Building A One Pocket Game

I started playing One Pocket in January 2013, and I’ve now put together a list of the seven most common shots and moves that come up when I play the game. These are the skills I need to master in order for me to improve my One Pocket game and move to the next level. I’ll be working on these skills for at least the next month.

1. Break shot – The break is arguably the most important shot in that a good break can immediately put your opponent in a very bad situation, or conversely, a poorly executed break shot can immediately lead to a sell out.

2. Short Banks – The most basic shot in One Pocket. This shot is a core skill that must be mastered at a very high level of proficiency to allow you to score “easy” points and punish your opponent for placing object balls near his pocket and leaving the cue ball near your pocket.

3. Long banks – The second most basic shot in One Pocket that can be used to score points from almost any position on the table.

4. 2-Rail Banks – A common One Pocket shot that allows you to shoot up table and place a ball near (or in) your pocket that was originally located on your opponent’s side of the table.

5. 3-Rail Banks (long rail first) – A common One Pocket shot that allows you to shoot up table and place a ball near (or in) your pocket that was originally located in the middle of the table or on your opponents side of the table.

6. 3-Rail shots (short rail first) – A common One Pocket shot that allows you to shoot down table towards your opponent’s pocket and place a ball near (or in) your pocket that was originally located directly in front of your opponent’s pocket. These shots have a devastating impact on your opponent when executed correctly.

7. Running balls- As with any pool game, the ability to run multiple balls in one inning can easily mean the difference between winning or losing. If your opponent knows you have the ability to run balls, it can have a huge psychological impact and will likely alter the strategic and tactical choices your opponent makes. To work on ball running skills, I practice the “L” drill for at least 30 minutes each practice session.  The “L” drill is great for working on cut shots while at the same time controlling speed and spin so you can get position on your next shot.

Over the next few weeks l’ll talk about each of these skills in more detail and provide some tips and tricks for success. For now, it’s getting close to 11am on a Saturday morning, my wife is working a full shift today, and the pool hall opens in a few minutes, so guess what I’ll be doing for the next 7 hours?!  See ya later!

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5 responses to “Building A One Pocket Game

  1. Whow, you have been playing for a whole year and now you are teaching.
    You have recognized the basic aspects of the game. Next I would practice patience. And play as often as you can and with olde school guys, bet something, it will make you play harder and smarter. You know what they say. There is no lesson like a bought lesson. Good luck. Big Slim

    • Big Slimm, thanks for the comments. I am certainly no expert in One Pocket; I am a mediocre player at best. I just started playing a year ago so I’m still a newbie. The purpose of my writing about One Pocket in this blog is not really to teach others per se; it’s more like a forum for me to share my passion for the game and share with others my experiences as I learn the game myself. Almost every weekend I match up with one or two local players who are the best in my area, and I “donate to the local pool charities”. It’s fun for both of us: I learn a lot, and they have a little Christmas fund. 🙂

  2. Very good blog my good sir. I am running on a similar goal. To become a semi-pro before the end of my PhD program. I’m obsessed with all these amazing pocket-billiards, including bagatelle and english billiards! 😉

  3. You forgot about not being afraid of taking a scratch. Sometimes the best shot will be talking a scratch so you don’t sell out on the game. Controlling whitey is so important on one pocket. I learn one pocket from an old guy in my pool hall. He is over 80 years old and still going strong. I now call him my fish but he thought me a lot of one pocket.

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