Book 2 - KICK SHOTS + DIAMOND NUMBERING SYSTEM

(Excerpts from Book 2 of the Six Pack Encyclopedia of Billiards Knowledge by D.W. "Diamond Dave" Thayer)


KICK SHOTS - OFF RAIL KICK SHOT

I refer to the “off rail kick shot” as going across and over the object ball where as the “umbrella shot” goes (ducks) Under an object ball as in ducking under an umbrella. The secrets and most important ingredients for the shots are the "table track line" and a cube of "chalk".

The “track line” is the indentation in the table felt that runs the length and width of the table just off the rail cushions. (See diagrams pages 78. 79. & 81).

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KICK SHOTS - UMBRELLA & OFF RAIL

Having the ability to handle the following two shot types will win many games for you.  The shots are the "Off rail kick and the Umbrella shot".

The vastly experienced and talented pro will use rote and a good eye to make these shots on well over fifty percent of attempts.  

The pretty good amateur will be successful on about twenty five percent of the shot attempts. In the following diagrams the author hopes to get you, the reader up to almost one hundred percent shot efficiency at these “over and under” shots.

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KICK SHOTS - TRACK SYSTEM PLUS

But most importantly, we will cover the Track System Plus and Minus which is the real secret that very few pool players are aware of.  DO NOT become discouraged if it takes a while for the following system to become completely clear to you.  The first time that you try from memory, certain specific things will come to you, although, perhaps not exactly.

For example, you will know that the target ball sits approximately on the 2.5 track area.  You will be aware that the cue ball lies off the 4.5 diamond area at the rail of origin.  Recall will tell you that when shooting three rails, you must subtract and that 4.5 minus 2.5 equals 2.0.

Therefore, your aim point on the first rail is 2.0.  But wait, you also recall now that due to 4.5 being 1/8th table distance down table from end rail, you must subtract 1/8th diamond from the 2.0 aim point thus creating 1 7/8 (1.7) as the correct aim point.

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KICK SHOTS - THREE RAIL KICK SHOTS cont.

Fervently study this section and you will become adept at the “somehow” ability and discouragement of your opposition. DO NOT be confused by the fact the third rail, which is also the rail of origin, has two sets of numbers.  The 0.5 numbers are for cue ball starting location “origin” and the whole numbers (1.0) are for the target, object ball strike or cue ball kick point.

The track system will show you tracks 1 through 4 and these should be easily memorized.  The Corner 5 three rail kick numbers will be laid out for you to get onto any of the tracks by subtraction.

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Read more: KICK SHOTS - THREE RAIL KICK SHOTS cont.

KICK SHOTS - THREE RAIL KICK SHOTS

"CORNER 5" DIAMOND SYSTEM

This section hopefully, will thoroughly explain the three cushion diamond system for kick and bank shots on the tavern/rec. room eight foot tables. The numbering system for standard billiard parlor size nine foot tables and small seven foot tables will be covered in a later section.  

We are assuming in each of the following diagrams that the cue ball and target ball are positioned so that contact can not be made direct, nor by one rail kick, two rail kick, curve or jump shot. Intervening object balls prevent the possibility of any of these methods of contacting the target. However, by studying the table we discover open paths from cue ball to object ball by shooting three rails.    

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KICK SHOTS - DOUBLE CROSS SIDE AND CORNER

On two rail cross kick shots to corner pocket across end rail from one rail kick corner pocket; the following rule applies:

The aim point on the first kick rail is exactly one half diamond number higher than it is for a one rail   kick shot.

The two exceptions are rail of origin diamond numbers 8.0 and 1.0.    

A. Cue ball off 8.0 goes into opposite rail point 5.0 for two rail kick, versus rail point 4.0 on one rail kick shot.

B. Cue ball off diamond 1.0 moves it’s aim point only a quarter diamond to .75 versus half diamond .50 on one rail kick shot.

Note: When shooting two rail kick shots, going to a SIDE rail first, we Subtract. When we go to  an END rail first, we ADD.

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KICK SHOTS - SHORT TABLE cont.

We must compensate when shooting from within the close Area off diamond 1 into end rail 4 and .05 into end rail 5 to widen angle enough for good result. (See diagram page-47.)

You have probably noticed, I did not mention arithmetic at all. for the preceding method, do not even think of rail numbers, etc.  It is strictly limited to angles. However, in order to double check the accuracy of the path you have laid out for your successful cue ball/object ball strike, you do have the perfection of mathematics to fall back on. 

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KICK SHOTS - SHORT TABLE PLUS 2 SYSTEM

We add two numbers that together, will total the diamond location number of the target ball, on or off the rail of origin.

From our cue ball location on or off rail of origin number, we shoot it into the diamond (or imagined diamond) number on end rail , that when added to rail of origin number, will add up to the target diamond number.(See diagrams, pages 48 and 49). However, when we add two numbers that will total “4” (side pocket) for a two rail kick shot, we do run into two small problems. These however are easily over come.

When shooting from side rail off diamond number 3, we would need to aim into end rail number 1 for the total of 4.  

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KICK SHOTS - BANK SHOTS

Two rail kick or bank shots (in fact, all multiple rail shots) involve physics of spin and opposite rail rebound along with simple math. Two rail kick shots are confronted with opposite rail resistance that narrows the rebound angle off the second rail as compared to the natural rebound angle off the first rail.

Again, we are assuming in the following diagrams that there are intervening, obstructing object balls on the tables that leave only two cushion rail shots as your pathway to a good hit on an object ball that you must make cue ball contact with to avoid a scratch (foul) or to pocket the target ball.       

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KICK SHOTS - RAIL KICK AND BANK SHOTS

Even if the angle appears to be such that the cue ball will make slight contact with another diamond or imaginary diamond along its path to target diamond, ignore this appearance. Nothing exists along the path between cue ball and point of aim as far as you are concerned. Aim at your target diamond dead center with the center of the cue ball using running English as though there is nothing in the way. i.e; 05 to 3.5 paying no attention to diamond 4.0 being in the path.

Rail kick and bank shots (one rail) require only simple arithmetic. Divide the distance by two (2) to determine the aim point on the kick rail. Simply cutting the total distance in half.          
 

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KICK SHOTS - TWO RAIL KICKS

Again, we are assuming in the following diagrams that there are intervening, obstructing object balls on the tables that leave only two cushion rail shots as your pathway to a good hit.   

Always keep in mind, that when kicking or banking one rail, the aim point is the point at inside edge of rail. When kicking or banking two or more (multiple) rails, your point of aim is always directly into a diamond or imaginary diamond as though the rail was not even there. This allows you to make a good hit, thus avoiding a scratch (foul) and possibly to pocket a target ball.   

We are now concentrating on two rail kicks, therefore we aim into the diamonds.  

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KICK SHOTS - TWO RAILS cont.

When we strike the end rail first at the target diamond, we are using what is known as the “Plus Two “ diamond system. The diamond numbers on the end rail always remain the same for the Plus Two system.  The side rail numbers also remain constant and we always Add when striking end rail first.

Simply locate the diamond number on the rail of origin (shooting rail), then aim at the end rail number that, when added together will total the target number.  Simple addition, cue ball lies off #5 diamond, therefore it must be added to #3 diamond on end rail to total 8.  We shoot directly at the 3 diamond and we see no rail part between it and our cue (or object) ball.  (See following diagrams.) 

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Read more: KICK SHOTS - TWO RAILS cont.

KICK SHOTS - TWO RAILS

Unlike one rail kick shots and bank shots where we use a point on the inside cushion portion of the rail as our point of aim, we no longer consider the rail at all.  As we now progress into the multiple rail, kicking and banking diamond systems, our attention is on the diamonds and visualized diamonds with the inner rail completely invisible to your eye.

We do not allow ourselves to see the inside portion of the rail, only the inlaid and imagined diamonds sitting there in the open.

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KICK SHOTS - ARITHMETIC cont.

If target point variance is only one-eighth long or short, adjust the kick rail aim point accordingly by one-sixteenth distance over or under. Soon, you will be able to take short cuts and realize that certain visual steps are necessary only for giving you the complete basic background of each shot. Whether it be kick shots, banks, cuts, caroms, etc. For example, soon it will be unnecessary for you to visually form the nearest perfect inside triangle to guide your parallel shot line up. 

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Read more: KICK SHOTS - ARITHMETIC cont.

KICK SHOTS - ARITHMETIC

Being able to successfully kick for a ball in a must hit situation thus avoiding a foul (scratch) will keep you in the running in many games. When a situation arises whereby you are well hidden from a “must hit” object ball, you will have the advantage of being able to stand back a second or two, see the cue ball rail point of origin, the target ball’s off-rail or on-rail point and by quick, simple arithmetic, you will pick out the kick rail point that will send the cue ball into contact with target ball and even pocket it.

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KICK SHOTS - ONE RAIL cont.

You will be introduced to several effective numbering systems to be stored in your brain and recalled when needed as you progress and understand the rail numbering systems for one, two, three rail plus shooting. You will be able to, with continued playing and practice, determine the angles and rail points almost automatically for necessary kick shot situation success.

You will base the majority of your game on subconsciously educated instinct. Determining from memory recall, the rail number of your desired target ball, the angle of approach to it by the cue ball and the rail point the cue ball must contact to make the perfect hit on the target ball.  

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KICK SHOTS - ONE RAIL

You are to use running English on almost all Kick shots. Do not exaggerate the English. Do not put a powerful wrist snap into it. Simply create the slight, desired flow of the cue ball to assist it in its normal directional path. The reason for running English is to offset the natural cushion resistance rejection obstacle, which will be explained later.

In your minds eye, you are to visualize the distance between rail points as ten (10) inches and the cue ball width as being two (2) inches. Therefore, the rail points are divided into tenths (10ths) and the cue ball approximately one (1) inch on either side of its center.

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KICK SHOTS

“Shooting the cue ball into one or more rails in order to contact or pocket a specific object ball."

I am beginning with Kick shots in order to demonstrate in the most understandable way, how basic mathematic patterns are ingrained into the pool table and to allow you to start by applying your knowledge of simple arithmetic; addition, subtraction and division.

This section will instill in you what we are aiming for as you progress through your understanding of purposeful rail points, diamonds and angles of incidence and reflection. Simply stated, the angle of incidence is the line the ball travels INTO a rail and the angle of reflection is the path the ball follows as it rebounds AWAY from rail. Knowledge of off rail Kick shots is invaluable to the shooter when hidden behind opponents object balls (as in Eight ball) and must make a good hit on his/her own object ball to avoid a foul (scratch). Kick shots are also a means of making shots that, to the unknowing, appear impossible. 

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