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Byrne's Complete Book of Pool Shots: 350 Moves Every Player Should Know Paperback – October 6, 2003


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Byrne's Complete Book of Pool Shots: 350 Moves Every Player Should Know + The 99 Critical Shots in Pool: Everything You Need to Know to Learn and Master the Game (Other) + Byrne's New Standard Book of Pool and Billiards
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Product Details

  • Series: Harvest Original
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (October 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156027216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156027212
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The game's preeminent writer (his Byrne's New Standard Book of Pool and Billiards, first published in 1978, has been a top seller for a quarter century) returns with his trademark blend of succinct sentences, dry wit, and sound advice. In some ways, the concept is similar to Ray Martin's The 99 Critical Shots in Pool (1982); by mastering the most commonly occurring shots, players will learn to recognize their variants in game situations. Byrne, however, does Martin one better--or perhaps 251 shots better--by including esoteric moves that represent the most advanced applications of the physics involved. This staggering collection--including caroms, billiards, rail-first shots, tickys, and masses--is not for the rank beginner. There is scant information on how to hold a cue or how to stand while shooting. But any player with a reasonably consistent stroke will find engaging exercises here. Even better, the chapter on fouls provides ample fodder for spotting hustlers (Byrne notes that this information is provided "for your protection, not so that you can start a life of crime yourself."). Keir Graff
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

PRAISE FOR BYRNE'S NEW STANDARD BOOK OF POOL AND BILLIARDS
"The best book ever written on both pool and billiards."--Michael Shamos, curator, the Billiard Archive

"Byrne is to billiards what Shakespeare is to theater." --Jerry Karsh, president, U.S. Billiards Association



"Just when I thought Robert Byrne's best was already available, this book proved me wrong. Takes the art of pool to another level with charm and wit...a masterpiece!"
(Tom 'Dr. Cue' Rossman, ESPN and World Masters Trick Shot Champion)

"It's simple -- without this book you'll start losing to people who have it. No matter how much you think you know about pool, you don't know this much."
(Michael Shamos Author and Curator of the Billiard Archive)

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Customer Reviews

I wish I would have read these 40 years ago!
Randy Peterson
It was pretty much the standard book on "Pool" Not much about "Aiming" (Where to keep your eyes while shooting) On the cue ball,Or the object ball.
W. Sickert
Byrne's Complete Book of Pool Shots is an excellent book for anyone interested in improving their pool game.
J. F. Goodrum

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Thomas E. Simpson on January 29, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Byrne's pool books & videos have set (and raised) the industry standards for many years now. As a professional pool instructor, I read everything I can, and have strong opinions about what's actually worthwhile, correct, and genuinely helpful. Byrne's new book has moved to the TOP of my list of books I recommend to my students, from a playing perspective (this is not a science book). I don't care who you are, you don't know all the stuff in this book. And if you're at a level where you know a good percentage of what's in this book, you're also at a level where learning even one useful new thing is worth the price of the book. If you've been playing for a while, this book will open your eyes to a lot of new possibilities and understanding. If you're in your first year or two, you might do better by first focusing on fundamentals of form (find a good instructor) and getting a grasp of how balls behave and why (look for Byrne's videos - Volumes 1 & 2). You don't know what you don't know. Now, with this book, those who have read it will know many things you don't.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By David C. Kraus on October 20, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A former city of Cincinnati, College and military Amateur Champion, I've spent a good part of my life walking around a pool table. And I've played all the important games from One-Pocket and Bank Pool to Nine Ball and Straight Pool. More recently, and in semi-retirement, I decided try and take my game to a new level. That meant learning a few new tricks. There's no other author on the game of pocket billiards who knows more tricks than Robert Byrne. If you think you have a good handle on the sport, think again. You are guaranteed to advance your game if you follow the tips in Byrne's book. Now I know why he's in the Billiard Congress Hall of Fame. Now I've got to go practice what I've learned...
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dan on January 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've been a fan of Byrne for a few years now, but I never really appreciated the scope of his knowledge until reading this book. I think that it would literally take at least a decade to master everything in this book. Many of the shots are completely impractical except as trick shots, but they're still fun to try and the skills acquired can't hurt your game. I found his safeties and rail-first shots to be the most useful to me so far.

This book definitely intended for more experienced players (playing for about 1 year or more). If you are new, buy Byrne's Standard Book of Pool and Billiards first and work on the drills found in there.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Sasikanth Malladi on December 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am a beginner/intermediate level player and this review is for those who consider themselves falling into this category.
Byrne is one of the better authors on pool out there and has some very good books. His "Standard book of pool and billiards" is outstanding.
This book, however, is an advanced book for people who seek to find hidden secrets. Most of the 350 shots illustrated in this book are esoteric and would rarely be encountered in practice. Also, quite a few of these shots are impractical; they can be used when playing/practicing alone to see how the balls behave under weird conditions but cannot be applied in a real game as they are low percentage shots.
These are not shots that every player "must" know. The title is a misnomer.
Also a good number of shots illustrated are useful for three cushion and straight pool which are not popular these days.
On the whole, this is not a very useful book for beginner/intermediate players seeking to improve their shots and hence their game.
It's a terrific book for enthusiasts who would love to discover unusual shots which are rare and low percentage, which obviously precludes their use in a real game.
If you're an advanced player with a decade or more of experience under your belt and feel that you have a good grip on a lot of "regular" shots and want to find out more, this is the book for you.
If you're a beginner/intermediate player who is seeking to improve his/her game with a view to notch up more victories, look elsewhere.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Adam Sussner on March 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have been playing pool for twenty years and this book introduced so many concepts that I don't know why I didn't research this book out sooner. This book single handedly improved my game dramatically. If you shoot pool and are looking for a deivice to train you from the begining to advanced stages look no further, this book is spactacular!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. Finnegan on January 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is my second copy of this book. I gave it as a birthday present. It was well received.

Unlike "Byrne's New Standard Book of Pool and Billiards," which is 50% devoted to 3-cushion billiards, this book is devoted entirely to pool. It's about how to put the ball in the pocket, which ball to shoot, and don't forget not to leave your opponent a shot.

Byrne is good at this and explains the difference between what it appears is happening and what the balls are really doing. It is an enjoyable read and a book anyone who enjoys shooting pool should have.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By B. Mayes on October 6, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I consider myself decent at pool. I'm ranked as a 4 in APA 8-ball and have been playing on a frequent basis for the past 2 years. While this book is good, it seems to be entirely offensive shots. There are many instances where instead of attempting the shot shown in the diagram in the book, it would probably be better to try and play a safe (meaning you make a legal hit, but leave your opponent with a difficult shot afterwards).

Most of these shots in the book are difficult to make once, but are incredibly difficult for most of us to make on a consistent basis. If you want to win, you should be playing the percentages and often a defensive shot has a much higher probability of success than these offensive shots.

I would've liked this book better if it discussed the alternative shots that could've been taken, and mentioned the pros and cons of those decisions. Without it, it isn't very convincing that the shots shown are the best options.

Therefore, I think this book is good for beginners who just want to know some cool shots, or pros who are so accurate and precise that these shots are possible nearly 90% of the time.
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