Introduction to Bank Shots

There are times in a game of billiards when you are left with only one option to pocket the object ball… the bank shot. In this lesson, I will explain the basic steps in executing the bank shot correctly.


If we were to use our knowledge of geometry in explaining the bank shot it would be a simple “Angle In” equals “Angle Out” theory. To illustrate this, we refer to Figure 1.

In Figure 1, notice that the angle coming into the cushion (referred to as “A”) is the same as the angle coming out of the cushion (referred to as “B”). For this to work, the right amount of speed is required with center ball hit on the cue ball. As I will be discussing on the next lessons about bank shots, english has a different effect on the angle of the bank. So for now, start with only center ball hit and make sure that no english is applied on the cue ball.


Here’s a very common system for banking that I learned a few years back. This system basically calculates the exact point on the cushion to aim the object ball. Refer to Figure 2.

Draw a line from the middle of the object ball into the cushion which is parallel to the opposite end of the table (line A). Next, draw a line from the point on the cushion pointed to by line A and into the pocket where you plan to pocket the object ball (line B). Next, draw another line from the middle of the object ball into the opposite side pocket (line C). From these three lines, find the point where line B and line C intersects and draw a line from that point into the cushion parallel to line A (white line in the illustration above). The point at which this line hits the cushion is where you should aim the object ball to hit in order for it to go into the pocket.

Keep in mind that the system explained should be used with center ball hit on the cue ball with the right amount of speed. This will be similar to the “Angle In” equals “Angle Out” theory. Also bear in mind that you should use this system only as a guide whenever you have difficulty calculating the exact point of aim on the cushion. After executing several bank shots, you should be able to be familiar with where to aim the object ball by feel.

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