How To Bank 4

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Diagrams Bank 4 and 5 show the red object ball at a different position on the table. The principle is the same - determine your start of ball path and your bank point to get your angles.
The position of the red ball in these diagrams shows a little more clearly that, not only is the correct angle to the bank point necessary, but the correct aim spot on the object ball must be hit as well.

In the cut shot section of this aiming discussion, the aim points on the object ball and cue ball were explained. These aim points are just as important when banking as they are in other shots.

The imaginary line that runs from the start of ball path to the bank point determines your aim points for you.

bank shot diagram

bank shot picture

In the Bank 5 diagram, the aim spot on the red object ball is the spot where the start of ball path line first contacts it. The dashed line ghost ball shows where the cue ball should go to hit the object ball at the correct location.

As was the case in the Aiming 3 diagram, it doesn't matter what direction the cue ball comes from, as long as the correct aim spot on the cue ball contacts the correct aim spot on the object ball, to send it in the right direction. Since the red ball in Bank 5 is so close to the rail, it could come back and hit the cue ball after bouncing off the rail and never make it to its intended pocket. To prevent this from happening, some side spin would be introduced to the cue ball to move it out of the way after it hit the object ball.

That pretty much explains the mirrored angles banking method. There is some visualization to be done in trying to determine where the correct bank point would be. However, compared to the mathematical calculations of the Diamond system and the abstract concepts of the other systems, this one is fairly easy to use.

An aspect of banking that is a little beyond the beginner level is the use of english. The way an object ball bounces off a rail can be influenced by the spin on the cue ball. Because of what's known as the gear effect, right spin on the cue ball will cause left spin on the object ball it hits, as will left spin on the cue cause right on the object ball.

This effect can be used to your advantage in a game. If you want to bank a certain ball into a pocket, but you can't quite get the right angle because of other balls in your way, you can apply the proper spin on the cue ball, to get the object ball to change its angle, to one that will go towards the pocket. This is fairly advanced pool shooting, and it takes a lot of practice to apply the spin in just the right amount.

Another advanced technique is to vary the strength of your hit in a bank shot. The harder a ball hits a rail cushion, the less angle will result on the rebound. A ball that is hit hard will sink deeper into the cushion, and this will cause the cushion to attempt to throw the ball back out straight, instead of at an angle.

So, if you have a situation where you need less angle than you can aim for, try hitting the ball into the rail harder so it will come off the rail at a lesser angle. The reverse holds true, that a softer hit off the rail will result in a greater angle on the rebound.

Just like other aspects of the game of pool, the more that banking is practiced, the easier and more accurate the player will find it to be. As mentioned earlier, bank shots should always be taken as a last resort, when there are no better cut shots available.

How To Aim cont. - Kick Shots

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