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When I want to jump the cue ball, I point the cue stick at the bottom of the ball and attempt to make a solid strike. A few results have been typical for me: a mishit (most common), the ball goes left or right, or the ball jumps and goes where i intend (least common). If I make a solid strike, there is no English on the ball.

I have watched pool players hit the cue ball by pointing the cue stick down at a steep angle. When they make a solid strike, the ball jumps pretty high off the table with ridiculous English on it. When I attempt to do this, the ball simply spits out with little, if any, jump and no English.

What would be the technique to allow the cue ball to jump AND have English on it?

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Does a jump masse really need 80-90 degrees angle? (Disclaimer: I've never dared try it, so I don't actually know.) I did wonder what kind of 'ridiculous English' is being talked about. Is that side-spin, or backspin (or even topspin)? You do see the jump-draw fairly often, a lot more than jump-masse anyway. – timseal Feb 27 '14 at 2:20
@timseal "English" is a term used when side spin is applied to the ball. Thus, "ridiculous English" is when a high amount of side spin is applied to the ball. – ᴍᴀsᴛᴇʀᴍɪɴᴅ_ᴇᴅ Feb 27 '14 at 14:20
up vote 7 down vote accepted

There actually three different skills here for you to learn -- The Jump, The Massé and the Jump Massé.

Let's start with the jump first and then get to the massé and then combine the two. In order to jump the cue ball, elevate the back of your cue stick to 45 degrees and then shoot down, through the center, of the cue ball. Follow straight through the ball (don't jerk back on contact.) This will cause the cue ball to jump. If you hit the ball perfectly, the height and distance of the ball will vary based on the force with which you hit it. If you need a sharper, higher jump, you can elevate your cue beyond the 45 degrees, but still hit through the center of the cue ball. Once you get the hang of this, it's pretty easy to adapt to real game situations as needed. Though, I still always take a kick over a jump simply for predictability.

A massé shot is basically just a way to make the cue ball curve. The way that you make a cue ball curve is to impart spin on the cue ball that is contrary to the direction it is moving such that the spin grabs prior to the cue ball striking something else. So, start simple here. Starting with your cue stick level, aim at the top right of the cue ball. Elevate the back end of your cue 30-45 degrees strike the cue ball in the spot in which you were aiming in a straight line. Not too hard. Your cue ball should move forward and slide left before grabbing and curving back to the right. The simpler massé shots come up occasionally in regular play and is pretty easy to adapt as needed.

Finally, a jump massé is just a combination of two except the cue is traveling in the air with English rather than along the felt. Elevate your cue to the 80-90 degree range and strike the cue ball firmly in a straight line in the same spot you were aiming for your previous massé shot. The ball should elevate with spin and respond accordingly once it gets back to the table. This is a difficult shot that, in years and years of playing, I've never actually needed.

There should be a few good tutorials of the first two shots on YouTube for sure. The last one is mostly used for trick shots, so you might not find a good tutorial. (edit: found an okay one here)

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+1 Excellent! I've never worked on massé shots...I've used them but not on purpose, haha. Looking forward to my next game of pool. – ᴍᴀsᴛᴇʀᴍɪɴᴅ_ᴇᴅ Aug 16 '12 at 4:16

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