• backspin
  • Putting additional spin on the ball by hitting it slightly offcenter.
  • When shooting a ball straight into a pocket you aim low on the cue so when the cue hits the target it does not follow the other ball into the pocket, but rather draws back toward you. causing a backspin on the cue.
  • "The term english (called "side" in the UK, and sometimes simply called "left" or "right", and sometimes "check side" for left-hand side, and "running side" for right-hand side) normally refers to sidespin put on a cue ball by hitting it to the left or right of center. Generally, English is used to change the angle of reflection of the cue ball after it contacts a rail. English also affects the direction an object ball takes on impact (the "throw" effect), as well as the path of travel of the cue ball after impact with a cue ("deflection" or "squirt"). Sometimes English is conflated to refer as well to spin imparted on the vertical axis of the cue ball. However, an above center hit is more precisely referred to as 'follow,' ('top' in the UK) and a below center hit, as 'draw' ('screw' or 'back spin' in the UK). Any time the cue ball is not struck directly in the center, some spin will be imparted, whether left or right English, follow or draw. Unintentional sidespin is a common source of missed shots. Spin is not always placed on the cue ball by the shooter; spin is naturally imparted to the cue ball from contact with pool cloth on the bed of the table and on the table's cushions." Source and further information:
    • Roaring
      Very thorough. Now I want to go and shoot some pool!
    • iwnit
      Roaring: thank you for your feedback!
  • English is applied by striking the cueball left or right of center. It can be used to influence the object balls path on some shots, typically bank shots. By far, it's most useful application is changing the rebound angle of the cueball bouncing off of a cushion. Most people over use side spin to the detriment of their game. Good shot selection and speed control will win you far more games than using side spin.
  • If your playing partner is English, he will drink his beer warm. If your ball has English, it means you put a little spin on it by hitting it off-center.

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