When playing pool, all your shots should help you win the game. Sometimes, you will have to play defensive. This simply means playing your shots in such a way that your opponent will be left with a difficult shot when playing next.
Here are some examples of defensive shots:
- Leaving your opponent a long difficult shot
- Forcing your opponent to kick or bank to strike their object ball
- Snookering your opponent, i.e. hiding the cue ball behind a ball that the opponent cannot hit
To win pool, you should play defensive most of the time. Here are some tips for playing defensive shots.
Play defense by default
Before starting to play, consider your chances of successfully running the rack. If you are not sure you can run the rack successfully, play defensive from the onset.
Hide behind balls
When playing, check whether there are any balls that you can hide behind. For example, if some balls are positioned in a good spot near the pocket, they will be perfect for hiding the cue ball behind.
Consider your opponent’s weaknesses
Find out what type of shots your opponents are struggling with during the game. Are bank shots a big trouble for them? If so, leave the bank shorts, which they will miss 99 percent of the time while you get more shots.
Set your opponent for long shots
Most players struggle with long shots. Those that have mastered the shots usually have practiced for years. When playing, try setting up your opponent for long shorts. If you can land the cue ball on the rail, this is even better!
Are any of your opponent’s balls locked up?
If your opponent has only one ball left and it’s behind the 8-ball, reposition the cue ball to make sure his next shot is hard. On the other hand, if your balls are locked up, your only play may be to break them up while playing defense.
Also, if there is a cluster of balls where you can squeeze the cue ball in by hitting it softly, use them!
Also Read: Aiming Techniques for Better Pool Shots