The Cut Shot In Pool

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There are really only three basic types of shots in pool - the cut shot, the bank shot, and the kick shot. The cut, or slice shot as it is sometimes called, is used probably 90% - 95% of the time.

It is always preferable to the bank or kick shot, because it removes some of the variables that can go wrong, like cushion inconsistency, angle judgement, and ball deflection. Unless you really have a talent for it, I would suggest using bank or kick shots only when you don't have a decent slice shot to shoot at.

aiming in pool

The cut shot is, of course, when you "cut" the object ball into the pocket by hitting it at the correct angle with the cue ball. The trick is to figure out just the right angle, and this is where aiming comes in.

There are several methods of aiming that have been developed by various pool players including ghost ball, point-to-point, and fractional ball aiming. Since this article is geared towards beginners, I will attempt to make things as simple as possible, and use a combination of these methods that is not too complicated.

To make a certain ball go towards a certain pocket, that ball must be hit at just the right spot, so that it travels in the correct direction. If it is hit at any other spot, it will travel in a different direction and miss the pocket. The spot to hit the object ball is exactly opposite from the pocket being aimed at.

A Key Point

This is a key point in aiming - The spot, or point, to hit on the object ball is exactly opposite from the pocket being aimed at.

An easy way to determine this spot is to mentally draw an imaginary line from the pocket and through the object ball. The exact spot where this imaginary line exits the ball is the spot you need to hit, to make that ball head towards the pocket. This is the essence of point-to-point aiming for cut shots.

The other variable to the equation is to determine the exact spot, or point, on the cue ball that should contact the exact spot on the object ball. This spot can be determined by using the ghost ball, or ghost cue ball, method. A graphic depiction of the ghost ball method is shown in the diagrams.

In the diagram Aiming 1, the imaginary aim line and the actual aim line are the same. So, if the cue ball is hit along the actual aim line, the green ball will travel into the pocket. In other words, the correct aim spot on the cue ball hits the correct aim spot on the object ball, and the object ball has no choice but to travel to the hole.

How To Aim cont. - Cut Shots 2

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