Now, it’s time to look at the draw shot.
The Draw Shot
A draw shot (or screwback shot), occurs when the cue ball has a reverse spin (or backward rolling motion) at the time when it hits the object ball. After it hits the object ball, the reverse spinning motion cause the cue ball to get backward momentum, causing the cue ball to start moving backwards after contact.
If the cue ball is aimed directly towards the center of the object ball, then the cue ball will first come to a dead stop, after which it will slowly start returning towards the cue stick, usually at a lower speed than the object ball. The final speed and distance that the cue ball travel depends on the amount of reverse spin that is imparted to the cue ball.
While it can take some practice, it is possible to draw the cue ball an entire table length by using proper stroke and follow through.
In case the cue ball is aimed off center (a cut shot), just like in the case of the follow shot, the cue ball will deflect off the tangent line path that a stop/stun shot would take. This is the result of the reverse spin adding a component of movement in a direction opposite to the cue ball’s original direction.
In the diagram, the light gray line shows the path the cue ball will take once it strikes the object ball. Notice that draw shots cause the deflection angle to widen.
Now, that we know what this shot is, how do we go about adding the reverse spin to the cue ball?
Unlike the follow and stop shots, the draw shot can be a little tricker to master.
Typically, you add reverse spin by striking the cue ball anywhere from one to three cue tips below center as needed. Unlike with the the follow and stop shot shots it is essential to have a straight stroke, and a smooth follow through during the shot
In fact, I have a detailed set of instructions on the essentials for mastering the table length draw shot.
Try to pot the object ball into one of the side pockets while keeping the cue ball about a half table breadth away along a straight line, so that the cue ball slowly comes back a few inches after striking the object.
A good exercise to build your stroke that I strongly recommend is trying to draw back the cue ball and scratch in the opposite pocket to where you just hit the object ball. This take some very decent cueing and is another shot I’d recommend practicing until you can hit it perfectly at least 9 out of 10 times.
When in a straight line, the draw shot will let you move anywhere from a few inches to a few feet back from the object ball’s position, as needed. When shooting a cut shot, this will widen the deflection angle slightly, allowing you to move the cue ball to different areas than with the stun and follow shot.
Let’s take a look at an example like before.
Imagine you had to run the three balls in numerical order, starting with ball in hand, using only the shots you have learned so far. How would you do it?
The simplest solution? Set up for a straight shot on ball 1, and draw back a few inches to get a decent angle for ball 2. Notice the tangent line when trying to pot ball 2 will cause the cue ball to potentially bump into ball 3. To avoid this, again use draw while cutting ball 2 in to deflect the cue ball by a wider angle, to place yourself for a relatively simple shot on ball 3.
Again, this is a simple and easy solution that would have been very difficult using only stop and follow shots.
Between the stop, follow and draw shots, you already have an incredibly powerful arsenal of tools to control the cue ball position and play better than most of your friends who don’t understand these basics of position play.
However, once you master these three shots, it’s time to move on to the more advanced tools, including using the half ball shot, and using side-spin with the rails.
In the next article in this series, we will look at how the half ball shot can become one of the most important tools that you will ever use to build long breaks effortlessly.