How to perform a cushion shot
In billiards, cushions are an integral part of the game. Using one or more of them to help you perform a shot will get you out of tricky situations and help you gain an edge over your opponent. With help from internationally-acclaimed billiards expert and multiple record holder Florian Kohler, alias “Venom”, you’ll learn never to miss a cushion shot again!
THE MIRROR METHOD
With this simple method, you use the cushion to ensure that the white ball reaches the targeted object ball. It is called the “mirror method” because if you don't apply spin, when the ball comes into contact with the cushion, the angle of entry is the same as the angle of exit. With this in mind, to properly assess the angle and hence the trajectory of the white ball, you need to imagine an isosceles triangle touching the cushion at its apex and whose base is along on the opposite cushion. Given that, during a game, the scenarios will rarely be simple, you will need to extrapolate and adjust techniques to your situation. See our video to easily master this technique.
ADJUSTING ANGLES USING SPIN
During a game, there’s a good chance that opponent balls will get in your way and prevent you from making a cushion shot with an angle of entry the same as the angle of exit. It’s in this type of situation that you’ll need to use spin. When the cue tip hits the white ball right at its center, there is no spin and the ball will bounce back from the cushion at a mirrored angle. However, if you shift this point of impact to the left or right, the ball will bounce back to the chosen side. You can shift the point of impact between one and three cue tips to one side or the other to adjust the angle as desired.
PERFORMING A CUSHION SHOT WITH AN OBJECT BALL
Like for a cushion shot with the white ball, you can use the mirror method, the entry angle of the object ball to the cushion will correspond to its exit angle. However, most of the time, during a game, one or more other balls will be in your way and will force you to add spin to avoid them and carry off a successful shot. This is when you have to keep in mind what is referred to as throw (or the gear system). It means that if you use side-spin on one side of the white ball, the object ball will be thrown the opposite way.