Why is a 1/2-ball hit (30° cut angle) so useful?

The “natural angle” effect associated with a half-ball hit is one of the most important principles in pool and billiards. It is the basis of the 30° rule, which states that for a rolling CB, the carom angle is very close to 30° for all cut angles between 1/4-ball and 3/4-ball hits (not just a 1/2-ball hit). This gem is the single most important and useful principle in pool, especially when used in conjunction with the peace-sign technique.

Many additional resources, with lots of illustrations, examples, and video links related to these principle, can be found here:

The 1/2-ball hit is a common shot, especially in the game of 9-ball, where you need to move the CB around the table a lot. With a 1/2-ball hit, the CB easily be given enough speed to travel significant distance. The CB’s motion can also be killed fairly easily with a 1/2-ball hit. Also, sidespin is very effective off the cushions with a 1/2-ball hit. For thinner hits, the faster ball speed reduces the effect of the sidespin; and for fuller hits and the resulting slower speed of the CB, the spin doesn’t grab as well, especially on new cloth.

Dr. Dave keeps this site commercial free, with no ads. If you appreciate the free resources, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation to show your support: