Banking And Kicking
by Jimmy Reid
Without a doubt, one of the most crucial aspects of any pool game is being able to bank object balls or kick the cue ball with accuracy. Most of you have heard about simply making an imaginary “V.” I’m going to show you in the next couple of issues of InsidePOOL Magazine an exclusive cross-corner and cross-side diamond system that I discovered a few years ago. Learn and enjoy.
For this banking system example, use the bottom long rail and right-end rail diamond numbers as the coming-from rail to bank a ball into the lower left corner pocket, and use the same diamond numbers to kick the cue ball cross corner into this same lower left-hand corner pocket. Banking or kicking a ball into this pocket using these diamonds would require you to divide the coming from rail diamond numbers (bottom long rail and right end rail shown here) in half by the banking-at or kicking-at top long rail diamond numbers.
Find the correct shooting-at diamond number by holding your cue stick over the center of the object ball and turn it, all the while keeping the cue over the center of the object ball, until the top rail (in this example) is half the number of the bottom or right-end rail. You can’t mess up—tables may play untrue, but numbers never lie. These right-end rail numbers may look wrong, but they’re not. They’re 100% true. You must memorize these coming from diamond numbers. Next, I’ll prove to you that these numbers are correct.
Extending the bottom rail six diamonds is the one sure way to find out the halfway points to the cross-corner pocket. For example, 60 past 80 is 140; 140 at 70 as shown here is the true angle.
Bad at math? Double the distance to the pocket and look back at the object ball to be banked or the cue ball to be kicked, and you’ll see the true first rail contact point. Here’s the tricky part, something that I snapped to after the revelation of extending the bottom long rail six diamonds, as shown in the previous graphic.
Those numbers had worked perfectly, but why? I was looking for backup, a way to double check. Sitting by my pool table, I had this simple revelation. When I kick or bank balls at a pocket, I use the number of the diamonds on top of both the coming-from rail and the shooting-at rail as my mathematical guide, so when I double the distance to that same desired pocket, maybe I should double the distance from the invisible pocket diamonds that are on top of the rail. I tried it, and it works perfectly.
I have been frustrated for years trying to figure out mathematically how to calculate the coming from numbers above 90 for cross-corner kicks. They just didn’t work. Well, all of these numbers on this table work.
Note: They are the same numbers we found in the previous example by extending the rail six diamonds.
Using your cue, measure the distance between the two diamonds that aren’t visible on the bottom and top long rails. If these diamonds had a number, it would be zero. Place the tip of your cue all the way across the pocket past the first rail rubber to the middle of the invisible diamond on top of the bottom rail. The butt of your cue will extend an inch or two past the invisible diamond on top of the upper long rail.
Put your finger on your cue directly above that invisible diamond on the upper rail and keep it there. Now bring the tip straight back to the top rail diamond and look from your finger through all the first-rail diamonds.
Wow, what a great sight, standing behind this double-distance point and looking from there—through the closest rail to you, you see everything. All of the numbers are exactly the same as the numbers I found when I extended the rail. Perfect double check.
Doubling the distance is so much easier than calculating or memorizing numbers that you’re not familiar with, but I wanted to become familiar with them just in case I found myself in an event with a shot clock.
Tricks of the trade: Using the mechanical bridge for doubling the distance to pockets makes it easier to see that the far bridge end is in line with the other long rail diamonds, and it also stands up above any balls that might be between pockets. Another good move is to mark your own cue near the bottom of the butt, place your cue across the table to the middle of the diamond on the rail, and mark a spot near the bottom of the butt where it meets the middle of the opposite long-rail diamond.
All of these banks are to be shot with some form of outside english on the cue ball. Let me explain exactly how to figure the amount of english and speed necessary to make these banks successfully.
Banking a ball from bottom rail 10 at invisible 5 on the top rail would require one-quarter tip of right center english on the cue ball and a firm stroke. Banking a ball from bottom rail 20 at 10 on the top rail would require one-half tip of right center english on the cue ball and a less firm hit. Banking a ball from bottom rail 30 at 15 (yellow dot) on the top rail would require three-quarter tip of right center english on the cue ball and a little less firm stroke. Banking a ball from bottom rail 40 at 20 on the top rail would require one tip of right center english on the cue ball and a softer hit. Banking a ball from bottom rail 60 at 30 on the top rail would require one-and-a-half tips of right center english on the cue ball, shooting softly with pocket speed. Banking a ball from bottom rail 80 at 40 on the top rail would require two tips of right center english on the cue ball, shooting softly. Banking a ball from bottom rail 97 at 48.5 on the top rail would require two-and-a-half tips of high right toward two o’clock, or two-and-a-half tips of right center english on the cue ball, shooting softly with pocket speed. Banking a ball from bottom rail 104 at 52 on the top rail would require three tips of high right toward two o’clock, or three tips toward right center english on the cue ball, shooting softly with pocket speed. Banking an object ball from any diamond number above bottom rail 104 would require three tips of high right toward two o’clock, or three tips toward right center english on the cue ball, shooting softly with pocket speed. So much for cross-corner banking.
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