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Here we go over the main types of shots encountered while shooting pool and how to make them. The shots covered in this lesson are cuts, banks, rails, combination shots, kick shots, dead on shots, nip shots, curve shots, carom shots, jumps and breaking.

Cut Shots

If the cue ball is not aligned with the object ball's line of travel into the pocket, it is called a cut shot.

Start by finding the Ghost Ball . (See Aiming on the Basic Skills Page)

If the object ball is some distance from the pocket and the Cut Angle is greater than 20 degrees, throw must be considered. Throw is the tendency of the cue ball to push the object ball off course. It is caused by friction between the cue ball and object ball. The object ball will be driven off course by as much as one inch per foot of travel.

To compensate for throw, move the ghost ball slightly toward the cue.

Pool Lesson Cut Shot Diagram



Bank Shots

Bank shots are shots where the object ball deflects off of the bank before going in the pocket.

To make bank shots, you determine where the object ball must strike the bank in order to go in the pocket, then align the ghostball so that the object ball strikes that spot.

To determine exactly where that point will be, you must first determine the natural path, then compensate for bank compression and ball rotation.

Naturally the object ball will deflect off of the bank at the same angle it approaches. In the real world, English as well as how hard the ball is hit will affect it's deflection angle. Some general rules that are helpful in predicting the angle a ball will bank are:

· The deflection angle will lesson the harder the ball is hit because of the bank's compression.
· When applying English to the cue, left English will make the object ball bank further to the right, and right English further to the left. (There is a saying while doing bank shots and applying English "Left goes right and right goes left.")

Pool Lesson Bank Shot Demo


Rail Shots

Any time the object ball is touching the rail, it is called a rail shot. To make the shot, the object ball must roll down the table, "hugging" or staying close to the rail all the way down to the pocket.

The most straightforward way to make rail shots is to hit the object ball and the rail at the same time. You will hit the object ball at the exact spot to send it straight down the rail. This sounds easy, but it requires extreme accuracy.

Reverse English can be applied to the cue ball in a way to cause the object ball to spin down the rail. This is done by spinning the cue ball in the opposite direction or towards the rail. For example: if the rail is on the left side, hit the cue slightly left of center. (See Reverse English Shot and English on the Cue Control page.)

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