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!