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English Vs. Straight Choice

English Vs. Straight Choice

My first post... I'm in need of your expertise. When walking up to the ball I have a mental issue with deciding to use english or a straight shot. To be specific is I have an OB that needs to be cut into a corner pocket. So when I aim on the CB I can make the shot either with zero english and attempt to hit the OB with the CB at the correct angle. Its either that or use english on the CB because of the sharp angle and get the same result. Either shot seems to work. So my question is which one should always be considered first if you are going to increase the percentage of success to make the shot...? This will settle a debate that has been on-going in my own mind and has started to effect my decision making so much that it is slowing down my game.

English Vs. Straight Choice

Replies & Comments

  1. Rayalquickshot on 12/27/2009 6:16:54 PM

    Do not agonize over it. Make the shot you feel most comfortable with and have the confidence in. All these shots are different even though they may look a like. A 1/4 inch one way or another can make all the difference in the world.

    Once you put doubt into a shot it is lost. Keep your mind set positive. Once you question your decision you are affecting the outcome. And the more outside advice you get, good or bad, your confidence will waver and self doubt will take over.

    Pool is a mental game.

  2. RayalRayal on 12/27/2009 6:33:30 PM

    I'm trying to get past the common response of doing what I feel is the most comfortable. Its all comfortable to me, but I'm hoping that an expert will come forward with the precise knowledge of which has a better percentage of success. If its not known then so be it...I will continue to debate it with myself....lol... Thank you though for your reply.

  3. Rayalquickshot on 12/27/2009 9:21:38 PM

    If you are trying to get past the most comon response to what you feel is the most comfortable you are on a path to game destruction. There are no magic bullets. Take your comfort zone and work to improve it. Doing so will also improve your mental game. The more you debate yourself the more confused you will become. And the more confused you become the worse your game will get. Of course, if you are happy chasing the circle you can look in the mirror and see a fool.

  4. RayalRayal on 12/27/2009 11:39:39 PM

    For some reason you don't seem to understand my first post question. So I will simplify it. What has the higher percentage of success, straight shot or english?

    Its clear I have wasted your time and mine here in this forum and had to look else where for the answer. I found it, and there is an in depth simple explanation of why you use a straight shot more often than a shot with english when you have the choice of either. The consensus of other experts is that english works best if the CB, OB, and pocket are under one foot a part from each other as it decreases the chance of success because english can't be measured as well as an exact straight angle shot (no english applied). They claimed that the experts shoot only 2 or 3 english shots out of a hundred, as that increases the success of pocketing the OB. They also mentioned this was a common question.

    If I had been happy 'chasing the circle' as you put it, then I should not have came here in the first place. I'm trying to better my game, which is obvious. Your mirror and fool response I found to be almost insulting, and has no bearing on the answer to my question. I still want to thank you for your response though.

  5. Rayalquickshot on 12/28/2009 12:55:25 AM

    Do not take the mirror remark personal. It was meant to be metaphorical. But, I stand by my initial answer: Stay in your comfort zone to maintain your best play. I fully understand the english and angle concept and I utilizes both at certain times. But, only when the shots are within my personal comfort zone.

  6. RayalMitch Alsup on 12/28/2009 10:37:29 AM

    A drill: Set up the CB on the head spot, set up an OB on the center spot, aim to hit the OB so that it should bounce off the far rail at the center diamond. Hit a few shots and make sure that you are able to consistently hit he center of the far rail.

    Now use max left (or right) english with a soft stroke and notice how far you can throw the OB off the straight line. {I can get 1.5 diamonds of throw--almost enough to pot the ball) Add a little power and notice how the throw is reduced.

    Next time you face a choice of english or not, use english if you need throw on the OB and not if you don't. However, if you need to position the CB somewhere on the table and this requires the use of englich (and top or bottom spin) remember the drill above and compensate for the side-spin (english) so you get the ball potted and the CB positioned.

  7. RayalFenwick on 12/28/2009 7:05:46 PM

    "So my question is which one should always be considered first if you are going to increase the percentage of success to make the shot?"

    In my opinion no english would be my first choice. Adding side spin just adds something else that can go wrong or make the shot harder. I use stun, stop, draw and follow for 90% of my shots and or shapes. That's not to say english doesn't have it's place or I never use it.

  8. Rayalquickshot on 12/28/2009 7:47:59 PM

    Which confirms my position. If the shot is not in ones comfort zone do not use it. It becomes a low-percentage shot.

  9. RayalRayal on 12/29/2009 1:14:15 PM

    This morning in a very long practice I worked on this drill and others, but as usual you always learn something new or unexpected. It takes some getting use to non-english shots through several games, but once I found the rhythm and backed off of the power I started to consistently drop them. The surprise came in that when I did use english on difficult shots or ones where I needed a difficult set up on the next ball, I achieved much better alignments. So thank you for the advice and suggestions. I think my game just came up a few notches as my mind is clearer with knowing a shot style a head of time, only time will tell though in the tournaments.

  10. Rayaldlabout on 12/30/2009 2:59:13 PM

    Rayal, I think the first question that came to my mind is WHY are you using english? English is used for position on the next ball or in some case to "throw" a ball off of its natural path. I believe most players would say that when you go left or right of center on the cue ball you are now introducing some measure of risk. The reason for that statement is because when you go left or right of center the cue ball will deflect off of the shaft of the cue and also curve slightly if you are coming down on the cue ball at all. The curve and deflection can change from table to table and cue to cue. Some shafts deflect more than others and some tables will have a heavier nap and may curve more. I asked a fellow league player once why he was playing left hand english on the 8 ball. His response had me confused. He said, "the english helps pocket the ball". Somewhere in his billiard education there was placed in his head that a shot to the left of the cue ball required right english and the opposit for the other side. I showed him that with center ball the ball can be made and english is used to manipulate the natural path of the cue ball. The natural path of a cue ball is 90 degrees to the contact point unless you're shooting straight in. Draw will bring the angle to a shallower angle and follow will take it on a longer path. Right and left are used for changing the angle off of a rail. Admittedly this is hard to in vision just through words but a good player in your area should be able to show you the effects of the same shot using left, right, follow and draw. -Doug

  11. RayalRayal on 12/31/2009 6:29:15 PM

    Some where in one of the posts above I had stated that I was comfortable doing either an english shot or a non-english shot, so to answer your question the best I can is to say, that it is how I learned when growing up. Since I was twelve years old and my cousin took me to American Legion halls, and these old vets would teach me how to shoot.

    However, as we all know there are several new disciplines and new knowledge since the days of 'old school' pool. I'm far from a very good pool shooter of course, but I have won a lot of bar games against others using mostly english shots. So...right now I'm in total amazement that I won as many as I did in the past.

    Yesterday was an awesome day for me shooting about three hours of which two hours was practicing nothing but non-english shots. The more I did it, the better my success of pocketing the ball. So I started shooting with others as they came into the hall, and I did really very well losing two games to five. I had several good runs though, and was really excited about the increase in my game. Its basically retraining the mind at the set up stage, and I have always been able to do both styles, but this just has a higher drop rate than english shots. I still had to use english on some shots to get position on the next ball, but only in a few rare occasions where the opponents ball was in the way.

    In the discussion it tends to get off the subject of this thread, which is, "which style has a higher success rate?" So its not a question of "how do I make this shot?" Those for me are mostly no-brainers. I now can easily answer my own question...non-english shots have a higher success rate.

    I hope this answers your question, but want to thank you for your inquiry.

  12. RayalFenwick on 1/1/2010 10:03:20 AM

    It would seem after reading your last post we're on the same page now.?

  13. RayalRayal on 1/4/2010 8:02:54 AM

    Yes Fenwick, we are definitely on the same page sir. Thank you for your input.

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English Vs. Straight Choice

  • Title: English Vs. Straight Choice
  • Author:
  • Published: 12/27/2009 5:43:42 PM