How to cheat at pool
Let’s be straight – you couldn’t use these tactics if you were hustling, say, Paul Newman. Nevertheless, if you’re indulging in a friendly poolhall hook-up then all these techniques are 100% valid. Especially if you have half an eye on your opponent.
by Deborah Taylor
1. Accidentally nudging your opponent’s pool cue.
A fantastic early starter in the pool cheat’s canon. Tripping (accidentally, obviously) in the vicinity of the pool table and nudging your opponent’s cue as they are about to take their shot is a superb opening salvo. Apologise profusely afterwards (a good tip is to try and look the other way whilst you do this, as though distracted by, say, a small dog wearing a waistcoat.)
2. Covering the pockets with your fingers.
Stand at the table, idly chatting with people, whilst resting your hand on the table, not noticing that your fingers happen to be covering the pocket that your opponent’s only easy shot will go down. I should point out that this really, really hurts if your opponent still takes the shot.
I mean, really hurts.
3. Get your opponent shockingly drunk.
A potentially expensive tactic, depending upon your opponent’s drinking ability. Especially if, like most of the Western World, you find their pool skill improves with the more alcohol they shove down their beaks…
4. The GoodYear Blimp distraction
Simply coughing loudly whilst your opponent takes a shot isn’t going to work. Ever. No matter how many times you try. And trust me, I’ve tried this lots. You’ll get far better results by throwing in the most random, surreal distractions possible. Pointing to a corner of the room and shouting, ‘My God! The Good Year Blimp!’ just as they are taking their shot is perfect. And you can always say it was on the telly if questioned later.
5. Stroking your opponent’s legs with the pool cue
Some might say that this is wrong for so many reasons, but gently caressing your opponent’s inner thigh, from the safe distance afforded by careful use of a pool cue, is spot-on. The more experienced cheat might head further north, but be warned – this is dangerous territory (you’ll either overly excite them or hospitalize them) and it’s difficult to explain away as a slip of the hand.
6. Blinding your opponent
Permanently impairing your opponent’s vision is right out of the window. However, holding your hand in front of their eyes, or even just covering them is fair enough if you can come up with a reasonable excuse. I’ve never managed to find a good excuse yet, but smiling sweetly and apologising usually helps.
7. Standing directly next to the white ball.
I’m not saying you should climb onto the table and hump the white ball, as you’re likely to be asked to politely leave. But standing in the exact place where your opponent has to take their shot? That’s fine and dandy! This means they either have to go for a trickier shot from a different angle, or try and take the shot around you. Very good if you really like your opponent and would like the opportunity to get a bit closer.
8. Bite your opponent.
I’m not advocating taking chunks out of your opponent’s arms. Not entirely. And, I admit, this is a rather extreme tactic. However a simple, well placed ‘playful’ bite should affect their concentration enough to make sure they miss their shot and maybe even foul, giving you extra shots.
9. Grope your opponent.
Yes, we’re moving into the more extreme areas of cheating here. This is possibly the most delicate of cheats to achieve. Whilst your opponent is lining up their shot, simply place your hand, casually, on their genitals and the more they concentrate, the more pressure you apply. Even if you lose the game of pool, this cheat still affords some benefits. A variation of this is to flash your opponent, but, really, that’s a bit common.
10. Be very good at pool.
The most ridiculous suggestion I can possibly make. Failing any of the above methods, you could actually work out the whole physics of the game and practise a huge amount to actually attain some level of pool-based competence.
But where’s the fun in that?