Billiard shot planning is an extremely important aspect of a billiard match if one desires to become a better player. After the break has been completed, the shooter should inspect the entire layout of the table, reevaluating the layout with each new shot taken. Look over the table for any sequences that will allow easier and longer runs, therefore clearing the pool table more quickly. Experienced players can almost always plan at least four or five consecutive billiard shots in advance. It is also a good idea for players to pace themselves between shots. Getting into this habit will allow a player more time to survey the pool table for possible future shots. There are also other key points to remember when dealing with billiard shot planning.
When planning your next billiard shot, you should be completely honest with yourself in regards to your skill level. The better you know which shots you are likely to make (and which shots you might miss), the better off you will be when executing leaves and planning a few shots in advance. Always try to take only shots that you are certain to pocket. Doing this will help you to concentrate more on the leave for the next shot as opposed to worrying about pocketing a more difficult current shot. For example, if you are only 50 percent sure you can make a particular shot, then reexamine the pool table and find a different one. If no good billiard shots are available, then scrap shot planning for that particular turn and switch to a defensive mode, leaving no shot for your opponent.
Another important point in billiard shot planning is to always, if possible, choose a shot that not only is in direct line with the cue ball, but also one that will move with the natural roll of the cue ball path. In other words, choosing straight shots or shots with little distance and smaller angles makes it easier to plan your next shot than if you were to try and make a bank shot, masse, long table rail shot, or the like. Also, it is way more beneficial to come directly into your next shot rather than having to go across the angle. This will help you learn to shoot using natural speed when striking the cue ball into the object ball. Once you focus on rebounding the cue ball using natural speed, directional roll toward the next object ball will become more natural, therefore making billiard shot planning much simpler to perform over and over again.
Billiard shot planning will definitely take your billiard game to the next level, and practicing is easy, even if no one is available to be your opponent. Playing simple games of 8-Ball by yourself over and over allows for fantastic shot planning practice, as it usually gives you plenty of shot options from which to choose. Once you have practiced for awhile, you will notice your shot planning abilities expand upward to three, four, or five shots at a time, included with the possibility of running the entire table in one turn.