How To Improve Your One Pocket Skills, Part I

of 03

How To Improve Your One Pocket Skills, Part I

DI Half
The Drill Instructor is prepared to drill you. Illustration courtesy of The Drill Instructor

By Dominic Esposito, The Drill Instructor

The classic game of One Pocket encompasses every known shot that every other game of pocket billiards includes. Becoming a skilled One Pocket player will greatly enhance your skill level at all other pocket billiard games.

If you’re serious about working on your pool playing skills, then you owe it to yourself to know how to execute the One Pocket shots I’ll show you over the next two lessons. Also, the game is a lot of fun and intermediates and even beginners seem to get a big kick from it (pool kicking pun not intended). It is a World Championship game you should explore!

In these drills, I assume that you have a basic knowledge of the game of One Pocket. Please forgive me if you don’t as these drills alone will not teach you how to play One Pocket. For now, just take the name as literal. You have to make more balls than your opponent in your one corner pocket than he does in his.

Yet these are critical for you to know if you’re going to play this fun and challenging game, and yes, you can benefit tremendously from being able to execute One Pocket shots when playing 8-Ball and 9-Ball and winning big in league and tournament play.

If you want a complete study of One Pocket shots, you need to order Pro Skill Drills, Volume 6: 54 One Pocket Drills in book and DVD form.

Now let’s get to the drills for Part I of this lesson.

of 03

Control Drill #1

This game is intense!. Illustration courtesy of The Drill Instructor

One Pocket Drill 1:


  1. Two object balls remain on the table.
  2. The 15-ball is a controllable bank shot.
  3. You cannot make good position on the second ball.


  1. Bank the 15-ball toward or into your pocket (marked X).
  2. Bank the 9-ball toward or into your pocket
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 three times without resetting the 9-ball

As a practice drill, reset the bank shot three times. However, don’t reset the object ball.

Shoot the bank shot again while continuing to cause the cue ball to hit and move the object ball a short distance up table. Your goal is to hit the target object ball up table at least three times. Click on the illustration to enlarge it.

of 03

Control Drill #2

Ready for something a bit advanced but fun?. Illustration courtesy of The Drill Instructor

One Pocket Drill 2:


  1. Three balls remain on the table.
  2. The 1-ball is a controllable cross bank shot.
  3. You can make position on the other balls!


  1. Bank the 1-ball toward or into your pocket.
  2. Roll softly up table, staying behind the 10- and 11-balls.
  3. Finish shooting the balls into your pocket.

Click on the illustration if you need to enlarge it.

Look for Part 2 of this article next time!

Pro Skill Drills 1: Rail Finishing Points/Understanding Tips Of English
Pro Skill Drills 2: Finishing Points On The Long Rail
Pro Skill Drills 4: The Double Kick System
Pro Skill Drills 5: Clutch Safeties For 8- And 9-Balls
Pro Skill Drills OO7: Play Safe, Mr. Bond
Pro Skill Drills 8: Four Ways To Bank Balls
Pro Skill Drills 10: Walk The Line
Pro Skill Drills 12: The Short Jump Shot
Pro Skill Drills 14: ”Chalking Time” - Mastering A Shot Routine
Pro Skill Drills 15: Sample 8-Ball Pattern
Pro Skill Drills 16: See One, Find Two

Notes From A D.I. Workout - Stroke Speeds And Masse Shots