Let’s talk about Bank Shots. They’re not so hard once you understand the fundamentals. First, understand that with bank shots, everybody is trying to find the half-way distance between the ball and the rail and the pocket. So, here’s a technique for how to figure that out with far greater accuracy than just eyeballing it. This is also one of those techniques that’s easier to learn by actually doing it. I encourage you to watch and rewatch the video below because that will illustrate what I’m talking about far better than the text alone can.
To successfully make bank shots, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the diamonds on your table. You’ll need to use the diamonds for all your measuring. It’s important to remember that even though they aren’t labeled, each pocket is a diamond. Remember this!
So, imagine you’ve got your ball stuck on one end of the table, between 2nd and 3rd diamonds on the long rail. The pocket to the center diamond will go to the pocket. It’s not the diamond itself that you’re going to actually end up aiming at (we’ll make that correction at the end) but they’ll work for the initial figuring out we need to do.
I need to figure out which line, which diamond, I’ll be using to make my ball. I’ll always start with the pocket near me since that’s the easiest to visualize because pockets always go to the middle diamonds. Using my cue as a visual reference, I’ll place the butt end of the my cue in the side pocket near me. I‘ll put the tip of my cue on the diamond that that pocket would go toward. Next, I’ll move from the side pocket near me all the way to the next diamond. While doing this, I’m careful to maintain the angle that I’ve created with the cue.
I’ll then want to move the butt of my cue over to next diamond nearest to me, this is the diamond that’s in front of the ball I want to strike. I don’t use the diamonds on the other side of the table because they’re too far away. You want to use they’re too far away. I want to use the closest diamond so I can be accurate.
Next I’ll find the halfway point. For the purposes of illustration, I’ll be using two cues for this next portion. Using that second cue, make a parallel line over the object ball. Now I just need to split the difference between the two cues. This is going to give me my point. Again, you’ll eventually be able to do this in your head.
Now you have your point to aim at. Take your cue and move it straight out on the rail, retaining that point you set. Pull your cue in toward you a little bit and note there the tip of your cue hits the rail. That is where you want to aim. Take your shot and watch the ball hit your pocket.