How to successfully make a Bank Shot

Written by Mick Turner

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Looking at diagram (2) below for reference, if you follow the steps you will understand.

Diagram 2

Align any side bank shot with the object ball and cue ball at the approximate positions shown in the diagram, then;

Step1: Draw a straight line from the object ball to the cushion you intend to bank from. (Line A) (Where the cue ball is does not matter, as long as it is in position to make the bank.)

Step 2: Put your cue tip on the cushion where line A ends.

Step 3: Put the other end of your cue in line with the pocket you intend to bank to. Here I use an "orange" line, Line B. (make sure you put the pocket end of Line B at the best point of pocket entry to assure the best odds of making the shot. In this example, I have it going into the pocket away from the near cushion tip.)

Remember Line B, the orange, line points to your target pocket on all the above diagram.

Step 4: Identify the pocket opposite on the table from the target pocket. (in this case the opposite side pocket)

Step 5: Visualize a line between that opposite pocket and the center of the object ball. (Line C). This is also called "drawing the X" because line B and C cross.

Step 6: Where Line B and C intersect, draw a line parallel to line A to the same banking cushion, -- Black line, to Point D. Point D is where object ball needs to rebound to make it back in the opposite side pocket.

Your contact point on the object ball is directly on the opposite side of point D on the object ball. Aim your cue ball at the object ball with center hit (no english, top or bottom) and hit at medium speed. The object ball will contact the cushion at point D, and bank into Pocket on opposite side.

If you come up short, you hit to hard...long you hit too soft, assuming you put no side english on the cue ball. In that case you will throw the object ball off path either way depending on english. Remember if you use english here the effect on the object ball is reversed from what you put on the cue ball. That is why I suggest, until your skill is more advanced, shooting these shots with NO english or top/bottom so the effects of ball speed, cushion compression/rebound, and english are minimized.

Once you master this technique you can move on to hard/soft and english variations. Sometimes those shots come in handy if other balls are in the object ball or cue ball path.

Another note on this shot, if the cue ball is near the same position...say within a foot in any direction, you can use the same angle of cushion bank point (D) and contact point on the object ball, you just need to aim the cue ball at the 1 ball a bit differently to maintain the "D" object ball contact point hit but be aware of possible secondary collisions between object ball and cue ball. This is nice because your calculated angle into and out of point "D" is good for a wide variety of cue ball positions. Once you do this many times in practice you will learn to closely approximate the position of point D, thus making all this measuring unnecessary. The more you do it, the better you get at it!

Remember, point D will be the same regardless of cue ball position (assuming you can make the bank)... but you do have to account for the possibility of secondary collision between cue ball and object ball, or possible scratch.

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About The Author: Contents and images Copyright 2004, Mick Turner. This information may be shared freely but if used in any commercial way, permission must be obtained at: mick.turner<at sign>sbcglobal<dot>net

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