In this video we’re going to be looking at potting off other balls. Sometimes in pool we end up in a position were we just can’t pot our ball directly. In this situation the pot to the middle and top corner are blocked so we can be forced to look for other ways to pot the ball. By using our knowledge of the path of the cue ball after impact, that I’ve covered in the video above, we can apply that to our object ball instead and then play off an opponents ball and into the pocket. So lets have a look in a bit more detail about how we work out where to aim in the shot we have just seen. We start by choosing the ball we want to play off which is the yellow nearest to the pocket. We then draw a tangent line from the pocket to the centre of a ghost ball. We know that if it was the cue ball hitting the yellow with no spin at all, the ball would move off along the tangent line. However because it is the red ball impacting the yellow instead we need to consider what spin will be on the red ball. Usually the red will just be rolling forward, so we know that it will travel forward slightly from this tangent line. That means we need to adjust where we want the red to impact slightly to allow the ball to roll forward into the pocket. Now that we know where we want the red to impact the yellow, we line up our shot on the red, to put it in that position. Sometimes it can be useful to imagine where the red would be going if the yellow wasn’t there. If you extend the path from the red, through where you want it to impact, right through to the cushion, then you can think of it more like a normal shot. Focus on trying to hit the red at your chosen point rather than focusing too much on the yellow. As you can see this is quite tricky to calculate and because there are two points of aim there is more room for error than in a normal shot. Because of this it should be considered as a risky shot to play and I would only recommend it when the distance between the opponents ball and pocket is fairly small. Sometimes you might also want to play off one of your own balls to make a pot. If we look at this situation we can’t get to our red ball over the pocket because it is completely blocked by the yellow. Now we could obviously just play any shot on the middle red and hope that our opponent moves the yellow themselves on their next shot. However we could also be a bit more attacking and try to pot the red ourselves. We don’t want to play our middle red into the yellow because although we would pot our red, the yellow would then cover the corner pocket. What we can do is workout the path of the white, off our middle red ball so that it then hits the yellow and pots our red. If we aim to hit the red in this direction, the tangent line brings us just up the cushion from the yellow. By playing the shot plain ball, the white travels forward slightly and cannons into the yellow, potting our red. By aiming the red where we did, it also meant the black was knocked towards the pocket, but with no danger of potting it, and also left us with a nice shot on the red back to the middle pocket. By being a little imaginative with the shot we gone from being in a slightly awkward situation, to winning the frame. Sometimes we might even be able to pot both balls at once. Again the tangent line for the pot is just above the yellow, so by playing plain ball we roll down into the yellow and pot both balls at once. By not playing it too hard we also know that the white is likely to end up somewhere near the yellow, leaving us a straight black back to the middle pocket. On other occasions we might need to do a bit of work with the path of the cue ball to go into the yellow. If the red is lower down then we need to pull back from the tangent line so we play the shot with screw back, pulling us back into the yellow. If the tangent line is a lot higher then we would need to play with top spin to go into the yellow. Because we need to hit this shot a little harder to generate the top spin, we look to hit the yellow a little thinner so that we come back up the table for the black into the corner. As I said these shots can be a little trickier to execute than a standard pot, but if we find ourselves in an awkward situation, using our knowledge of the path of the cue ball, or off another ball, together with a little imagination, can get us out of trouble.