Description of Header Image

Pool is a game that involves adjusting to numerous variables in order to execute any given shot. With so much to account for, it is extremely helpful to identify situations where we know what the results will be. Using those “laws” or “systems” as a base line and adjusting to the shot in front of us will greatly increase our chances of success.

Mikey Verkruyse explains a two rail system that will help you figure out how and where to hit the cue ball on these difficult shots. Understanding the law of parallels and mastering this system will give you a new tool that you can use to improve your game. Enjoy!

Using the Law of Parallels for Two Rail Kicking

Hello everyone, I thought we would discuss my favorite two rail kicking system today. We often times get in a situation where we cannot hit our next object ball. Here is a great system that will help you figure out how to not only make contact, but also increase your chances of making the ball.

Before we get started with anything, we need to know how to make a parallel shift. Let’s break this down. Parallel simply means two lines extending in the same direction, equidistant at all points. Shift of course means to transfer from one place or position to another.

This system requires us to find what I call the “base line.” This base line is the starting point for every shot in this system. If you look at figure one, you will see that a line is drawn from the center of the side pocket, and extends through the first diamond left of the corner pocket. This is the “base line” and will always take you to the corner pocket two cushions.

Diagram with base line for two rail kick billiard shot

Practice this initial shot to get a feel for the “base line” speed and amount of running English required to make the shot.

Adjusting to Cue Ball Location

But Mikey, my opponent did not leave the cue ball in the “base line,” now what? No problem here, this is where we make our parallel shift. If you look at figure two, we go to the base line, and then make a line from the cue ball that runs parallel to the base line. I find holding my cue out over the base line is a good way to visualize this.

Two rail kick shot diagram with parallel line

Use your cue to line up the base line first. From there, shift your cue over the cue ball parallel to the base line to find your aim point.

Adjusting to Object Ball Location

What if the ball I’m trying to hit is not hanging in the pocket? What if it is on the rail? If you look at figures three and four, you can see that the object ball is sitting approximately 1 diamond segment from the pocket. This is a simple equation.

For every diamond segment the object ball moves up the long rail, you adjust the base line half a diamond segment toward the pocket. Then make your parallel shift.

Two rail kick adjustment line

Adjust the angle of your “base line” by half a diamond for every diamond that the object ball is outside the pocket. Now line up the cue ball parallel to the new adjustment line in order to properly hit the ball off the two rails.
Two rail kick shot adjustment line for object ball

In this example, the object ball is two diamonds up the rail. Therefore, you must move the adjustment line from the base line a full diamond over in order for the ball to hit off the rails at the correct angle.

Effects of Spin and Speed on Banking

Spin and speed are always contributing factors when we are talking about kick shots. This system best works with a medium firm speed (you can adjust this depending on the table conditions) and a very small, but much needed, amount of spin. Generally, we always need one tip above center and one tip of running spin. If the ball is naturally going left, putting left spin on the ball would be considered running spin.

PoolDawg Frank Frank Says:  "This two rail system can help you bank shots that are hard to get around. For more ways to bank difficult shots, take a look at Banking with the Beard by Freddy Bentivegna, with over 200 pages of diagrams and drills!"

So the next time you are in a trap, don’t forget the two rail system. Find the base line, make any adjustments if the object ball is not in the pocket, and make your parallel shift to the cue ball. Hit the ball with one tip above center with a small amount of running spin and stroke the shot with a medium-firm speed.

Remeber, you can do it!

Mikey V.