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- LEARN to make shots that will seem impossible to other players.
- LEARN to pick a dead shot out of almost any cluster of balls.
- LEARN to make great break shot(s).
- LEARN to pocket specific ball(s) on your break shots especially THE EIGHT BALL ON EIGHT BALL BREAK SHOTS!
RAIL SHOTS INTRO
RAIL SHOT “An object ball frozen to a cushion.”
Many pool players dread the frozen rail shot. It should soon become one of your favorites. It presents the only time or times during a game that you have the advantage of the straight to pocket line support provided by the rail cushion itself.
The primary reason this shot is missed is because the cue ball has struck the object ball before striking the rail!. No matter how slightly, the object ball cannot be struck before the rail is touched. On some cue ball angle shots the ball and rail may be struck simultaneously but on angles closer to 90 degrees the rail has to be struck first and contact made on the object ball as cue ball rebounds from rail. (See following diagrams).
On angles closer to zero (0) degrees, he ball and rail should be struck at the same time and this is true all the way out to 45 degree angle.
When shooting object balls that are frozen to a rail, there is only one sighting technique that is applicable--the cue ball replacement (ghost cue ball). Of course, you may also use the parallel sighting system if only to have you visualize a strike point on the rear of the object ball and the strike point on the front side of the cue ball. This, however is not really necessary if you concentrate on shooting the cue ball into “ghost cue ball” location on the shot which will automatically cause the two strike points to meet.
Now that you have the perfect aim for the half ball hit down exactly, you can measure all distances from the object ball’s outer edge with accuracy.
On frozen rail shots your point of aim will go from ½ ball hit to “0” ball hit and out to “0” ball plus 1/16th and “0” ball plus 1/8th.
“0”(zero) hit is a “no-hit” whereby you aim to miss the object ball completely with only a hair distance between them. From there your aim point will be moved 1/16th or 1/8th more away from object ball so that the rebounding cue ball (quicker than the eye can see), will clip the outer edge of object ball sending it down the rail and against the rail to the corner pocket.
The further away from the target pocket the object ball is, the harder you must shoot the shots that require striking the rail first!
You should begin on all frozen rail shots by aiming for the half ball hit. Once you establish the first contact point from the angle you are shooting from, it is fairly easy to determine how much further out from a half ball hit you need to move your point of aim.
At this point, common sense will help you decide if ball side or rail side English is necessary or if a center cue ball strike will suffice.
An initial contact of object ball first, no matter how slight, will force the object ball against the rail and its widening re-bounding path away from rail toward corner pocket will reflect the bouncing a way from rail original contact. This is why so many frozen rail shots go wide of corner target pocket.
Now that we have eliminated “ball first” strike, we will obviously favor the rail first and rail and object ball together approach. This is accomplished by lining up the perfect “v”, aiming for half ball hit. The half ball hit will suffice from approximately 50 degrees down to plus five degrees. The zero (0) degree line calls for a full ball hit. (See diagrams page 4, 5 &6).
Beginning with a 90 degree angle shot that requires striking “0”(no) portion of object ball plus 1/16th more away from ball demands extreme ball side English on the cue ball. (See page 6 and 7).
The amount of ball side English to use on cue ball will move closer to center as the shot angles narrow down to 50 degrees, 45 degrees. The cue tip strike point should move more to rail side of cue ball as the angles decrease to “0” degrees.
If you still have trouble with rail shots, you should copy diagram, page 6 or 7on a 3 by 5 card to keep with you to refer to on all rail shots. Within a short period of time these shots will become automatic to you. You’ll know that your cue ball lies at about 30 degrees which is of course one-third of the total 90 degrees. You will know this 30 degree angle calls for a half ball hit with some low rail side in English. (See following diagrams).
If you use low rail side English on shots from five degrees to 40 degrees and aim for half ball hit, the cue ball will strike rail perfectly on its own just a minute fraction ahead of object ball for the exact, required hit on object ball.
If you have access to a pool table and time alone for practice, I suggest you do the drill in diagram page 12 over and over again until rail shots become your favorites.
If you are confused by the following diagrams at all, if you remember to simply aim for the corner “v” point of ball and rail and then move your point of aim slightly toward rail side (away from object ball) you will make many more rail shots than misses.
When your cue ball is frozen to a rail and you must shoot downward at it for a good cue tip contact, always look at the cue ball as you shoot (as opposed to looking at the object ball) and a smooth follow-through will prevent cue ball from going off course even though it may have taken a slight hop on cue tip contact.
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