Easy Pool Trick Shot: "The Power Of 9"

A Simple Dazzler of a Shot

The Power of 9
Photo (c) Matt Sherman, licensed to About.com, Inc.

A delightful and easy pool trick shot, The Power Of 9 is a simple trick shot, as well, worth the few minutes' practice you need before you set out to dazzle your audience.

The nine-ball seems locked behind an impenetrable billiards fortress, six other balls blocking it from finding a pocket or even being struck by your cue ball. Yet, you will summon an onlooker to select any one of four pockets at will, before you sink the "magic 9-ball" in their spot of choice, on the first try! See if you can discern how the trick works before proceeding. Look at the accompanying diagram carefully. How does one do it?

You Can Do This Trick Also

The cue ball position to assume is based on whichever pocket is requested (as labeled in the diagram for your convenience). If they call for Side Pocket "6", place the cue ball opposite the 6-ball as shown, or if the fans ask for Corner Pocket "1", line straight onto the 1-ball as indicated, and so on. You simply need to strike a full hit on the object ball.

For Pocket 2, the 3- and 6-balls float aside from impact, and the magic 9 hits off one side of the 8-ball to sink in the corner, and a similar clearance shot is used for another pocket. Determining the precise shape of the semi-circle of balls that works on your particular table takes just a practice attempt or two but is worth your effort.

Nick's Fave

"Power of 9" is a favorite of Nick Varner's trick shot show, and once you learn the gimmick, you can do it as he does, selecting one volunteer to choose the pocket, then a second audience member to make the shot on one try.

You set the cue ball then whisper in spectator #2's ear to hit the particular ball full on. Or for more magic, sneak your confederate into the hall early and write down the ball you plan for them to sink in the pocket. Put the number of the ball on a card inside the envelope and show off your psychic power!

You may even wave your magic cue stick over the guest and proclaim, "I have given them of my pool power!" before covering the top of the colored balls with a handkerchief or paper! The trick is that easy to perform!

This is a classic setup shot, a super easy pool trick shot, that harks back at least 70 years in pocket billiards history. Go get 'em!

The Interplay of Object Balls

The interplay of clustered object ball like those in The Power of 9 trick shot is important to watch and master to become great at pool--or at least pool trick shots. Know where all the balls in any cluster are going and which ones will travel the furthest after impact even before you take the shot. The study of interplay takes up much of Ray Martin's excellent book, The 99 Critical Shots in Pool and other seminal pool authors including George Fels spoke about it extensively.

Mastering clusters seems tedious at first but yields an incredible amount of power to your combination shots, break shots and other aspects of play. Study to win!