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Introduction to the hop shotJump shots: Full masse' jump shots require much skill and practice.   Jump shots are an impressive shot in pool. When executed by a pro, especially the jump draw, we realize our humble position in the food chain of pool.

Do not be discouraged. A great place to start learning to jump is with the hop shot. Almost any one can master it and are probably already doing it without even realizing it. To prove it, do the following. Place a coin on the pool table. Gently roll the cue ball over the coin with your hand and note the sound and feel. Now shoot the cue ball over the coin with the butt of the cue just slightly elevated. Can you see that the ball jumped the coin(s)? Practice this shot using two or more coins to learn the range you currently have.

Hopping an object ball (side view)The second important and exciting thing to learn about hopping is that when you hop the cue ball, it will cause the object ball to hop. This is very important to know and very easy to do. READ ON and see why...

Hopping cue ball over an obstruction (top view)The reason you need to know this is because even though you can't jump completely over a ball yet, it is still useful to jump the extreme edge of another ball or balls to complete a shot. For example, if you have a short straight-in shot, but the edge of another ball or balls occupies the path the cue ball must follow, simply elevate the butt of the cue like you have just learned. The cueball will seem to magically pass through the blocking ball(s).

Hopping an object ball over an obstruction (top view)There is a variation of this jump shot that is even more powerful, just as simple to execute, and many advanced players don't know it or don't see it. Suppose you have a straight in shot. The path between the cue ball and the object ball is unobstructed. However, between the object ball and the pocket there is a trouble ball with its edge looming in the path you need. Shoot the same jump shot with just a touch more power. If you strike the object ball with the cue ball while it's just slightly airborne, the object ball will hop neatly over the edge of the trouble ball(s) and your opponent will be stunned. Just smile, say you got lucky and keep shooting. It will be your secret weapon.

Hopping the cue ball off a rail and over an obstruction (side view)

A final variation of this jump shot will actually allow you to jump an entire ball quiet easily. This is a desperation shot though and should be used only as a last resort. Suppose you need to hit a specific ball but a blocking ball is directly in the path and you don't have the skill for a full masse' jump. What do you do? Shoot in the opposite direction as we have just been describing directly into the rail. If you can hit the rail with the cue ball slightly airborne, the cue ball will jump back through the air and over the ball you are trying to avoid.