Summary: Billiards Digest January, 2012
"Coin Proposition Shots" ILLUSTRATED PRINCIPLES
David Alciatore, PhD ("Dr. Dave")
Supporting narrated video (NV) demonstrations, high-speed video (HSV) clips, technical proofs (TP), and all
of my past articles can be accessed and viewed online at billiards.colostate.edu. The reference numbers used
in the articles help you locate the resources on the website. If you have a slow or inconvenient Internet
connection, you might want to view the resources from a CD-ROM or DVD. Details can be found online at:
There are many fun things you can do with a coin and a pool table. I like fun things, and I hope you do
too, so let's look at a few classic coin proposition shots.
Let's start with a shot most pool players have seen before. As illustrated in Diagram 1, place a coin (e.g.,
a US nickel) on top of a cushion with a drinking glass sitting on the rail. The obvious goal is to hop the coin
into the glass. The trick is to use the right speed to compress the cushion the right amount to flip the coin at
just the right height. Give it a try. It's not very difficult once you get a feel for the speed required. HSV B.17
shows a super-slow-motion demonstration of the shot. Check it out to see how easily the cushion
compression launches the coin into the air.