Explanation of the Aim Spot

The object of playing pool is to get your balls in the pockets, and you need to know about the aim spot, or should I say aim spots, if you want to do that consistently. The two balls whose aim or contact spots you will be concerned with are the cue ball and the current object ball - the ball you are trying to get in the pocket.

The cue ball actually has two spots to deal with - the spot where the cue tip will contact it and the spot on the cue ball that actually contacts the object ball. Let's discuss the aim spot where the cue tip will hit first.

Depending on how and where on its surface it is contacted by the cue tip, the cue ball can be made to perform in different ways. Refer to the Diagram 1. Often, the cue ball is described as having a vertical axis and a horizontal axis. Where these two axes meet is called the "dead center" of the cue ball. Remember that term.

cue ball dead center

As a beginner, you should always be contacting the cue ball with the cue tip at dead center. After you have developed a proper stroke and a consistent shot, you can start to get fancy with the cue ball. But for now, this will help prevent any problems with aiming as you are learning the game.

The other aim spot on the cue ball is the spot that will contact the object ball to send it on its way. This spot is determined when you are aiming for your shot. See Diagrams 2 and 3. If the object ball is not contacted by the correct spot on the cue ball, it will not travel on the correct path when it is hit.

Depending on the cut or angle necessary to send the object ball to the desired pocket, the contact spot on the cue ball will change. When the shot is fairly straight as in Diagram 2, the spot on the cue will be near the center. When the angle is more pronounced as in Diagram 3, the cue ball aim spot will be closer to the edge of the cue ball.

pool shot aiming

pool shot cut

The aim spot on the object ball is where you need to hit it to make it go in the exact direction you want. In the diagrams, you can see where the contact spot on the ball is to make it go in the pocket. Hitting the object ball on any other spot will cause it to travel in a different direction and result in a miss.

An easy way to determine the aim spot on the object ball is to draw an imaginary line through the ball, that aims at the pocket. The spot opposite the pocket, where this line exits the object ball, is the aim spot.

Understanding the concept and purpose of aim spots is really the key to aiming in pool. If you can determine the correct spots to aim at on any given shot, and hit them consistently, you will be ahead of 99% of other players of the game. Practice with this in mind.

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