There are two common techniques when you need to kick to a rail to make contact on the target object ball. One is the ghost table/mirror technique. Another is "Cross the X" Both are easy to implement with the instructions below.
Spotting of the location of the ghost ball can be accomplished easily as long as it is within a diamond of the rail. As soon as the distance goes towards the middle of the table or even the far side, guesstimating where to aim at the cushion becomes more difficult to determine.
Here is an acceptable and fairly accurate measuring tool to locate the ghost object ball:
- Lay your cue perpendicular to the same rail you will aim into, lined up with the tip almost touching the object ball.
- Place a finger on the stick exactly where the stick crosses the edge of the cushion.
- Holding the finger in place on the cue, lift up the stick and move straight backwards until the tip of the cue is at the cushion.
- Draw an imaginary line from the finger position straight at the cue ball.
- Where that line crosses the cushion becomes the target for the cue ball.
Cross the X
- For the cue ball, identify the spot on the rail perpendicular to the same rail you will aim into.
- For the object ball, identify the spot on the rail perpendicular to the same rail.
- Draw a line from the cue ball to the mark to the object ball's mark on the rail.
- Draw a line from the object ball to cue ball's mark on the rail.
- These two lines cross on the table. Put a finger on the location.
- Draw a line from the finger location straight to the rail.
- THAT point on the rail is where you aim the cue ball. .
The shot still has to be pure center cue ball. Any side spin (English) to the left or right side of the cue ball will throw all of your careful measurements into the chaos zone. Medium speed is recommended.
All of these calculations assume a table with good cushions. If you know a rail is dead, this affects the angle out. When you discover a dead rail on a table, do some test banks to get a feel for the cue ball angles out. This helps determine what adjustments are necessary to achieve success in game conditions.
To ensure that you can trust these measurements under match conditions, spend some time doing a variety of these kicks. If modifications are necessary (up or down adjustments of the aiming point on the cushion), this is where you work out the table realities. Make the effort to practice these enough times so that you have a trustworthy tool.
Good luck & shoot straight!!
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