trick shot (also trickshot or trick-shot) is a shot played on a billiards table (most often a pool table, though snooker tables are also used), which seems unlikely or impossible or requires significant skill. Trick shots frequently involve the balls organized in ways that are unlikely or impossible to appear in normal play, such as balls being in a straight line, or use props such as extra cues or a triangle that would not be allowed on the table during a game. As an organized cue sports discipline, trick shot competition is known as artistic pool.


Artistic pool trick shot competitions on pocket billiards tables, inspired by artistic billiards, began in 1993 in the US at an amateur level and in 2000 professionally and internationally, featuring fifty-six pre-set shots to attempt.

Each set shot has a maximum point value assigned for perfect execution, ranging from a four-point maximum for lowest level difficulty shots, and climbing to an 11-point maximum for shots deemed highest in difficulty level. There are a total of 500 points available to a player, representing the combined value of a perfect score on all 76 shots, although not all games are played with the full shot catalogue. The governing body of the sport is the Confédération International de Billard Artistique (CIBA).

Format & Scoring

The athletes are competing individually, but in a “golf course” or “group play” format, performing a set amount of pre-determined “artistic” shots, and/or challenges (8 “sub-disciplines” or “skill categories”).

These are the same for all athletes. The list of “sub-disciplines” or “skill categories” are as follows:
1) Trick / Fancy Shots,
2) Special Arts,
3) Draw Shots,
4) Follow Shots,
5) Bank / Kick Shots,
6) Stroke Shots,
7) Jump Shots, and
8) Masse Shots.

Each of these has specific definition attachment detailing challenge limits and inclusions.

Depending upon the “Degree of Difficulty” (DOD), and at which attempt (three attempts are normally allowed), an athlete will manage to perform the shot to satisfaction, he/she will be awarded points accordingly. From time to time also, individually designed or chosen “artistic” shots may be performed, as a part of the competition, in which case the degree of difficulty and amount of points to be awarded, has been determined ahead of time, or with optional scoring by a panel of judges.

In addition, some challenges have no DOD and are scored by an alternate scoring, as so described in a then-current “Artistic Pool Program”, which is available to all competitors.

Allowance for specific private promoter formats and scoring can be accommodated, including, but not limited to, team, individual round robin, and special match play events that use single elimination, double elimination, and other/modified types of “playoff” charting.


  • The APTSA trick shot disciplines are:
    1. Trick and/or fancy: Primarily deals with setup shots, multiple ball configurations, and/or a shot where cue ball travels in a “kick” pattern to make final ball(s). May also include “extreme” cut shots and special skill shots not in other disciplines.
    2. Prop/novelty and special arts: Unusual or new shots of any nature, shots with “props”, such as cues, bridge(s), rack(s), coin(s), chalk, etc., and shots of a unique or “special” art form, such as wing shots, time shots, “legal” or “illegal” follow-thru shots, push shots, roller coaster technique/waterfall specialties, plus demonstrations of one-handed jack up, behind back, under leg, and more. Referred to as general amusement category.
    3. Draw: Basic to advanced with cue ball greater than 1/2″ from first object ball. The cue ball contacts an object ball with draw (backspin) and pockets another.
    4. Follow: A cue ball is hit with follow (topspin) and goes forth and hits in an object ball.
    5. Bank/Kick: Bank, meaning to hit object ball(s) into cushion(s), and kicks meaning to hit cue ball into “x” number of cushions first and then to object ball(s).
    6. Stroke: Cue ball less than 1/2″ from first object ball(s), for draw or follow, plus accuracy position shots, speed control shots, or unique “stroke” shots.
    7. Jump: Any shot utilizing jump shot technique, other than “prop” shots with bridge(s), and some special “stroke” shots.
    8. Massé: Half and full massé – cue elevations over 10 degrees.

Hall of Fame

Andy segal

Gabi Visoiu

Jamey Gray

Nick Nikolaidis