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The break happens at the beginning of every game, and might just be the most important shot of any match. It’s not just about having the right equipment (although choosing the best break cue does help), but having the correct technique to shatter the rack. Properly executing a solid break shot can be the difference between winning and losing, so knowing how to maximize your opportunities is essential.

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Diagram A: 

Pool balls after "The Break"


Below is a Slide Gallery. Click the arrows to see each key term.


Help Video


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The majority of American billiard tables have them, most professional players swear by them and beginners wonder what their purpose is. The Diamond System is used on American pool tables to improve accuracy and overall performance in a game of billiards. And with a simple bit of practice (and a touch of geometry!), it can be used by you too.  


Take a look at an American billiards table. On nearly every table you’ll notice little marks inlaid into the frame of the rails, often a table manufacturer will use diamonds as the markers It is these diamonds which can assist you in choosing the proper angles for kick shots and banks and ultimately act as your aiming system. The diamonds form invisible lines on a table, which go from diamond to diamond; from left to right. The general principle is if you hit the cue ball perfectly straight at one diamond, it will travel completely straight back towards the diamonds at the opposite end of the table and when used properly, you can calculate or visualise the precise impact point to send the cue ball (or object ball) to any other spot on the pool table. So if you hit from ten degrees, either way, it should rebound ten degrees out in the opposite direction. Simple! However, if you find yourself playing a situation where a diamond isn’t in the right spot, this is when you have to start using your imagination and envision “imaginary diamonds” in the appropriate spot, along with the corresponding imaginary lines.

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There are a wide range of methods for determining the diamonds on a table but many of them have one thing in common - you number them in a way that makes them easy to remember and calculate. The method below is one of the simpler methods and is good for getting started, but you can go a lot deeper and geekier if you wish!

Diagram B



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Diagram C


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Directions: Analyze “Pool Shots” 1-7 (below). Use the information given on each diagram to fill in the table. Place an X in the box if the answer to the heading is TRUE.  Pool Shot #1 has been completed for you. The table is attached to the assignment in Google Classroom.

In a paragraph, describe the conclusions you can draw from analyzing the pool shots. Use your completed table to help you write your paragraph. Please include an opening and closing sentence. Your paragraph must be at least 5 sentences.

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Analyzing Pool Shots Screencast

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