Billiards (or pool) is a popular game played all over the world. Did you know that knowing some physics can give you an advantage when playing pool? While the laws of Physics can be skillfully applied in a wide range of sports and games, their knowledge and deft application can become decisive in a sport such as pool.
Using Physics During a Pool Game
Understanding collision, momentum, and sliding versus rolling friction can help you to determine the best way to shoot the ball to go in a forward or a backward spin.
Applying physics principles during a game will help you understand what is going on and also play better. For instance, the 300 rule and the swerve and throw effects taught in physics can help you develop new techniques to improve your game. With this knowledge, you will be more comfortable during a game as your intuition will be backed by understanding.
Will Physics Help You Win a Pool Game?
Unfortunately, knowing and applying some principles of physics is not the only factor that will determine the outcome of a game of billiards. There are other factors at play that usually impact a game. For example:
- The surface of the pool table may be rough. Therefore, the ball may behave differently from one that is played on a smooth surface
- Some players overthink during a shot
- The friction between the cue ball and the other balls may be different
- Balls that spin, roll, or slide won’t behave in the same manner
- Some players have more game practice than others
While applying physics knowledge can improve your play, don’t forget other factors at hand.
Practice Playing Pool
Many great players make outstanding pool shots without knowing or consciously following any physics principles. Practice is what sets these great players apart from the good ones.
Practice allows you to experiment, to the extent that you can predict the movement of the ball during each shot from experience. Therefore, even with physics knowledge, you’ll still need lots of practice to play billiards skillfully.
While understanding physics principles can help you become better at playing pool, there are other factors that will affect your skills. You’ll need to practice to gain experience and follow your intuition to take the best shots.