How To Aim The Cue Ball At The "Ghost Ball"

01
of 05

Starting from Scratch

How would you aim the 10-ball?. Photo (c) Matt Sherman 2008, licensed to About.com, Inc.
How do you aim at any given object ball? One method that serves as a rough guide is called the contact point method.

The following sequence of illustrations will demonstrate some of the common errors in aiming balls and how to rectify them for your game’s sake.

02
of 05

Align the Centers

Center of ball to center of pocket opening!. Photo (c) Matt Sherman 2008, licensed to About.com, Inc.
First, consider the blue-striped 10-ball and white cue ball in the diagram. How would you aim this stroke to sink the ten in the corner?

Of importance, the center of the ball (the topmost part of the ball you can see, or its exact geographic center, or its base where it rests on the table) must be made to pass through the center of the pocket at its opening, rather than be aimed to the back of the pocket as shown.

03
of 05

The contact point is not the whole story

The contact point can actually throw the shot off. Photo (c) Matt Sherman 2008, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Many players aim the cue ball to strike the point opposite the pocket suggested by the line of aim.

Unfortunately, this frequently causes an error when the cue ball is not able to reach the position via the shortest possible line. The next photo demonstrates an aiming method the pros suggest.

04
of 05

Starting with... the ghost ball

The ghost ball method, and... Photo (c) Matt Sherman 2008, licensed to About.com, Inc.
The ghost ball method of aiming pool balls describes imagining a cue ball's impact position (“Ball G”) so that it will be aligned with its center (the topmost part of the ball you can see, or its exact geographic center, or its base where it rests on the table) upon the aim line, the line bringing the object ball’s center to the center of the pocket opening.

Note the subtle adjustment between playing the cue ball straight into the ghost ball (the purple line) and aiming the cue ball straight toward the contact point where the two balls are to meet (the black line).

This method requires some creativity for several reasons. One important reason is the cue ball’s center will be a distance away from the object ball at a point in empty space. Many of pool’s professionals use a slightly different method.

05
of 05

The edge-to-edge pro method of aim

Edge-to-edge it's still the same. Photo (c) Matt Sherman 2008, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Many pool pros use some type of “edge to edge” method. They plan the aim line of the object ball, in this case the striped ten, the path the cue ball will take to become the ghost ball (see previous illustration) and then consider some edge or section from each ball they will connect together.

By playing “I’ll send this section of the cue ball into this piece of the object ball” they give themselves real objects in three-dimensional space to aim together, rather than imagined space to send the cue ball to fill.

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Sherman, Matthew. "How To Aim The Cue Ball At The "Ghost Ball"." ThoughtCo, Feb. 25, 2016, thoughtco.com/how-to-aim-the-cue-ball-at-the-ghost-ball-368684. Sherman, Matthew. (2016, February 25). How To Aim The Cue Ball At The "Ghost Ball". Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-aim-the-cue-ball-at-the-ghost-ball-368684 Sherman, Matthew. "How To Aim The Cue Ball At The "Ghost Ball"." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-aim-the-cue-ball-at-the-ghost-ball-368684 (accessed November 20, 2017).