These beginner trick shots are part of the Artistic Cup program, a great avenue for novice players to get started in competitive artistic pool. Here I provide you the diagram so you can get a feel for the shot and a link to a video tutorial where I will walk you through, step-by-step, the setup, execution, and adjustments to make to be successful. These trick/fancy shots typically deal with setup shot, meaning the balls are arranged so they all go in and the cue ball may go around the table to make a hanging ball in another pocket.
For this first shot, the objective is to make all three balls in the two corner pockets. While it may seem daunting to start with, the video will explain the details you need to know to make this shot. It’s important to make sure the three object balls are frozen, or touching. The cue ball will hit the yellow ball and then carom into the red ball. With the right angle and a little bit of spin, you’ll be making all three balls in no time. WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL
The second trick shot is called the 3 and 3, meaning we make 3 balls and the cue ball goes 3 rails. The setup for the yellow and blue balls are the same as in the first shot. Once those are tapped in, you’ll use them frequently for a number of shots, including the next one. In tournament play, the cue ball must be behind the headstring on the opposite side of the table, but if you’re just getting started, feel free to move the cue ball closer and work your way back as you get comfortable. Be very precise about the cue ball placement though; moving it even a quarter-ball width (1/2-inch) will change the outcome of the shot. WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL
This is the 2 and 2 split trick shot, a slight variation on a classic trick shot where the cue ball would be in the center of the table and the two balls frozen to it go into the side pockets. This shot can be a little tricky because you have to force the cue ball through the two other balls. This provides more resistance when you hit it and, if you’re not ready for it, it could cause your cue to deflect all over the place. Otherwise, the setup is pretty straight forward and you can hit this pretty hard, just pick your aim point on the yellow ball to hit the top half of it. WATCH THE 2 AND 2 SPLIT TRICK SHOT TUTORIAL
In tournaments, you can choose your 4th shot between an “a” and “b” selection. This is the “a” selection, which is a good pool player’s shot. It’s just a long, thin cut shot, but you can cheat it by going rail first with a lot of spin. The harder version of this shot is putting the object ball at the middle of the short rail. This version is much easier and shouldn’t be a problem if you’re decent at pool. You just have to know how much to compensate for the spin you’re applying. WATCH THE EXTREME CUT SHOT VIDEO TUTORIAL
Shot 4b may be one of the most well-known trick shots as many people have posted videos of themselves shooting this shot. If you’re not careful, you can get a kiss between the blue and red ball. It’s important to precisely line up the yellow ball each time (is it on the center line or more to one side; how far is it away from the pocket) and align the other balls off of that. Cue ball positioning is also important, but there is more leeway here. Just make sure you contact the red ball first and carom over to the blue ball. WATCH THE WILLIE MOSCONI TRICK SHOT WALKTHROUGH
This is the Just Showing Off shot, made famous by Steve Mizerak in a beer commercial in the 1970’s. It may look daunting at first, but will become one of the easiest trick shots as you get better. The key setup parameters are how far from the side pocket you set up the yellow and blue balls, how far off the rail is the purple ball, and where is the orange ball aligned to account for throw. This shot is semi flexible as the cue ball can go in front of the orange ball or behind it between the first and second rail. Left spin helps it get around. WATCH THE JUST SHOWING OFF TRICK SHOT TUTORIAL
This four rail trick shot can be quite devilish if you’re not careful. Setting up the yellow and blue balls seems easy enough, but be precise on the exact placement of the yellow ball. Follow that up with being precise on the placement of the cue ball too, a 1/2-inch difference could make or break the shot. I like to pick an aim point and go with a center ball hit, but many other pros will use running english to help get around the table. If you’re good, you can instead aim for the carom and where you want the cue ball to contact the first rail. WATCH THE FOUR RAIL TRICK SHOT WALKTHROUGH