If you’re like me, you’re looking for easy ways to improve your billiards game. It’s human nature to want to be better at something. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet that will improve your billiard game. All you need is practice. But there are practice balls that can “hack” your practice and make every minute you spend hitting the ball count. The CutShots Aim Trainer is among the best tools (if not the best) for this. These balls are designed to perfect your chipping motion easier than ever before.
What are cut shots in billiards?
If you’ve ever played billiards, you’ve tried to make a cut shot, even if you had no idea what it was called at that time. A cut shot is any shot that needs you to hit the cue ball beyond the center of the object ball, causing it to move at an angle. There are a lot of these strokes in the pool, and they can be tricky for most people.
So, let’s say you’re trying to win a match. Your opponent has another ball on the table before going for the 8-ball. But you have to hit off an 8-ball to win. The only problem is that you don’t hit the black ball directly. It’s right next to the corner pocket, but a direct hit is impossible from where the cue is.
The one thing you can do: cut shot. It would be best if you hit the 8th ball beyond the center of the cue ball so that you can sink the 8th ball and get the cue ball to bounce safely off the bumper. This shot is the slice, and there are many slice shots in billiards.
Why know how to make a cut shot?
As you can see from the above, a cut shot is significant to the game of billiards. About 90% of the strokes in billiards are cut shots. Therefore, if you learn the chipping strokes, you can quickly improve your skill level.
In addition, mastering cut shots is the basis for many other strokes on the table, such as bank shots and combination strokes. It is invaluable to know where to hit the cue ball to make it fly where you want it to go. It will help you get better at most other aspects of the game of billiards.
Now, you don’t necessarily need a practice ball to learn how to slice the ball. You can practice your cut shot motion by shooting regular balls repeatedly. And with enough practice, you’re likely to succeed. But if your technique is not perfect, it may take you a long time to master it.
After all, it’s hard to know what you’re doing wrong if you can’t tell if you’re not aiming or hitting in the wrong place with the cue ball. That’s why developing your billiards skills through practice alone is often slow and frustrating.
As you may have figured, this is where the CutShots Aim Trainer 3-step system comes into play.
CutShots Aim Trainer
At first, the CutShots Aim Trainer balls (made by Aramith) look like something out of a children’s pool set. They’re covered in colorful shapes: triangles, circles, squares and stars. If you don’t think about it, it’s not apparent that these balls can help you play better billiards.
But they definitely can. It’s just brilliant (at least in my opinion).
CutShots Aim Trainers come in sets of different sizes, but you need at least two to be effective: a cue ball (white with stripes) and a object ball (yellow with shapes). Each ball has 112 different pieces strategically and consistently placed throughout the ball. The shapes are the key to the CutShots system.
These shapes make it easy for you to choose a position on the ball. Sometimes this position will be a number. It will be between two numbers. Either way, it is easier for the human eye to keep that position in view, even if you move from a different angle. You can compare it to regular billiard balls, which don’t have spots, so it’s hard to know exactly where to hit.
But I’m a little ahead of myself, you know why spots are essential. Now let’s take a look at this three-step system: Spot, Spot, Shoot.
Using the CutShots Aiming Trainer: Dot, Spot, Shoot
So let’s take a step-by-step look at this simple system to show you how it works. You can set the balls up in any order on the pool table or set up a powerful cut shot in position. Either way will work.
Step 1: The point.
The first step is to stand with your head down behind the yellow object ball. The ball must be in a straight line between you and the center of the pocket, and you can line up the ball with your eyes alone or your eyes and the cue stick. Draw an imaginary line between the object ball and the pocket, as if you wanted to hit it with the cue ball to get it into the pocket.
The point you hit with your clue to find the object ball. Depending on the ball’s position, it may be a colored figure or a point between figures. Either way, make this point as small as possible in your imagination. The smaller and more exact the point you can find, the more accurate your shot will be.
Step 2: Point.
Now that you have mentally determined the object ball’s position move behind the cue ball. Remembering step 1, drop down behind the cue ball and align point 1 with the corresponding point on the cue ball, as if a straight line runs from your side of the cue ball to point 1 on the object ball.
Your position on the cue ball will be equal and opposite to your position on the object ball. For example, if your position on the object ball is a quarter-inch to the right of the center of the object ball, your position on the cue ball will be a quarter-inch to the left, center of the cue ball.
Again, find the corresponding position on the cue ball. It can be located directly on the shape or between the two shapes. This is step 2.
Step 3: Shooting.
Align your cue ball with point 2 on the cue ball, but do not shoot. If you hit the corresponding point on the cue ball where point 2 is, you will miss. This is because point 2 is off-center, where it should be when you cut the balloon.
Point 2 is a way of looking through the cue ball to point one on the object ball so that our shot is consistent. But that’s not where we want the cue ball to go. Instead, move your cue ball to the center of the cue ball when you’re ready to shoot. But make sure you move the entire cue ball, keeping it straight and parallel to the 2nd point on the cue ball as you move it. If you move just the tip of the putter, your putter will be at an angle to point one on the cue ball, and the cue ball will go in that direction rather than straight to point 1.
Thus, move the entire cue ball beyond the line of sight. Since the distance is minimal, you don’t need to move your body or anything else. You move the cue stick in your hand to the center of the cue ball.
Then you start hitting; use short, powerful strokes for best results.
If done correctly, the cue ball will hit point 1 on the object ball, and you will sink it! Their motto is, “Look at the dot. Sink the ball!”
Here are videos on how to use CutShots. The first video gives a brief overview, and the second video is more in-depth.
First video-brief overview
Second video-a deeper look at using these balls
How to go from CutShots to regular ball
The beauty of the CutShots system is that you develop a habit of pointing, dabbing and shooting. You can see professional pool players doing this all the time. First, they line up from the object ball to the pocket; then, they move behind the cue ball, mindful of the point on the object ball at which they are hitting.
So the more you practice targeting practice balls with CutShots, the better you learn the technique. Not only will you know where to hit the object ball, but your muscle memory will make your hitting style almost automatic.
However, to help you, you can gradually transition from regular balls to CutShots balls as you practice. You can start by replacing the CutShots cue ball with a typical cue ball, leaving the yellow CutShots ball on the table. Then, when you are comfortable with the regular cue ball, you can switch back to the yellow CutShots ball with the typical subject ball.
However, if you need a repeat course, you can pull back the CutShots and practice with them again. Those who frequently practice with CutShots balls, using increasingly sophisticated settings, develop faster as skilled players.
Are CutShots different from other practice balls?
Most other practice balls on the market are designed to help you learn English or spinning. Of course, learning English is very important. However, most of these other practice balls do not teach you how to put the ball in the pocket as the CutShots Aim Trainer does.
In addition, most other balls require proper hand positioning before each stroke to align the patterns on the ball so that they are visible. With CutShots balls, you don’t have to do that. Because they are covered with markings, you don’t have to touch the ball before you shoot it unless you want to position it for a particular shot.
This is why most people buy the CutShots set of 4 balls. It has three yellow object balls and one white cue ball. That way, you can shoot three shots without having to reach for the ball or position it constantly. You can even replace the three standard object balls with 3 CutShots balls and play the game using the three-step system to sink both CutShots balls and other object balls for an all-around workout.
Quickly perfect your cut shots with CutShots Aim trainer.
I overlooked the fact that these balls are made with Aramith. It’s just the icing on the cake. You know you’re buying a precision set of balls that will last you a long time if the name Aramith appears in the name. But even if they weren’t with Aramith, I would still be a big fan. These balls can help players of all skill levels strengthen their cut shots, a considerable part of the game.
They come in a variety of sets.
- A 2 ball set – 1 cue ball and 1 object ball.
- A 4 ball set – 1 cue ball and 3 object balls.
- An 8 ball – 1 cue ball and 7 object balls.
- 4 balls – 4 object balls.
To get the most out of your CutShots set, I recommend using a set of 4 balls that includes 1 cue ball and 3 object balls.
Or you can buy the 2-ball set first and then purchase the 4 object balls if you want. All kits come with a small booklet with instructions to get you started. There is no 64-page booklet. You can get started in no time, and you don’t need to learn how they work.