How to make Jump Shots in billiards?


Table of Contents:

What is a legal jump shot in billiards?

A legal jump shot is used to make the cue ball jump over an obstacle.

The cue stick should be raised about 45 degrees and the cue ball should be hit at or near center for dry shots or at center up so that the cue ball after the jump goes forward and with a fast cue speed.

The 2-ball blocks the direct path to the 1-ball, and the other balls block any possibility of making a rail.

Even if the other balls that are blocking a possible rail (not counting the 2-ball) would not be present, the jump shot is a very good alternative only if you have enough practice to be able to execute it with confidence.

An alternative to pocket the 1-ball without using the jump shot is with a massé, but you would need a sharp curve to avoid the 2-ball.

A massé shot with a big curve is extremely difficult to execute consistently, even for an experienced player with a lot of practice.

How to execute a legal jump shot?

To legally skip the cue ball over an obstacle ball, hit up and down through the center of the cue ball at about a 45 degree angle.

  • For the best action, use half of your professional cue or a special jump cue. A lighter weight allows you to grip more easily to make the cue ball jump farther. 
    * Some manufacturers provide billiard cues specifically for jumping.
  • Use a motion with a lighter grip. Don’t try to hit the cue ball with a firm grip. You can use a normal stroke.
  • Use more speed for a higher and longer jump shot.
  • Raise the cue more for a faster and shorter jump (to jump over a cue ball that is closer to the cue ball).
  • A jump is easier on a newer, thicker cloth because the compression of the cloth allows the cue ball to bounce over the balls.
  • When practicing jumps on a table, place a small loose piece of spare cloth under the cue ball and over the table cloth. This will prevent the shots from being permanently marked on the table surface. You can obtain a piece of cloth from any local billiard dealer who installs or repairs tables.

Best Cues to jump shots in billiards

How to jump the cue ball?

  1. Align the shot with the cue stick in the same way as you would a normal shot. Stand behind the shot and line it up. Stand in line with the shot.

  2. Use the proper elevation to execute the shot. A general rule of thumb is that the angle of entry is equal to the angle of exit, so the closer the cue ball is to the object ball, the more elevation you will need.

  3. Hit center or center up. Jumps work like all other shots. If you hit up the cue ball will follow, if you hit low (in this case low is around the center of the ball) and the cue ball will slow down.

    As you go further, you can use left and right spin, but this takes a lot of practice.

Remember, the angle of entry is equal to the angle of exit.

4. Use an open, elevated bridge. The angle of the cue has to match the height needed to jump. (See point 2)

Depending on the position of the cue ball, always use an open and elevated bridge.

5. The second most important part of a jump is lifting the elbow high and locking it in place. Many players lean forward and get close to the cue ball to get their elbow comfortable.

6. The most important part of a jump is to keep the elbow high on your follow through. The stroke should be a strong stroke generated by the swing of the forearm alone. If your ball is not jumping, the most likely culprit is that you are dropping your elbow on the follow-through. Lock your shoulder in place.

These six tips will definitely make you better at jump shots, but I still encourage you to learn how to use the bands.

Using the risers is one of the most complex and beautiful parts of this game, and when done well, the more experienced players in the group will notice.

Also, in games with a lot of safeties or defensive shots, jump shots are often not possible because of how hard they make it for you.

Remember, the right shot is not always the easiest shot, so jump responsibly.

How to control the jumps shots?

Do you have any tips for controlling the cue ball while jumping?

You need three things to jump well: a good jump cue, good technique, and a belief that these things will work. Since you are jumping “well”, I will assume that your jump cue is good, so there is only the technique and the belief.

There are two “standard” techniques, called the pendulum stroke (long and low) and the dart stroke (short and high). Keep in mind that many players use the pendulum method for long and low shots and short and high shots, so there is no hard and fast rule about which technique to use, experiment and find what works best for you.

The key to the issue here is literally the “heart of the cue ball”. The balls pop because you send force through the core of the ball, to the table.

Imagine a pearl, located in the center, in the middle of the cue ball. Regardless of the angle you use for the shot, you should aim your cue directly at, or slightly above or slightly below, that imaginary bead.

To get a “recoil jump” you must hit slightly below the bead and to get a “running jump” you must hit just above the bead.

If you hit too low and you make a mistake you commit a foul. If you hit too high, the cue ball gets stuck between the tip and the cloth and does not jump.

At first, many players find it difficult to aim with the high cue and hit the pearl accurately.

Have a friend stand to the side of your shot and tell him or her to tell you when you are aiming the cue at the pearl from various angles.

If you are working on your jumps and are worried about damaging the fabric, you need to check out Stefano Pelinga’s fabric cloths. They are designed to protect your fabric from marking as you practice.

The elevation angle of your cue is an important piece of the puzzle. Most players I see elevate their cue more steeply than necessary.

I think this comes from seeing pros in the fantasy or trick game doing extreme things.

If you think about it, you’ll see that as you raise steeper, you’re hitting more on top of the ball, so it becomes harder and harder to break friction with the cloth.

To pull back, you must break the friction. This becomes easier as you elevate less. To follow through, you must hit above the bead, but not so high that the ball cannot jump.

McDermott’s cue ball is a visual aid, designed to help you find the combination of the cue ball’s grip angle and ball spot that will produce the running or backswing jump.

A small portion of the information collected was from PoolDawg, Frank.


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