: Liz Ford
Indirect Deposit – Banking Part 1
Few things inspire more awe in players, both new and experienced, than a flashy, well-executed bank shot. Difficult as most of these shots are, knowledge, experience and practice can help you add them successfully to your repertoire. Here are some bank basics which can get you pocketing a percentage of your attempts, though real mastery of these complex creatures can take years. It's not enough to know the fundamentals of these shots, you also have to know when to employ 'em and when to avoid 'em – stayed tuned for Banking Part 2 for advice on incorporating responsible banking into your game.
1. Angle in equals angle out.
The basic tenet of banking is that the angle of incidence will equal the angle of reflection, meaning that if a ball hits the rail from the left at a 45 degree angle it will depart to the right at a 45 degree angle. Keep this in mind as an “ideal” starting point before applying the following tricks to futz with the results.
2. Alter the angle out with speed.
A medium stroke will maintain the “ideal” angle, softer will widen the bank and harder will cause a sharper rebound.
3. Alter the angle out with english.
Cueing with outside english will create a wider bank while inside english will create a sharper one.
4. Direct hit vs. cross hit.
Aiming banks has little to do with where the cueball originates from, the important thing is to contact the correct point on the object ball. You might find yourself with a stop shot to pocket a bank or a with a dramatic cut. If the cueball is on the same side of the table as your contact point it's a direct bank, if you have to “cross” the object ball to hit your contact point it's a cross-bank.
5. Avoid the double kiss.
One worrisome aspect of banking is keeping the cueball out of the path of the bank as it comes off the rail. There are ways to manipulate the cueball, using draw or follow, or to change the path of the bank with english or speed to get rid of the double-kiss. As the object ball gets closer to the rail, this task gets more difficult. Learn to recognize those shots where the double-kiss is unavoidable.
6. Half-table banks are generally easier than full-table banks.
Like most shot-making in general, it's easier to execute things at a shorter distance. Aiming a full-table bank is much more difficult because any deviation from perfect execution will be magnified as the object ball travels twice the distance towards the pocket of one moving cross-table.
7. Sharper banks are easier to judge than wider ones.
It's relatively easy to visualize a successful bank if the object ball's route out is only slightly altered from its route in. The wider the bank, the farther away these two paths will be.
8. Be aware of the relative size of the pocket.
Side pockets loom large from the center of the table and shrink to teeny-tiny as you get closer to either end rail. Use this to your advantage by aiming side banks a little wider with a very firm stroke, causing the object ball to hit the rail closer to the center of the table while the added speed compensates by sharpening the rebound.
9. Conditions are a huge factor.
One of the things that makes banks so risky is that the angles, and your ability manipulate them, change from table to table. The liveliness of the rails, the age and type of cloth and even the heat and humidity are all potential unknowns that can turn a winning shot into a near miss.
10. Master the easy banks.
As you practice, you'll see that some banks go in all the time, while some are a 1-in-100 proposition. Your time is better spent turning a 70% shot into a 90% shot than in turning a 2% shot into a 10% shot.