How to Give a Side Spin on a Pool Ball

A side spin in a game of pool is an intermediate level shot which needs to be approached only after you have mastered the three basic shots; the draw shot, stop shot and follow shot. The side spin, also popularly known as “the English”, makes the cue ball behave differently after it has made contact with the object ball on the pool table. The English has very particular uses on a pool table , and gives you a wider range of shots that can be used during a game.

What is a side spin?

A side spin is when you generate a rotational momentum around the vertical axis of the cue ball. The effect can be brought about by aiming the tip of the cue stick slightly to the right or left of the center of the cue ball, depending upon whether you want to generate an anti-clockwise or a clockwise spin.

What happens when the cue ball hits an object ball?

A cue ball which has a side spin is able to impart a sideways force to the object ball upon contact, which changes the angle of its path. For example, if you aim towards the right side of the center of the cue ball, you generate an anti-clockwise spin; the cue ball travels across the pool table and makes contact with the object ball; an opposing spin is imparted to the object ball (clockwise), and its path is deflected towards the left. This is called a “throw”

What happens when the cue ball hits a cushion?

A cue ball hit with a clockwise spin would bounce off the cushion and roll towards the right side, while an anti-clockwise spin makes it roll towards the left side. The behavior of the cue ball after it has made contact with the pool table cushion, gives the player more control while positioning the ball, or while aiming around tricky obstacles.

Once you have mastered the three basic shots in pool, you would be better able to apply the English to improve your game. Although there may be people who believe that learning this move is unnecessary, it cannot be denied that there are absolutely no applications. When there is a need to hit the object ball at an awkward angle, straight shots simply will not give you the control you desire. At the same time, performing a successful side spin shot is very tricky and requires many hours of practice.

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