crucial bank shots

A few years ago I attended my first ever Bank Pool tournament at, oddly enough, The Bank Shot and got the opportunity to watch some of the best bankers in Louisville play. At first my sweating opportunities looked to be limited by my having to play some matches myself. I quickly rectified that situation and grabbed myself a chair.

While I certainly saw some great banks, what really struck me was the incredible consistency that these players showed on certain shots. I saw these shots come up game after game, and the best players shot them like they were hangers. I didn't see a miss on any of these shots all night.

crucial bank shot one The natural cross-corner. These shots are hit pretty firmly and pretty much dead-on. Most people who are decent bankers would consider this a pretty easy shot, but I doubt that many can make it with the consistency that I witnessed.

crucial bank shot two I call this one the one-pocket crossover bank because it's a very common shot in the game of one-pocket. The cueball crosses in front of the object ball, banking it off the long rail and into the far corner pocket.

crucial bank shot three The short straight-back. Usually shot softly with a little outside english, banking the object ball back towards the shooter. This shot is embarrassing to miss.

crucial bank shot four The back-cut cross-corner bank. This is a little hard to describe. It's similar to the one-pocket crossover bank above but the object ball is so close to the end rail that the shot doesn't look possible. In the above diagram, you cut the object ball to the right. It picks up some spin from the collision and banks off the long rail into the lower left corner. Most people hit this shot with low outside english though I don't know why.

crucial bank shot five The ball-in-hand shot. Put the cueball on the headstring, call the object ball straight back into the right-hand corner (in this diagram), and fire away. I'm astounded by both the speed and consistency with which the good bankers make this shot. I'm guessing Tiger Nall from Louisville hasn't missed this shot since 1968 or so.

crucial bank shot six The long straight-back. Into the lower right corner in this case. Don't use follow or you may hug the end rail and scratch in that corner. Another potential problem, which I am the king of, is having the cueball hit two rails then scratch in the side.

crucial bank shot seven Your basic cross-side. Probably the most common bank shot there is. The trick is to be able to make it every time at the risk of selling out. There are a variety of ways to play position with this bank as well, and that can cause a lot of misses when you try to do too much with the cueball.