One Rail Kick Shots

Kick shots are in most cases, similar to the bank shot. The difference lies in the fact the when doing kick shots, the cue ball will need to contact the cushion before the intended object ball. This lesson will explain the basic one-rail kick shot and its proper execution.

As we have learned from the lesson on bank shots, the rule of “angle in” equals “angle out” applies to kick shots as well. This rule applies to normal center ball hit on the cue ball with normal speed. Remember that speed and english affects the angle of the ball off the cushion (refer to the lessons on bank shots). Now, let’s look at Figure 1.

In this type of ball positions, you simply need to find the halfway point from the cue ball to the object ball then draw an imaginary line going towards the opposite rail and that will be the point where you would aim your cue ball on the cushion to hit the 3 ball. This is just a simple geometric problem using a triangle to find the correct point (point X) on the cushion for your aim point. This calculation holds true even if the cue ball is at any point in line with “side A”. The same goes for the object ball if it’s at any point along the line of “side B”.

When the cue ball and the object ball is on the same line at the base of the triangle (base C), it is easy enough to calculate point “X” on the cushion by getting the middle point of both balls and running a line across towards the opposite rail.

Refer to Figure 2. Notice that the cue ball is now positioned differently. However, the aim point on the cushion (designated by point “X”) is still the same because the cue ball is still on the same line “side A”. But how do you calculate the point “X” in this position?

When using our triangle method, we can see that we are missing two points (point Y and point X). In this case, guesswork would be prudent.

Using the triangle as your basis, make an educated guess of where you think point “X” is suppose to be. After doing that, simply draw a line from point “X” towards and beyond your cue ball towards the other end of the table at point “Y”. Now, you have point “Y” figured out. From there, use point “Y” and the position of your object ball (the 3 ball in the illustration) and determine the halfway point or mid point. Once that is done, draw a line from the mid point towards the opposite rail towards point “X”. The mid point and point “X” should be on the same line parallel to the short rail. If not, go back to the beginning and pick another spot on the cushioin where you think point “X” will be and start re-calculating.

A simplier solution is offered in Figure 3.

Given the position of the cue ball and the object ball, you will need to get the midway point of both balls. In the illustration, it is designated as point “M”. The next thing to do is draw a line from the object ball across the opposite cushion parallel to the short rail, in the illustration, this is designated as line “F”. At the end of that line would be your point “Z” in the illustration.

Next, from point “M”, draw an imaginary line towards point “Z”. This line (designated as line “N”) will be your guiding line to determine point “X” on the cushion. All that is left to do is draw an imaginary line from the cue ball to the cushion that is parallel to the imaginary line “N”. In the illustration above, this is designated by the blue line “P”.

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