How to successfully make a Bank Shot

Written by Mick Turner

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When shooting bank shots, many factors come into play. English, speed, and angle of the cut (which causes contact throw) will all play a part in the path of the object ball.


Diagram 1

To see the differences in speed of a shot, (see Diagram 1) if you center hit a left angle bank shot with no english, medium speed, it will come out at (A), then try to do the exact shot again, only with a harder stroke, the angle of rebound on the object ball will come up narrow (B), again with slow speed and the object ball will go wide (C). Why? The speed of the ball hitting and compressing the cushion causes different secondary effects. Speed of the bank shot is very important and can be used to advantage.

In this discussion, "english" is defined as only side spin on the cue ball, it does not include draw or top-spin.

To see the differences in english (cue ball side-spin throw on the object ball) on a bank shot; center hit a left angle bank shot with no english (Diagram 1), medium speed, the object ball will come out at (A), then try to do the exact shot again, only with a 1 tip of left english on the cue ball, the angle of rebound on the object ball will come up narrow (B) again with 1 tip of right english on the cue ball and the object ball will go wide (C). Why? Because the some of the english on the cue ball is transferred in reverse (the gear effect) to the object ball causing it to hit the bank and come off at more or less of an angle, depending on direction of imparted cue ball english.

There are also effects of rebound that occur depending on whether the object ball is "back-spinning" or "stunned" (not spinning) off the cushion, but those are more advanced topics not covered here. The assumption is that the object ball will be hit by the cue ball and then will begin rolling forward somewhat on all the shots I cover in this exercise.

Now that the technical aspects of how hard it may be are behind us, what I want to talk about here is how to "Easily Make a Bank Shot". How do you measure the angles of a shot into and off the cushion? How do you know where to hit? How do you know if more/less speed, or english is necessary? You may have heard of "angle-in vs angle-out". It works assuming other factors are taken into account, such as speed and english, as noted above. What about those times where those angles are not obvious, or where the position of the balls makes it almost impossible to observe angle-in/angle-out? The most important question, is how do you do bank shots consistently?

What I have done is taken some tried and proven techniques from various instructions from various pro's and condensed it into understandable steps.

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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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