| by Jim Meador
Practice these options until you get them right! Then Practice More!
There's almost always more than one road to any destination. Likewise, there is usually more than one path to the position you want on a pool table, as exemplified by the three tables below.The 8-Ball is against the rail as shown. The only object ball you have left is sitting in the jaws of the side pocket, but requires a thin hit that could leave you positioned badly on the 8-ball, especially if your opponents balls are blocking your preferred position path.
1) The first table has a cluster of balls near the bottom rail that makes it all but impossible to use the three rail path shown on table two. So, with a 1/4 ball hit in the object ball, use bottom left and go two rails. Just remember you're using running english which causes the cue ball to pick up speed off the rails.
2) The interfering balls on the second table prevent you from using the path shown on the first. So, travel three rails using the hit shown, using a medium-hard stroke.
3) The most undesirable situation is shown on the third table. Two and three rail positions are blocked by the opponents cluster. Cut the object ball very thin, use extreme bottom right and stroking softly.