Learn how to set up and perform the massé shot made famous in the billiard movie The Hustler featuring Jacking Gleason and Paul Newman.
Basic Massé Shot from The Hustler
While many billiard trick shots are more trick than shot, this one is pure skill and practice. It is the massé shot made famous in the pool movie "The Hustler". In the movie, the shots are done by Jackie Gleason and Paul Newman, but the man actually executing the shots for that movie was Willie Mosconi.
We'd encourage you to take a peep at the blockbuster movie The Hustler, if you haven't, so you can see how dang sweet this trick shot can be when done right. If you're looking to become an actual trick shot performer or hustler, you'll need to learn and perfect this massé trick shot.
Set up two object balls in the left short rail pocket next to each other in front of the pocket. They shouldn't be touching, but instead right in front of the corner of each rail with about an inch between their sides. They should be about an inch from the rail as well.
Set up the cue ball touching the object ball nearest the short rail. The cue ball also should not touch the rail, but it should be a bit closer to it.
Tell your now obsessed and wildly impressed legions of surrounding minions that you're going to magically pocket first one ball, then have your cue shoot away from the other ball, only to switch directions and roll back toward the other.
Hold the cue for a massé shot. This means holding it normally with the bridge hand, but instead of horizontally, holding the cue vertically. You want to shoot straight down, and you can use either an overhand or underhand grip for the other hand, depending on what feels and works best for you. Brace your bridge hand against your body, either on the torso or the leg if you put a leg up on the table.
Now, you're going to want to shoot the ball with back and left english so it will spin back towards the second object ball. To do this, point your cue horizontally at the third diamond on the left rail, then pivot your cue so it's facing straight down at the cue. Then move the tip back from the top center and slightly left.
Hit the ball with medium power straight down.
If done right, this should immediately knock the first (touching) object ball in, then roll out, switch directions and roll back and knock the second in. Don't expect this challenging shot to work right the first time. You're gonna need to practice this thing, son. When you finally pull this junk off in front of all them peoples…
…BECOME POOL GOD. Well, more like the very tiniest, basic pool god, but hey, you're on the way to true billiards deity status.
Here is a video from Andy "the Magic Man" Segal showing how the shot looks when done properly.
Here is a variation on the shot, using the same skills and a similar ball situation and layout: