle? In case you are wondering, no you can not. The circle would hit the EDGES. The circle is on the OUTSIDE of the pool table. But there is a way you can put a rectangle inside of 2 ball together. Think about that let me know what you think

    This has ALOT to to with the questions at hand, there are only three angles for any given shot.

  19. Line UpMitch Alsup on 2/26/2009 8:55:29 AM

    "Before I ,go any farther let me know if you see what I'm trying to explain.I still insist it has nothing to do with the use of english to make the shot "

    Makes no sense to me at all.

  20. Line UpLine Up on 2/26/2009 3:50:22 PM

    Mich, OK ,Just like most people out there they make no sense of the point and pivot system(they don't understand it at all).So if what I'm trying to say makes no sense to you I understand.Most people ridicule Hal and his system till they understand it.as most people don't.I think we can agree on that? Maybe I do have it all wrong ,but through my analyzing I don't think I have it ALL wrong.From what I understand the people Hal has personally worked with are not at liberty to talk about it.That was just based on other forums I have read about concerning Hals system.Don't take me the wrong way I am not doubting your ability and skill level or the way you aim ,I just think that that is not what Hals meaning of his system.Cool? Just a few last thoughts ,Hals system was based on geometry,when you are playing pool the geometry term for the table and its contents is an EQUALL BI LATERAL SYCLICK PARELLOGRAM.One last question,have you ever wondered why if you have a 4x8 pool table and you measure the side to side it is 4 foot but when you measure end to end it is not 8 foot ( inside measurements cushion to cushion the back side of the cushion)?end to end when you find out where the 8 foot is maybe that might make you think a little.Than You for your thoughts

  21. Line UpMitch Alsup on 2/26/2009 4:56:22 PM

    Your term does not appear in the taxonomy of quadralaterals:

    Look, I have given you what I know about the system, and you seem to want me to say more. Since I don't understand the system any better than I have already explained, there is nothing more I can do for you on this topic.

  22. Line UpLine Up on 2/26/2009 5:19:33 PM

    Sorry, I spelled cyclic wrong which is in your taxonomy of quadrilaterals and does rhombus also appear, Nice diagram not seen that before.

    Look at the pic which show cyclic, notice the circle is not inside the rectangle. Your diagram shows a lot of what I was trying to say. The other term I was looking for was GEOMETRIC RELATIONSHIP referring to what I was trying to explain in previous post. Well anyway, what I am trying to do is get a knowledgeable person of pool to understand what I am trying to say.

    Hal tried to explain but was ridiculed.

    tpub.com/math1/18a.htm This will explain most of what I am trying to say

  23. Line Upbilliardsforum on 2/28/2009 9:45:47 AM

    Comments on Hal Houle's point and pivot system? Ask and ye shall receive.

    There is a heated session of comments going on in the article we have about the Point and Pivot system by Hal Houle. May want to check it out...

    The article has about 50 or so comments on Hal's aiming system and CTE aiming (center to edge aiming).

    Have fun.

  24. Line UpJustanotherevolutionary on 3/1/2009 9:03:15 AM

    Good lord. You wanna talk about over analyzing something? Well here's the post for you!

    This kinda goes back to the beginning of this topic. See ball... make ball. It really is that simple. My friend got in to the "physics of pool" and now he is shooting so bad it makes me sick.

    The way I see it is, this ball contacts this ball at this speed from this angle and that ball goes in the pocket and the other ball goes over there so I can shoot the next ball from this angle so I can shoot the next ball from that angle until all the ball are gone except for that one ball I use to hit the other balls with.

    See, I can be complex too! It's all fascinating, but come on...

  25. Line UpLine Up on 3/1/2009 11:16:07 AM

    Yes, you are correct. Simple, it is.

  26. Line Upacuerate on 1/31/2010 8:24:48 AM

    I fully agree with Mitch.

    30° - 90° rules have nothing to do with "cue ball deflection" caused by applying side spin (intentional or (mostly) unintentional) to the cue ball. We are studying cue ball deflection for more then 10 years and it's a very complicated matter. Obviously the 'type' of cue has a big impact on the degree of deflection but there are also other parameters:

    1. how high you strike the ball
    2. how hard you strike the cue ball
    3. the cloth (slippy or not)
    4. the amount of side spin

    Obviously case a, b, c, d are the same, so then it's the cue which will determine the degree of deflection.

    There are a few low deflection cues available which mostly have a tip size lower then the standard 12 mm ! And by the way, where does this standard come from? Even carom shafts have a tip size lower then 12 mm and the balls are bigger then pool balls.

    Enjoy your game,

    Johan Cools
    Acuerate Team

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The Point And Pivot System by Hal Houle

  • Title: The Point And Pivot System by Hal Houle
  • Author: (Tony Sanders)
  • Published: 2/16/2009 11:05:18 AM
  • Last Updated: 2/18/2009 6:10:32 PM
  • Last Updated By: Line Up (Tony Sanders)