Cut Shots

Angle shots, also referred as cut shots or slice generally make up the most of your shots in the game of pocket billiards. Therefore, it is important to master these type of shots. In this lesson, I will discuss key points that you should remember about angled shots.

Refer to the Figure 1 below. This illustration shows you the amount of the angle where a cut shot is possible and where it is not. A straight-in shot at 0 degree angle is pretty simple, however as the angle increases towards 90 degrees, the difficulty level increases as well. Keep in mind that at 90 degree angle, the shot is virtually impossible to make unless the object ball is very close to the pocket. I think it is pretty obvious to say that you should never attempt a cut shot at a 90 degree angle… instead consider the alternatives:

  1. You can do a bank shot
  2. You can play safety
  • Angles between 0 to 45 degrees should be relatively easy using soft to medium stroke. Use the aiming technique that I have discussed in aiming article. However, some players actually have difficulty with very minimal cut angle at around 1 to 5 degrees which is highly attributed to an incorrect stroke. In this case, some players use english to throw the object ball into the pocket while others simply practice it until it is no longer a problem.
  • Angles greater than 45 degrees are more difficult not only on your aim but also for cue ball positioning (positioning will also be discussed on later lessons). Since the angle is more, the less contact will be made between the cue ball and the object ball therefore a slightly stronger stroke will need to be used depending on the distance of the object ball to the pocket.
  • Angles between 75 and 90 degrees are extremely difficult. I would suggest that you limit your cut shots to less than these angles. Again, the problems that you will have to deal with at these angles are aim and positioning and even speed control.
  • It is important to note the amount of cut angle as well as the distance of the object ball to the pocket.


Object balls that are frozen to the rail are actually easier to make than object ball that are not frozen to the rail. Refer to Figure 2 below.

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