Effects of English off the Rail

In this article, I will discuss how english affects the direction of the cue ball after it hits the rail cushion. As illustrated in Figure 1, when left english is applied on the cue ball, it will bounce to the left side after hitting the cushion. Similarly, when the cue ball is hit with right english, it will bounce to the right side after hitting the cushion.

Now, with this newly found knowledge of pool, let’s take a look at an example about how this works. See the illustration below. The cue ball is hit with center ball stroke. Note that “center ball stroke” here means that the cue ball is hit in the middle of its vertical axis whereas “english” is when the cue ball is hit either on the left or right of its horizontal axis. (see the previous articles on Stop, Follow, Draw, and English for more explanations). Now let’s go back to the article in hand, the illustration below shows 3 different positions of the cue ball after it hits the cushion.

  • Position A is the result of hitting the cue ball with center ball stroke and applying left english. Notice how the use of “left” english cuts the angle severely from its normal path.
  • Position B is the result of hitting the cue ball with center ball stroke and NO english. This is the normal path of the cue ball.
  • Finally, Position C is the result of hitting the cue ball with center ball stroke and applying right english. Notice how the use of “right” english increases the angle from its normal path.

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