FAQFAQCombination Shots in Pool and Billiards

... how to aim combos.

Dr. Dave's answers to frequently-asked questions (FAQs), mostly from the AZB discussion forum


for more information, see Section 7.01 in The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards and
and Vol. II of How to Aim Pool Shots (HAPS)


How are combination shots (combos) aimed?

The following video from Vol. II of How to Aim Pool Shots (HAPS), covers the basics:

Generally, the easiest way to aim combos is to simply apply whatever aiming system you use ... twice. One technique is the ghost-ball cue-pivot method demonstrated in the following videos:

NV 7.1 - Aiming a combination shot
NV D.9 - How to Aim Pool Shots - from Vol-II of the Billiard University instructional video series

You first place the cue tip at the necessary ghost-ball position for the 2nd OB. Then pivot the cue to visualize the necessary line of aim for the 1st OB. Then place the tip at the required ghost-ball position to send the 1st OB along this line. Pivoting the cue to the CB then gives the necessary line of aim for the shot.

Aim must also be compensate for throw, especially with slow-speed small-gap or frozen combinations. For more information see "HAPS - Part V: Combination-Shot Throw" (BD, March, 2015) and the following videos:

NV E.5 - Combination Shot Throw Adjustment, from HAPS II
NV J.1 - Small-Gap-Combination Throw Effects and Game-Situation Examples
NV D.17 - Does a pool and billiards frozen combination throw more than a small-gap stun shot?
NV J.1 - Small-Gap-Combination Throw Effects and Game-Situation Examples

For more information, see frozen-ball throw and small-gap combos.


small-gap combos

How do you aim combination shots when the gap between the balls is small?

The following video explores throw effects related to small-gap combinations with various gap sizes between the balls:

For more info, see "Small-Gap Combos" (BD, August, 2018).

Here are some useful conclusions from a math/physics analysis in TP B.21:

When there is no gap between the balls, the 2nd ball throws the most (but not much more than when there is a very small gap). For more info and demonstrations, see the frozen-ball throw resource page.

The info above also applies to cut shots where the CB is close to the OB and hit with stun. The difference is you have direct control over the CB's spin. With small-gap cuts, sidespin can be used to change the throw amount and/or direction, and top/bottom spin will reduce the amount of throw (see throw draw/follow effects).

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