STANDARD HALF-BALL ANGLES
Two standard half-ball angles are shown on the billiards table above. A red ball is blocking access to the top right pocket. In snooker, the white ball, or cue ball, would impact that blocking red ball and push it into the pocket. If you remove that red ball, the white ball would drop into the pocket. What you would then see is two losing hazards, otherwise known as in-offs.
If you want to pot the red ball, al you have to do in the two pics above is to hit the red object ball on the opposite side!
Another standard half-ball angle is where you place the cue ball in the centre of the lip of either upper pocket and the object ball on the Black Spot, the spot occupied by the red ball the cueist nearest to us is addressing. A half-ball shot on the inside of the object ball will lead to a losing hazard. A half-ball shot to the outside of that ball will result in a pot of the object ball and a losing hazard in the opposite centre pocket. Try it out!
Half-ball shots are essential to Billiards and are very easy to play, especially compared with potting. That is why snooker is so difficult a game, and also why there is much more money and global acclaim in snooker vis-a-vis billiards. India has produced and still produces great billiards players, but no really good snooker cue artist.
Where to aim: If you play without side and point your tip through the centre of the cue ball to the extreme edge of the object ball, this will give a 'true' half-ball.The deflection of the object ball from a half-ball contact is approximately 38°. It is not 45°, which is one misconception most players have throughout their playing days.