Multi-Rail Bank Shot with Magic Spot

I was at the middle school when I first shot the cue ball in a billiards coffee. It was amazing. Then I played many times till today. It has been years. I played 8 balls, cushion, snooker(less), etc. Last week, while I was searching for some videos through YouTube, I realized that in fact, I know nothing related to the geometry, the diamonds on the table. Be sure, I am able to do a 5 rail kick and get the shot, but just by feelings not by knowing exact point to shot.

Now I am on a journey to understand and show you everything I learn about the geometry and diamonds and approaches and whatever on billiards. I hope you will enjoy.

Multi-Rail Bank Shot Case

You need to do a very easy shot to the corner pocket, but there is a problem; your opponent’s ball is between the cue ball and yours. If there is another shot you can make, it is great. But what if there is no other ball? This is just a simple reason for a multi-rail bank shot.

If you are not very new to playing pool billiards, you will guess to do a 3 (multi) rail shot, but to exactly which point? 2nd diamond after the side pocket? 3rd diamond? somewhere between? Close to 2nd or close to 3rd? Using Magic Spot or Distant Point for such a shot is a simple solution. Let’s see how…

Step-1 Find the Magic Spot (Right Angle)

The heart of the approach is to find the right angle, and of course the right point at the very first bank. To do this you can use Magic Spot or Distant Point method.

What is Magic Spot and what will it help for? Let’s divide the table into two with a mirror on the long side. Magic Spot is the point that, if you pass the cue ball through, the cue ball destination point will be a reflection in the mirror. It may differ a little in every table (dimension), on different temperature, speed or spin of the ball. For this reason, you should do a few shots to understand the exact place for that table.

Magic Spot is 1 1/2 (One and a half) ball away from the first diamond next to side pocket. If you place the cue ball near the corner and make a shot over that magic spot, it should pass through the other side of the table; just like you see it in the mirror.

What is Distant Point and what will it help for? Just like Magic Spot, Distant Point helps you to keep the angle. If you keep the angle, the cue ball will follow the similar path. For details please review the video of Andy, magic man Segal.

In Figure 1 and figure 2, the cue ball is at different start points. If you send the cue ball through the magic spot, the cue ball will pass on its reflection.

Step-2 Predict Cue Ball Start Position

What if the cue ball is not at the right place we want for the reflection like in Figure 3? The trick is to extend the line back and make a prediction for the start point. And then proceed for its reflection.

Step-3 Adjust Cue Ball Destination Position

What if the cue ball’s reflection (mirror image) falls apart from your desired destination as in Figure 5? The trick is to shift the magic spot with the same distance and keep the angle.

In Figure 5, as the cueball mirror image is not in the desired place.

In Figure 6 we found the desired place and showed it as a phantom ball. And find the reflection of the phantom ball. We targeted the magic spot with the reflection of the phantom ball. So if the ball was at this point we would do the shot through our magic spot.

The last thing to do is doing the shot with the same angle (or to the same distant point) just like in Figure 7… And that’s it.

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to remember and apply
  • does not provide the exact 2nd and 3rd bank points that cue ball touches.
  • does not give a %100 accuracy of the reflection; but very close.

Things to Consider

  • Table dimensions, temperature, moisture, the heat of the table, the speed of the ball, the spin of the ball are important factors that effect this approach. So you should do a few shots before the game,
  • You should also test your end prediction with the angle test approach before your shot. This may help you for fine tunings.

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