Jumping the Edge

Today I’m going to teach you how to jump over the edge. That’s not a figure of speech, I mean that literally.

We have all faced this dilemma: You make a great run, and it’s down to the 8-ball. You attempted to leave yourself a good shot, but unfortunately, you are stuck behind two of your opponent’s balls:

You're shooting the 8-ball.  What's the best option?

You’re shooting the 8-ball. What’s the best option?

Of course, most players will recognize that there are several options. You could attempt to massé (curve) the cue ball around the 7-ball, but the 2-ball makes that a tricky option. Use too much curve, and you hit the 2. Hit it too hard, and you hit the 8-ball on the right, missing the pocket. Too soft, and you may hit the 7-ball.

Another option would be the 1-rail kick shot:

A one-rail kick on the 8-ball

A one-rail kick to the 8-ball

This is a fairly tricky shot as well. It requires a high level of precision, and if you miss, you leave your opponent an easy runout.

I propose you learn to jump the edge of the 7-ball, something that even beginner players should be able to do well with a little bit of practice. Here is how you do it:

  1. Aim your shot just as you would if the 7-ball were not in your way, to pot the 8 in the side pocket.
  2. Raise the butt of your cue (from level) about 6 to 8 inches.
  3. Stroke through the center of the cue ball, using a brisk, hard stroke. Make sure you follow through.

Done correctly, the cue ball should jump up about a half inch or so, clearing the 7-ball, and punching the 8-ball into the side pocket!

Jumping the Edge

This shot requires practice. Remember that the more of the 7-ball you must clear, the higher your butt should be raised. If you have more than about a quarter of the ball to clear, then you will probably need to do a proper jump shot, using a jump cue (if allowed). I’ll cover jump shots in a later lesson.

Want to impress some friends with a cool bar bet, using your new skills? Set this shot up:

Make the 1-ball without touching the 7 or 8

Make the 1-ball without touching the 7 or 8

To set this up, place the cue on the spot, and place the 7 and 8 on either side, touching the cue ball. Move the cue ball to the position you see (on the 1st end rail and 3rd side rail diamonds). Ask your friend(s) to make the 1 ball by shooting between the 7 and 8 without touching them. When they can’t do it, bet them a dollar you can.

Shoot this by raising your butt just a few inches (4-6 inches should do it), and shoot it the way you just learned above. If you practice this shot, you can make it look like the ball never left the cloth, and your friends will be baffled!

If you want to challenge a smart-alec who knows the “trick,” then change it just a bit:

Advanced Bar Bet

Challenge him to make the 1-ball by shooting it between the 7 and 8 without touching them. Chances are that many pool players will know how to jump the cue ball between the gap, but won’t think about jumping the 1-ball through it. Aim to make the 1-ball in the corner, and raise your butt about 12 inches. Shoot it briskly, and the 1-ball should jump through the gap into the corner pocket.

As always, practice this before you try it on your friends!

Special thanks to DrawShot for iOS for the screenshots.

Posted in Bar Bet, Jump Shot, Practice, Tip of the Day