Beginner’s Guide to Bank Shots

Pool is a great game for people of all skill levels. Whether you’re a total beginner or a seasoned veteran, you can have a blast fine tuning your shot, spending time with loved ones, or making new friends around the 8 ball.

For newer players, developing a grasp on the bank shot – banking the cue or object ball off one or more rails – is one of the first steps toward more advanced billiards playing. Here are three key tips for building your bank shot vocabulary.

Keep practicing!

Pool Bank Shot Tips for Beginners

1. Angle In, Angle Out

This guiding principle should be the first thing you think about when lining up your bank shot. As a general rule, the object ball will bounce off the rail at the same angle as its approach. Other factors will affect your shot, of course, but this basic method will help you get the hang of banking.

Remember that the longer the distance, the more drastic the degree of the angle will seem. A long bank shot, even at a tight angle, will seem more extreme as the object ball travels further across the table.

2. Watch Your Speed

The velocity of your shot will make a difference how the rail affects the angle. The rails are cushioned, and depending on how hard you’re hitting the cue ball, they will “bounce back” your bank shot in different ways.

A harder shot (and faster moving ball) will decrease the angle, while a slower, softer shot will increase the angle. Again, these are basics, and factors like spin, English, and other cue techniques will help you fine tune your shots – but once you get used to the “angle in, angle out” principle, experiment with shot velocity to truly dial in your bank shots.

For a great demonstration of tips 1 and 2, check out this informative video from Dupree Trickshots:

3. Spot Check

Most pool tables will have markings along the rails between the pockets. These aren’t just for decoration! Bank shots are all a product of physics and geometry, and these markings are in place to help – they’re even called “sights!” The round or diamond shaped sights are laid out to help you spot bank shot angles, and give you focal point for where to aim along the rail. Use them to your advantage!

Bank shots take practice, just like any other billiards skill, but starting with these beginner’s tips above, you’ll be on your way to spotting angles and shooting like a pro.

A new cue can help take your shot to the next level, so stop into Emerald Leisure Source to explore a range of cues from today’s top manufacturers!