Cut Shots And Aim Trainers In Pool: Everything You Need To Know

Cut Shots And Aim Trainers In Pool: Everything You Need To Know

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A game of pool is quite exciting. However, often you might find yourself in a position where your object balls are either too far from a pocket or deflected from the line of a direct shot from the cue ball to the object ball is completely off. Sometimes, you may find two balls touching each other but you’re not sure which one to strike and sink.

In times like these, when you’re wondering how to aim pool shots which are not only tricky but also require some amount of geometry, you can take a cut shot.

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What are cut shots?

Cut shots are essentially a pool shot that requires a little imaginative visualizing on the part of the player.

This phenomenon should be in the handbook of ‘How to aim pool shots 101.’

Basically, when your cue ball and object ball is off the direct line of sight from any pocket, a cut shot saves your life. This means you aim the cue ball at an angle so that it deflects the object ball into a pocket on an indirect line.True, there is a little geometry involved in the sense that you must visualize the angle of your shot. The angles of cut shots can be acute or obtuse based on the positions of the respective balls. The objective of a cue shot is to hit the object ball at such an angle that it rolls or bounces into the pocket of your choice indirectly through deflection instead of a straight line.

How to take cut shots?

As we have mentioned, cue shots require a little imaginative visualization. In order to make a successful cue shot, i.e., pot the object ball from an indirect angle, you need to visualize the geometry and momentum needed to push the ball in the right direction.

  • Envision the point of shot –
    Imagine a line that the object ball must follow to sink into the pocket. As a beginner, you can take the cue stick and hold it above the ball, connecting it to the pocket but make sure not to touch or move the ball.
  • Check the angle –
    Next, take some time to visualize the angle at which you need to hit the object ball. This is where geometry enters the picture. You need to visualize the accurate angle on which the cue ball, object ball, and pocket are laid out.
  • Imagine a ghost rail behind the ball –
    Sometimes, it is easier to take cut shots when the ball is beside the rail. This way you can imagine the direction of the movement. You can visualize a rail that is not present by simply placing the cue stick beside the ball to determine the required angle.
  • Visualize a ghost ball –
    For back shots, in particular, it helps to have a ball next to your object ball. When the angle of the pocket and object ball is askew, striking the ball next to your object ball will send it on a plummet course to its destination. However, when there is no ball present beside the object ball, you can imagine one. Then all you have to do is visualize hitting the ghost ball through its radial mid-point and it will touch the object ball.
  • The 90-degree rule –
    When the cue ball and object ball are apart, visualize a 90-degree angle in which the object ball faces one of the six pockets. The best part is, even though you cannot move the object ball or cue ball, you can move yourself to face the cue ball at an angle.Determine the torque-speed –
    Cut shots, especially rail shots, are much easier when you can enforce a spin in your cue ball. When you strike the cue ball with considerable force to make it spin, it creates momentum. The torque spin is transferred to the object ball upon contact with the cue ball, thus driving it into the nearest pocket like a spinner.

How many types of cut shots are there in pool?

Essentially there are two types of cut shots namely, back cut and rail cut. However, given the tricky situation in some games, we also consider kick shots and bank shots in this category since the ball is never facing the pocket directly.

  1. Back cut
    These are cut shots where the object ball is looking away from any of the six pockets. You need to aim the cue ball at the center of a ghost ball such that it touches the object ball. This sends your object ball into the pocket from any and all angles as long as you apply the right force and spin whenever required.
  2. Rail cut –
    A rail cut shot is when the object ball is in close proximity to one of the four rails of the table. The cue ball must be spinning and hit the cushion before it touches the object ball. This way, your object ball picks up some of the spin action and twirls into the nearest pocket whereas the cue ball bounces on the rails instead of committing a Scratch.
  3. Kick shot –
    In this type of shot, the cue ball hits the object ball such that the object ball hits the rail at an angle and bounces back. In its bounce course, the object ball eventually makes its way into the intended pocket.
  4. Bank Shot –
    A bank shot is when you aim the cue ball at a rail such that it bounces back and hits the object ball. If the angle, torque, and momentum are correctly synthesized, then the object ball is bound for the intended pocket. These shots are particularly helpful in Straight Pool where the pockets are called beforehand.

What are aim trainers in pool?

Pool aim trainers or billiards aim trainers are a set of objects that are placed on the table to help the player take accurate cut shots. These objects are usually small and oval-shaped with an angle indicator.

The billiard aim trainers are quite helpful to get a player accustomed to imagining ghost balls and angles. You can also use small donut stickers as pool aim trainers to visualize ghost balls, points of contact, and accurate angles.

Billiards aim trainers are particularly helpful for novice pool players. They can practice with these neat little devices till they can start picturing the ghost balls without any aid.

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