coup de billard à trois bandes


Senior Member
Hello everyone,

I'm completely stumped on this expression "un coup de billard à trois bandes".

Here is the full sentence as well as the sentence leading up to the expression. The context is an article extolling the wines of Saint-Julien. The beginning of the article talk about the fact that the appellation is so small, and yet contains so many Grands Crus Classées.

"Un Monopoly de châteaux qui, bien entendu, ne doit rien au hasard. Si ce n’est à ce coup de billard à trois bandes qui a vu s’assembler un Eden viticole dont
les portes s’ouvrent en descendant six pieds sous terre : au coeur de ce terroir unique dont les vins incarnent l’une des plus belles synthèses, entre la puissance des Pauillac et l’élégance des Margaux, les deux appellations qui enlacent Saint-Julien."

Here's what I have so far.

"A monopoly of estates which, it is agreed, owe nothing to chance. Except, perhaps, for the serendipitous circumstances that allowed for the creation of viticultural Garden of Eden, ...."

I'm not sure I've understood the expression properly, or if there is an equivalent set expression in English.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
  • manuelroland

    The "billard à trois bandes" is the French billiard which is quite difficult to play. "Un coup de billard à trois bande" mean a mix of luck and skill which has occurred. I don't know any similar expression in English.


    Senior Member
    Quite surprising to have this expression in here as in my opinion it does not fit the tone of voice of the rest of the text..But, anyway...
    For starters, I do not fully agree with manuelromand as luck is irrelevant as far as this expression is concerned.
    The expression describes a winning strategy in 2/3 steps, well thought-through and well executed...


    Senior Member
    I agree with LART01 that, normally, luck has nothing to do with a 3 cushion bank shot in billiards, and that the writer is not using it correctly.
    Franc 91, how would you tie "which as luck would have it" in with the rest of the sentence? Sorry to be a bit thick here, but I've already spent WAY TOO MUCH time on this sentence!!


    Senior Member
    Thank you franc 91, that could work...I guess I should try anyway to leave in the billiards allusion.
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