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Billiard Pool Jump Shot Techniques

Learn how to perform a legal jump shot in billiards using your pool cue.

Billiard Pool Jump Shot Techniques

Everyone like to be a big shot, and nothing makes you look cooler than executing a proper billiard and pool jump shot technique and pocketing the intended object ball that nobody thought you could get at. Though this may be the case, you should remember to consider and assess all other options and angles for shot options first. If you use the jump shot when you don't really need to, your opponent and other spectators may regard you as a showboat and may lose existing respect for your game.

Billiard and Pool Jump Shot Technique

First things first. Know that "scooping" the cue ball to make it jump is illegal. You should be striking the cue ball almost at dead center or even slightly above center.

Some pool players with ineffective jump shot techniques hold their arm out to the side, rather than in line underneath their shoulder. If you do hold your arm out to the side when jumping, try instead backing up your shoulder and shooting straight down. If you are very short, this will not be an option.

The thicker and more padded the cloth, the easier it is to jump. You might want to try practicing on a "bear cloth," non-Simonis pool table. Or if not available, use a cloth swatch underneath your cue ball when practicing. Some general principles of jump shots to keep in mind when practicing your technique:

  • The cue ball will jump at an angle equal to the angle at which it is struck. This means that the higher your cue stick, the higher the jump angle of the cue ball.
  • The harder your shot, the greater distance the jump will travel.
  • The jump stroke must be shot with a loose back arm grip allowing the cue stick to get out of the way of the ball so you don't "trap" the ball as it's beginning to jump.

In this image, the player is trying to do a lower jump. Notice the lower angle of the cue to the cue ball.
How to do a legal jump shot in billiards - low angle

In this image, the player is trying to do a lower jump. Notice the lower angle of the cue to the cue ball.
How to do a legal jump shot in billiards - steep angle

Now that you have an idea of what different aspects of the jump shot to think about, we can say that the actual stroke is the most important factor in determining whether your jump shot will be successful or not. It has been said that when performing a jump shot, one should focus on stroking similar to the way that they would on a normal shot that does not leave the table. This will mimic a pendulum motion, much like a normal shot would. Additionally, keep in mind that wedging your cue tip under the ball and lifting it is not proper form, and considered amateur. It also destroys your cloth.

For shots where you don't need much height, you can use this particular technique. When you connect your cue tip with the surface of the cue ball, try to aim just slightly, (and I mean extremely slightly,) below the center point. Once you cue tip actually connects with the cue ball, try immediately throwing down on the cue stick toward the billiard table with your back hand. When you throw it down, it should be come at least level with the height of the tip of your cue. Remember again that all of this is done at the exact moment your tip hits the cue ball's surface. Also, stand on your toes with the foot on the same side of your body as your shooting arm. This will definitely help for shots where your cue grip is already low, and practically in line with the cue tip.

The technique that you should use for jump shots that are 45 degrees or greater, is a completely different technique. This technique for jump shots is known as the "dart stroke" method. It is called the dart stroke because it involves holding the grip of the cue like you would a dart. By doing this, you get great elevation on your cue, and thus, are able to make higher jump shots. You grip the cue in such a manner, and throw it similar to the way you would throw an actual dart. When attempting a jump shot this way, you should stand sideways to the table with a good, solid, upright posture. Place your bridge hand on the table in an elevated open bridge position. Your fingers should be spread out with some weight on them, and the back of your hand elevated considerably with your thumb forming the channel for the cue to slide against. Your rear hand should grip the cue not far from your neckline or jaw. The cue is to be gripped extremely lightly between your thumb and up to three fingers. The back of your hand should be facing you as your grip the cue. Now slide your cue forward from this position through your bridge as though you were shooting a dart. If you're having trouble stroking naturally and straight, try adjusting your stance distance and the position on the cue where you are gripping.

When working on your billiard jump shot technique, you should also focus on where your eyes are pointing, since you look at different points during a jump shot than you would when performing a normal pool shot. It is very important that you hit the cue ball only slightly below center or you will get a masse effect. Also, if you hit the cue ball too far down, you will end up scooping it rather than jumping it. Hitting it too far up will "trap" the ball down against the billiard table bed. Keep your eyes on the cue ball and focus on hitting your precise point which is either dead center, or slightly back from center. Remember; to jump a full ball from one ball away you'll need to elevate to 85 degrees or more.

With all of this talk about the cue ball's "center," we should mention, and clarify, this sometimes confusing aspect of billiard shot making. The center of the cue ball is not the center from the top of the cue ball facing the ceiling down to the bottom. The true center of the cue ball is found from the plane of the cue ball that is in line with the angle at which you are shooting. To find the center line from any degree of angle, imagine if you extended your cue stick from the angle you are shooting through the entire cue ball and out the other side. Where would your cue pierce the physical center of the cue ball? That spot would be the center.

Billiard Jump Shot Tutorial

Here is a video of Jeanette Lee teaching us how she performs a legal jump shot at the pool table. She also talks about her jump cue and why players sometimes use a separate cue for jump shots.

Billiard jump shot technique is something that you'll have to practice at a good deal before becoming proficient. It is a good idea to start learning with jump shots of minimal height. Even if you can start getting it off the ground a few millimeters, it will help you get used to the jump shot stroke. Get the technique down then try jumping a full object ball.

Billiard Pool Jump Shot Techniques

  • Title: Billiard Pool Jump Shot Techniques
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 1/13/2007 4:11:21 PM
  • Last Updated: 9/21/2016 9:56:11 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum

Billiard Pool Jump Shot Techniques

The Billiard Pool Jump Shot Techniques article belongs to the Billiard Shot Making and Shooting Tutorials category. Pool tutorials around billiard shot making and shooting tips.

Billiard Pool Jump Shot Techniques Comments

  1. Lance BastrupLance Bastrup from Lake Arrowhead, WI on 10/25/2008 4:28:27 PM

    This was a very interesting read on how to jump the cue ball for an intermediate pool player like me who hasn't jumped before.

  2. CliffCliff from Ogunquit, ME on 4/19/2011 5:23:59 AM

    How about some pictures or a video?

    Thanks for the info though.

  3. MrPhilHarmonicMrPhilHarmonic from Freehold, NJ on 3/31/2012 8:14:30 PM

    And don't forget to use a "jump cloth" on the pool table to protect it's surface when practicing your jump shot. Otherwise, you'll soon have burn marks that you can't erase, or at worst, a hole in the pool table cloth!

  4. metguymetguy from Waverly, IA on 10/26/2014 3:34:46 AM

    I thought that this was very helpful, especially the part that went into more in depth with actual center lines.

    That part can be confusing for us who are learning to jump the cue ball.

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