Sunday, September 20, 2009

How to Use the Push Shot

As a follow up to the block shot strategy, I will talk about the push shot in detail. When another bag is blocking the hole (preferably your own), you simply try to throw your bag and make them both in the hole. It may seem simple to do, but the difficulty arises when you play on different types of boards. The shot changes from board type to board type, and great players are able to adjust to the different boards they play on.

So how are some boards so different? There are a few ways that affect your shot: slick vs. sticky, and bouncy vs. stable. No matter where you go you are likely to find a combination of two of these four elements. It is easiest to use the push shot on a set of slick, stable boards. The hardest set to use this shot on is a sticky, bouncy set of boards. I will give some tips on using the push shot in each combination of board types.

Slick & Stable:

Perfect conditions for this type of shot, if you throw it straight it is likely to go in. If a regular shot doesn't put it in for you, throw a slightly lower shot with more velocity to get both bags in. Be careful though, some players use too much speed and go straight off the back of the board.

Sticky & Stable:

This shot is similar to the previous one. However, it usually takes more speed to knock both bags in the hole. One recommendation I have is to try to make the bag land just before hitting the other bag instead of letting your bag slide up the board into the other bag. This is good for 2 reasons: 1) You won't have to throw it as low to gain speed (avoids hitting front of box), and 2) You won't have to change your regular shot much (throwing it lower and harder affects some players' accuracy, and brings them out of their rhythm).

Slick & Bouncy:

Perhaps the hardest set of boards to play on. Accuracy here is a must. Different boards have different bounces, so there are two recommended options to avoid the bounce (the center of the board is what you want to avoid). One is to hit the very front of the board and allow the bag to slide up to the hole. The other is to hit the very back of the bag you are trying to knock in to get a soft landing. This is much harder to do, but is a good alternative if you have a hard time hitting the front-end of the board. The hard part of this shot is getting both of the bags to go in. Usually you will knock in the bag you were aiming for, but the one you threw will bounce off the back.

Sticky & Bouncy:

These boards are also hard for this type of shot, but the stickiness of the board usually allows for a more controlled bounce. Again, different boards have different bounces, but the stickiness usually keeps the bag from bouncing as far. As for the push shot, I would recommend aiming toward the back of the bag you are trying to push. One tip is to try landing nearly half of the bag on the board, and the other half on the bag you are trying to push. This allows for a softer landing, less bounce, and more of a chance of getting both bags in the hole.

For more details on how to use this shot, visit the Game Strategy page of

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