To get better in the game of snooker, you’d want to know about potting angles. And if you’re a beginner, you’d probably be wondering what that means. When I first started watching snooker on television, I heard a lot of jargon, and I knew next to nothing about it. “She plays that pink half-ball,” for example. Or, “He must hit this 3/4 and return! ”
Ever heard this? Sure, I bet you have!
Now, for those who are only watching for pleasure, these sentences may mean nothing.
However, it is quite easy to understand and learn what they mean, and they can be fully grasped within five minutes.
Once you have read this post, you will be able to:
- Understand what potting angles actually mean,
- Identify them on a snooker table,
- Pin-point them on TV,
- And even be able to pot a handful!
Here’s a visual of the most important angles in a snooker game!
With regular practice, you’ll soon be able to spot them all over the table. Practicing for 2 hours a day over the span of a month will boost your skill and build your confidence.
Moreover, with the help of the snooker betting odds provided by our online bookmaker, your betting job gets much easier for the game you love playing.
Potting Angle Tips for Beginners
Apply the Ghost Ball Technique
Practice and experience are the two most prominent factors when it comes to mastering the potting angle. However, here is a technique I’m sure you’ll find useful as you practise. I like to visualize the potting angle using the ‘ghost ball technique. Here’s how:
Imagine setting up two balls such that they just touch each other and line up with the pocket. If you hit the first, the other ball rolls right in. The first ball serves as a training wheel of sorts to help you estimate the potting angle. To get rid of the “training wheels”, you have to aim the cue ball at where the first ball was initially placed.
You are then to hit the second red ball full in the face, planting the ball as a result. Then, after you’ve removed the second red ball, do the exact same thing. If you hit it right, you’ll clip the first red at exactly the same angle as the plant made earlier (as there’s nothing left to stop the cue ball). That would be your potting angle.
Let’s begin with the easy ball, and then we’ll pot our way to the top!
Full ball contact (the pink ball in the image)
There is, quite literally, no angle to this shot. All you need do is imagine two balls locked together, and that’s it – you get a full ball contact! Whenever you see a dead straight pot, that’s a full ball contact you’re looking at right there! When aiming, you will have to aim right at the centre of the mid-point of the object ball!
3/4 Ball Contact (the red and yellow balls on either side of the pink ball in the picture)
It gets a little more interesting here. Now, whenever you’re just about off straight, and at any point between a half ball and a full ball, you’ll be hitting the object ball with the cue ball at ¾ ball contact. That is to say, the point of contact is going to be just a little off the middle as you visualize the shot. As the angle increases, you’ll end up with a half ball.
Half Ball Contact (the black and brown balls in the picture)
With this shot, your point of contact with the object ball will be further away from the center of the object ball. In other words, a wider potting angle.
Interestingly, as the angle widens further, you’ll eventually end up hitting a quarter ball! (That’s the green and red balls at either end in the picture)
The Eighth Ball
This is the final angle and is actually the easiest of the four, An eighth ball contact occurs wherever you have to make a thin clip to pot the ball. That easy. (This would be the equivalent of another ball placed right next to the red and green quarter balls in the picture)
Take the Right Stance
The stance you take when hitting the ball is incredibly important. If you fail to get that cue in a straight line, you’re definitely not going to hit the right angle very often. And this will, more likely than not, get you in a bad mood.
According to EBSA Professionals snooker coach, Vilius Schulte-Ebbert,
“How you stand behind the ball and your shot approach determine 90% of your ball success”
Focus on the Object Ball and Keep Still
Next (and this should be before you even get down to take your shot), stand straight and observe the angle from above. It’s way easier to see the right angle this way. Fix your eye on the spot on the object ball you’ll need to strike. Then, lower yourself into the shot. The trick here is to focus on that spot and not move!
Know the Angle-Ball Relationship
You’ll be hitting less of the ball as the putting angle widens. Likewise, as the angle narrows, you’ll be hitting more of the ball!
Also, based on the angle you’re settling for, the point of contact between the cue ball and object ball doesn’t change. You’ll only be observing that point from a different position!
Take the Shot Slowly
This is my final tip, and as obvious as it sounds, it is quite easy to miss. Hitting the ball too hard will have you making more mistakes. So, calm down, take a deep breath, and take a slow, firm shot.
So, there you go! Potting angles explained in minutes!
Here’s a little something to keep you busy:
See a snooker game (or more) on TV and try to place what angle the player is on when making a break! Say it out loud. Of course, TV camera angles can be quite misleading. However, call out a rough prediction of what you think could be the angle!
Have a thrilling learning experience and don’t forget to keep practicing your potting angles!