How To Aim Bank Shots "On The Square"

01
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Solving An Ongoing Bank Shot Problem

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Take your “cue” from me and Marcel on this bank shot and ones unlike it, too. Illustration courtesy of Marcel Elfers

Ah, the troublesome bank shot and the more troublesome kick shot.

With gratitude to Marcel Elfers of Washington, here is a study in aiming a bank shot or a challenging kick shot in mere moments.

Looking at a simple bank shot from corner to side pocket, we know intuitively to hit the table in the middle of the two balls at the second diamond between the corner and side pockets. Why do we come to that correct aim point that so quickly for a basic (obvious) bank shot play?

02
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Score Much More Often On Banks And Kicks

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Make your bank shots “on the square”. Illustration courtesy of Marcel Elfers

Considering typical bank shots, the principle lies for each attempt in finding the middle of the square as pictured here.

After all, from the green ball, now positioned at the Origin Point to the opposite pocket (the bottom left pocket), and from the Destination Point, the side pocket and its opposite side pocket, forms a square.

Drawing imagined lines crossing from corner to corner of the square, then drawing the arrow as shown from the cross point to the bank--Voila! Bank shots right in the middle.

But consider the bank shot on the next page rather carefully.

03
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Looks Little Like The Previous Bank Shot, Right?

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Friends, all my tries are banks shot with style, using this simple method. Illustration courtesy of Marcel Elfers

For your choice of banks shot with accuracy, realize the typical bank looks little the previous diagram! Consider the bank shot above. Few banks shot utilize a perfect square.

Turn to our next illustration to see the principle behind the principle of the square aimed bank shot.

04
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3-Step Method For Bank Pool, Simplified

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Bank pool made simple here at About.com. Illustration courtesy of Marcel Elfers

And now one simple method for bank pool aiming and all types of one rail bank shots and kick shots:

Follow three simple rules:
1. Line the perpendicular from the Origin Point to the rail to bank upon
2. Find the similar perpendicular line from the Destination Point to the same rail
3. Drop a third parallel line from the cross point to the rail

The red dashed arrow indicates where the bank needs to be hit to score. We are ignoring less than perfect rails on worn tables, hitting harder or softer than a medium speed and applied ​english, any of which would alter the path of the bank somewhat.

However, for any bank or kick taken off one cushion, this three-step principle dividing the "square" will always apply.

05
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Adjust For These Pool Banks Based Upon Final Distance

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Pool banks simplified with two points and three lines, it takes seconds to see on your own after a few minutes’ practice. Illustration courtesy of Marcel Elfers

Compare the pool banks of the last page and this one. See how the red arrow indicating the final aim point has moved to the right to adjust for the target ball moving closer to the rail?

Recall we are considering the object ball at its position as our Origin Point and its intended pocket as our Destination Point and building our semi-square from there.

There is deliberate word selection with our "OP" and "DP" as you'll learn in the next illustration.

06
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A Challenging Pool Kick Shot, Made Simple

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A choice pool kick shot can be made simpler with this aiming system. Illustration courtesy of Marcel Elfers

Now consider this challenging pool kick shot. The white cue ball represents and Origin Point needing to be targeted at the green ball, specifically at a spot or Destination Point to pocket it in the corner.

If you are unsure how to calculate the cut angle to the corner, review this aiming system guide. Again, the 3 simple bank or kick rules apply and the red broken arrow indicates where the rail needs to be hit.

07
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Compare This Angle With The Previous Kick Shot

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Aim your kick shot “on the square” as discussed in this article. Illustration courtesy of Marcel Elfers

In practice, a kick shot is fairly easy to measure. Compare this kick shot with the kick shot angle and ball placement on the previous page.

Next page includes one additional look at a bank shot or kick shot to make life easier than before.

08
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Hot Bank Shot - Shoot This One In For The Victory!

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A hot bank, an easy play. Illustration courtesy of Marcel Elfers

Certainly, this simple series of instructions makes for a hot bank tip for your use. Here is how the expert sees the shot as illustrated!

Many thanks to Marcel Elfers for his always quality pool work.