This guide requires in-game experience
Pulling off trickshots is easy, but pulling off the right one is hard. Trickshots don't always have to be like the professional ones pulled off on TV, sometimes they can be simple, yet very efficient. Trickshots are usually performed to get a ball in a difficult position out and potted, or sometimes trickshots are used to snooker opposing players; each different one has its own upsides and downsides. My guide is written for beginners who are interested in progressing in pool, and want to flourish their potting skills.
Imagine a large metre stick: at the bottom of it is the word "Beginner", in the centre of it is the word "Standard", and the top of it reads "Elite". Level 1 players should always begin at "Beginner", which is an obvious starting point for all pool players - remember, all of the people who are known all across the pool community for their trickshots will have started at the same point as you. The first step is to begin watching pool videos, and I can 100% guarantee that, if you pay attention, you'll be able to start pulling off standard trickshots yourself. Most upper-level pool players only upload their very best videos, so remember that they don't get everything right 100% of the time, regardless of how good they are. Tip: don't watch elite trickshots, watch the standard ones. They're easier to pull off and are often just as good.
Subsequently, put your knowledge to the test; can you pull off the standard trickshots you have just watched? Always practice, practice makes perfect. Always play with a friend or on offline practice sessions. It's so much easier than playing in normal games against random players. After this, try and put your skills to practice in a match against random players, after perfecting your trickshot skills.
Now that you're getting the hang of it, compete in tournaments, most notably the Moscow tournament or above, because, in them you'll find a handful of the most skilled players in 8 Ball Pool; you can see how well you play when compared to others. Rinse and repeat the process, and you'll find yourself as a "Pro" already. Here's a brief list of trickshots that are very simple, but very important and quite easy to pull off:
- Bounce the cue ball off the bottom rails into top pockets: this trickshot helps when there are many balls blocking your way, but a trickshot will get you out of it quickly. This trickshot is used by many elite players, and is by all means not hard to pull off if you're willing to try it. This can also be done vertically as well as horizontally.
- Bouncing the cue ball off other balls to get the cue ball into a snooker-worthy position: this is particularly harder to pull off since it can only be done very rarely, but be ready for it when the time comes.
- Applying spin to make the cue ball pot another ball after making contact and potting another ball: there is a ball on the left and the right, and the cue ball is propped in the centre - all of the balls are at the very bottom of the table. Applying backspin to make the cue ball go backwards after making contact will help, because it will allow you to pot 2 balls at once! Now imagine that you are hitting the ball on the left, with backspin already applied. The ball will now go backwards and hit the ball on the right; both balls will be potted in the bottom-left and right-hand pockets. This trickshot is very good for utility and as a boost if you are losing.
Standard trickshots are very helpful, and can be used at any time, anywhere. But, of course, my final advice would be to practice; if you are not confident with standard trickshots, then practice them! There's nothing a little bit of practice will hurt.