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How To Swerve A Pool Ball.

‘How To Swerve A Pool Ball’ will help you add to your pool toolbox and become a crowd pleaser along the way!

This is without doubt one of my favourite shots in 8-Ball pool.  Popularly known in the UK as a Swerve shot or more informally labelled the Banana shot.  Known by Americans and 9-Ball players as the Massé shot.  Whatever you want to call it is just fine!

I remember the first time I ever saw this shot…
Perfectly executed by cue-sport legend, The Whirlwind Jimmy White in the 1997 Embassy Snooker World Championships at the Crucible in Sheffield. I wasn’t there, I was sitting on the sofa watching the game on BBC2 🤣.  Instantly hooked, I watched the slow-motion replays and had to try it for myself. With Jimmy as my inspiration and coach – I enthusiastically switched off the TV as I headed for my imaginary lesson.  First and foremost you have to be willing to try – and make mistakes.  Patience was key as I spent hours practicing repeatedly. This post is your guide to everything needed for how to swerve a pool ball.

WHEN TO SWERVE IN 8-BALL POOL?

This shot is such an effective skill to have in your locker and will certainly get you out of some sticky situations on the pool table. It will enable you to:

  • Play a subtle swerve shot to make a potting angle for times when your positional play may have let you down.
  • Get out of snookers
  • Play exhibition shots. Swerve shots are the crowd pleasers of 8-Ball Pool.

In addition, it is also a staple technique used in many exhibitions and trickshot routines.  The video below is a 180° example but there are also times when a more subtle swerve (which may not be as easy to spot) may be required. 🎱

3 TIPS FOR THE PERFECT POOL SWERVE SHOT!

Firstly you will need to assess just how much swerve you need to achieve your desired result. Each swerve shot is different. For example, do you need extreme swerve (180°) or a less noticeable, subtle swerve? Then, you must consider all of the variables.

HOW TO SWERVE A POOL BALL VARIABLES:

These variables will all affect the amount of spin and swerve you will get from your attempts. They should give you a good understanding of the different parts that will help you play the perfect swerve.

  1. Firstly, the pace the shot is delivered. More Pace equals equals more swerve.
  2. Then, the amount of side-spin applied to the cue ball. The more extreme side applied, the more spin and swerve you will get.
  3. Finally, the elevation angle at which the butt of the cue is raised. For instance, the 180° swerve shot video below was executed by delivering the cue from a 70-80° degree elevation. Subtle swerve shots are easier to play because less elevation is required. In this case, just a 20-30° angle could be enough to deliver a successful outcome. Remember that drunk guy in the bar that said pool is all about knowing your angles?  I promise it’s not as mathematical as it sounds!

*DISCLAIMER: DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!
Please don’t try the 180° shot until you reach a semi-advanced level of ability, as it’s likely you’ll damage the table.  Unfortunately I cannot take responsibility for hundreds of ripped pool table cloths Worldwide.  

Top Tip: The more swerve required, the more cue elevation.

Let me know how you get on, both your successes and your failures. 

I hope this helps you Raise Your Game,

THE POOL COACH 🎱

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