Bank Shot - Magic Spot Advice For A Multi-Rail Bank Shot

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Magic Spot Advice For Sinking A Multi-Rail Bank Shot

Bank Shot
Bank Shot. Courtesy of Marcel Elfers

Have you struggled or simply guessed at multi-rail bank shots? Have you been frustrated in trying to understand pool diamond systems for measuring bank shots? Don't worry any longer. Sinking a clever, multi-cushion bank shot is made simple using this aim method, the magic spot, as presented by About.com's good friend, Marcel Elfers of Washington.

The cue ball is taken easily, as shown on the illustration accompanying this article, on a three-cushion bank shot through the "magic spot", a powerful tool which adds to the accuracy of the "Corner 5 System" for bank shot pool.

In this first diagram, shown here, the white cue ball is the origin point of the stroke. The cue ball outlined in red is what is known in billiards as a "mirror image" ball (along an opposite rail equidistant from its cushion and the mirrored ball). The mirror spot is also the destination point of the multi-rail bank.

How To Sink More Bank Shots

Specifically, the "magic spot" is at "x" along the first line of the shot, and rests approximately 1½ to 2 ball widths from the first diamond from the side pocket.

Memorize this simple rule for multiple cushion banks taken from a variety of places on the table--a cue ball that passes over the magic spot (generally when taken with natural or "running" english) will cross over its mirror image point on the table!

To find the magic spot on a particular table to adjust for "local conditions" is simple. Mark a spot 1½ ball widths from the first diamond adjacent to a pocket. Align the cue ball with a corner pocket and shoot over the magic spot to and see whether the cue ball sinks in the mirror corner. If you come short or long of the corner line, you can adjust speed or english or even the magic spot closer to 2 balls' width from the cushion. Make the corner ball frequently and you have your "magic spot" and "magic speed and spin".

Note: Adjustments are often necessary as with other bank and diamond calculation systems. Not to mention worn and torn table cushions!

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How To Shoot Billard Bank Shots

Learning to bank in pool
learning to bank in pool. Courtesy of Marcel Elfers

How to shoot billard bank shots using the magic spot method.

Look! No matter where the cue ball rests on the table it may be rolled through the magic spot to head for a strike on its mirror image.

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Learn How To Bank On A Pool Table - "Magic Spot" Continues

making bank shots on the pool table
making bank shots on the pool table. Courtesy of Marcel Elfers

Learn how to bank on a pool table.

Here the cue ball completes its roll through the aforementioned "magic spot". See previous pages for more.

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Pool Bank Shots Diagram - Continued

Yahoo! Billiards Bank Shots
Yahoo! Billiards Bank Shots. Courtesy of Marcel Elfers

Continuing our "magic" pool bank shots diagrams.

Bear in mind how the cue ball need not rest on a mirror spot of the target to make for an effective shot. Here the cue ball rests on the imagined extended line through the magic spot at "x" and onto its destination at the mirror image spot.

We've lined up a cue stick behind the cue ball to aim through the magic spot and confirm the mirror image spot. You can imagine how effective this play could be for a winning shot in 8-Ball or 9-Ball stroke when enemy balls block other paths to the mirror image point.

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Pool Banking Techniques - Continued

bank shots in billards
bank shots in billards. Courtesy of Marcel Elfers

Pool banking techniques continued.

Now consider this situation where the cue ball is unaligned with the mirror image ball of the targeted object ball. The cue ball would roll through its mirror image for a miss. What to do to sink the stripe in the far corner?

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Pool And Billiards Bank Lessons

bank shots in pool playing
bank shots in pool playing. Courtesy of Marcel Elfers

Pool and billiards bank lessons.

You may still use the magic spot for a magnificent play on the object ball that will leave your opponent slack jawed in wonder. Adjustment 1 - Find 1) the ghost ball target on the object ball and 2) the ghost ball's mirror image, in this case, close by the cue ball's current position.

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Pool Tips - Bank Shots

bankshot billiards
bankshot billiards. Courtesy of Marcel Elfers

More pool tips on bank shots.

Here we see Adjustment 2 from the prior page in execution. Adjustment 2 - Align the mirror image ghost ball through the magic spot!

Continue on for more magic spot work.

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The Secret To Banks Shot In Billiards

billiards banking methods
billiards banking methods. Courtesy of Marcel Elfers

The secret to banks shot in billiards.

Adjustment 3 - Parallel shift your cue stick and shoot straight through to sink the object ball. Bam!

In essence, this magic spot system with cue stick parallel shift is the old "5 Corner System" sans the tedious calculations and diamonds counting of Corner 5. Unsurprisingly, regardless of the method to determine cue ball path, the lines of the multi-rail bank remains the same. So why not simplify?

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What Are Different Ways To Bank A Pool Shot?

how to aim pool bank shots
how to aim pool bank shots. Courtesy of Marcel Elfers

What are different ways to bank a pool shot?

The classic "5 Corner Diamond System" demonstrates how the cue ball path will move through its mirror image and, of course, through the "magic spot" under discussion. So using the all-but-forgotten-today Corner 5 system is one method to find the magic spot on any table. In this diagram, 2 diamonds plus 3 diamonds equals track 5 on the Corner 5 system.

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Aiming And Bank Shots

how to bank in pool
how to bank in pool. Courtesy of Marcel Elfers
Aiming and bank shots.

The Corner 5 system likewise predicts that shooting from 4½ diamonds through the track at 1½ diamonds gets the third rail kick off Diamond 3 and the cue ball drops cross-corner!

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Bank Pool Secrets

how to shoot bank shots in table pool
how to shoot bank shots in table pool. Courtesy of Marcel Elfers

Bank pool secrets...

And if you use the magic bank and kick spot with parallel shift, you come to the exact same conclusion. Compare the figures on this page with our parallel shift page and note the striking similarity.

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Bank Shot Technique

pocket billiards bank shots
pocket billiards bank shots. Courtesy of Marcel Elfers

Bank shot technique, amplified.

Hey, Marcel Elfers’ Magic Spot System is versatile! Here we’ll assume you plan to park the cue ball behind two balls as a practice shot. The next and final page shows the method to calculate the play.

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Banking A Shot In Pool

pool bank shot method
pool bank shot method. Courtesy of Marcel Elfers

Banking a shot in pool.

Parallel Shift the magic spot diamond play:

First, determine the target ghost ball (here white outlined in red).

Second, determine mirror image target.

Now, simply align the mirrored ghost ball with the magic spot then parallel shift the cue stick track. There you have it! Boom! Pow!

Enjoy, pool fans!

A very heartfelt thank you to Marcel Elfers for another marvelous contribution in text and photos for pool players everywhere.