The Kick Shot In Pool

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Bank shots and kick shots are similar, but not the same. When you bank the object ball off the cushion and towards the pocket, it is considered a bank shot. When you bank the cue ball off the cushion and into an object ball, it is considered a kick shot. Many people may not make the distinction between the two, but strictly speaking, that is what they are called.

Kicks also make use of the concepts used in the discussion of bank shots. Shot path and bank point relate here as well, but to the cue ball as opposed to the object ball. You still need to figure out the correct angles, to get your ball from where it is to where you want it to be.

A kick often involves bouncing the cue ball off the rail to attempt to hit an object ball that is near a pocket. How the cue ball is hit has a huge affect on whether that cue ball comes near that object ball or not. Side spin, top and bottom spin, and strength of hit are several variables to be concerned with.

kick shots in pool

Side spin, also called english, makes a big difference on how the cue ball reacts when rebounding off the cushion. When a cue ball with no side spin, and hit at medium speed, hits the rail, it will bounce off at nearly the same angle at which it entered the rail. This is again called a mirrored bounce.

A cue ball with side spin on it will react in two ways, depending on which direction the spin is and the angle it entered the rail. As seen in shot B of the diagram, a cue ball hit straight at the cushions with no spin will bounce straight back.

The same shot with left spin will react as shown in shot A. Right spin will produce the bounce shown in shot C. More spin on the cue ball will result in a greater angle of rebound off the rail, while a cue ball that is spinning less will naturally produce a shallower rebound angle.

In shot D, if no spin was given to the cue ball, it would travel the path of the dashed line after hitting the cushion. The proper amount of RIGHT spin will produce the angle of travel as shown by the solid rebound line. The right spin effectively cancels some of the rebound angle that would normally occur on this shot.

Shot E is the opposite of shot D, with LEFT spin put on the cue ball. The cue ball would normally travel along the dashed line, but with the left spin on the cue, it will instead go in the direction of the solid line.

The type of kick shots shown in this diagram can come in handy when there are balls in the way when you are attempting to get to your object ball. By changing the rebound angle of the cue ball with spin, you can make shots that would not otherwise be possible with a normal bounce off the rail.

How To Aim cont. - Kick Shots 2

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