Pool Table Basics: Aiming a Bank Shot

When playing a game of pool table or billiards, you often come across times when the only shot left to play is a bank shot. You will need to carefully weigh in all the available options, including cushion play and double kisses with the cue ball, and then follow the basic steps to correctly execute a bank shot.

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The Equal Distance Bank Method: “Angle in” is Equal to “Angle Out”
A bank shot can be explained in very simple terms by using the knowledge of basic geometry. The ‘angle in’ is equal to ‘angle out’ theory is the easiest way to explain a bank shot.

Imagine you taking a shot at the cushion on a pool table. You can visualize that the angle which comes into the cushion will be similar to the angle that comes out of the cushion. For the theory to be properly executed, it is important to hit at the center of the cue ball with the right amount of speed.

Effects of Spin on a Bank Shot
Spin has a different effect on bank shots as opposed to shots hit in the center of the cue ball, which does not impart any spin on the ball. When you hit the cue ball on the right side of the ball, then it will spin away. This will mean that the ‘angle in’ becomes smaller than the ‘angle out’.

Similarly, when you hit the cue ball on the left side of the ball, then it will spin in, thereby resulting in an ‘angle in’ which is bigger than the ‘angle out’.

Effects of Speed on a Bank Shot
Speed also plays a vital role in determination of a bank shot angle. When you hit the center of the cue ball at varying speeds, then it can affect the angle of the bank shot.

When the cue ball is hit a little too softly then the angle which comes out of the cushion is larger. However, when the cue ball is hit a little too hard then then angle which comes out of the cushion is smaller. In both scenarios, the shot will not yield the desired results.

Hence, it is essential to pay extra attention to the cue ball speed when going for a bank shot. You can adjust the aim-point of the cushion or you can adjust the speed of the stroke to get the desired results from a bank shot.