View Full Version : How do you practice banks?

03-22-2003, 12:28 PM
I always practiced banks by setting a shot up, trying (and missing) it, adjusting my aim until I had it right, and then trying to make 5 or 10 in a row. Then move the CB and start over.

Unfortunately this becomes quite tedious after about 15 min. and besides that,in a game situation you don't have the option of a do-over /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif.

Each day for the last week I've been playing at least one rack of 9-ball banks. I think this is a good complement to the aforementioned set-up shots because it more closely approximates real world play.

The first day I probably needed (don't laugh)50 or 60 shots to sink all 9 (without cheating). Yesterday I did it in about 35 or 40. The good thing is after shooting the difficult banks, the "easy" cross-corner or cross-side banks seem less intimidating than before.

How do you practice banks?

Do you practice banks?

Any thoughts?

03-22-2003, 12:47 PM

I open a full rack, take BIH, and with the first five balls I set up 'right on banks' and hit them. One the second five balls I set up on banks that are long and shorten them with speed. One the last five balls I set up on short banks and lengthen them with english...hey, you asked.......LOL LOL

03-22-2003, 12:48 PM
I've had this discussion with a few friends of mine and it came down to that there are two type of people when it comes down to banking: One that plays by Science, the other plays by feel. I bank pretty good and I mainly go by feel. There is so much to take in consideration by a bank, table, rails, cloth, speed of the cue traveling, and English have major effects of a bank. I, myself, practice banks as a warm up to the table. First, I throw all 15 balls out and just run them out w/o a miss. After accomplishing that, then I throw them all out and bank everyone of the them. This does take time, but after you do this every time, you start to notice different banks at times when you don't see a shot at all. I have even used banks to get better position on my next shot, due to that I may not feel comfortable using the rails to be back for a shot.

All I can say is keep practicing and keep your eyes and mind open for everything.

03-22-2003, 12:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cheesemouse:</font><hr> Wally,

I open a full rack, take BIH, and with the first five balls I set up 'right on banks' and hit them. One the second five balls I set up on banks that are long and shorten them with speed. One the last five balls I set up on short banks and lengthen them with english...hey, you asked.......LOL LOL <hr /></blockquote>

That sounds like a good method. Somwhat structured yet enough variation to be challenging. Thanks.

03-22-2003, 02:35 PM
Greetings ol' bud. Here's my 2 cents. Everyone has covered all the common methods. So here's one not so common. Go to the real awkward parts of the table, like down by the end rail and go for the cross corners and cross sides. First use just one ball to bank in. When you've found "the spot" do it the conventional way (saves time). Banking from the middle of the short rail whether in the side or in the corner you will have a fixed spot where it goes most of the time, this is your baseline shot. Now any shots that come up in that area can be made by useing this baseline, or reference shot by just doing a quick parrallell shift to sight it in. Work up a number of these Reference shots from different locations so you'll always have a guide for those "funny angles" when they come up. St

03-22-2003, 04:21 PM
I practice those short end rail shots to the side. They do come in handy. Course you miss more than you make but it's good to have in the bag. Another is the short long rail bank to the opposite corner, like this START(
%Al3C8%BL7P8%CJ5O4%DL7N1%EM7P1%FK6P1%GK6N8%HM7N8%I L7O4%Pp8E1

I love this shot or any reverse banks along that rail or opposite rail.


mark wilson
03-22-2003, 05:24 PM
Wally, Rapid progress can be made by scattering out the balls and using ball in hand on every shot, try to set up a perfect firm speed angle. This type of systematic approach will heighten your judgement on ideal angles, which is not usually the way it comes up for you in a game but this practice exercise provides a solid foundation for future estimations. This might appear to be a remedial exercise but will prove to be invaluable in increasing your production within two weeks time. Let me know about your results. Sincerely M.W.

03-22-2003, 07:14 PM
Wally, a couple days ago I received my copy of Bert Kinester's Volume #16 on banking and without a doubt he has come up with a real secret to know how to bank. He shows you how to aim to make the bank and it sure has helped me. I highly recommend it.

03-23-2003, 08:16 AM
I probabally have a minority point of view on this topic; however, I believe the ability to pocket banks is an area of the game that must become instinctive, a feel and do endeavor if you will.

While I believe I am a favorite to make any bank I attempt the only bank shots that I practice are natural or dead banks. That is those banks that can be hit center ball or just below center with little or no cue ball movement after contact. The only variable I want in my practice session is speed.

An exception might be if I miss a bank in a game because I shot it the wrong way. In those instances I will make a note of the shot, set it up several times and pocket it the correct way and then move on.

My belief is that by ingraining the natural dead cross side, cross corner banks into memory, one's instincts and feel for banks improves and you learn to develop a feel for the bank shots that might come up in a game.

I liked several of the other posts to this thread and believe they have merit.

Myself, I have just had better results by focusing my practice efforts as described above.

03-23-2003, 09:05 AM
In my most basic drill, I set up a line of 4-5 balls along one end of the table around the center line or on a line 3/4 way across. To start, I adjust the object and cue balls using the diamonds so that when I hit the OB straight on (without any cut) it will go into the pocket off the bank. The OB ball comes off the rail at the same angle it goes into the rail with a medium-soft hit.


START(%Ak5K0%Bg3K3%Cc3K2%DL7N1%EM7P1%FK6P1%GK6N8%H M7N8%IL7O4%JK6M5%KJ5P7%LJ5N2%MK6Q4%NJ5R0%OJ5M0%Pi0 V6%Ug1B5%V[2]7%Wm6B9%Xg6\7%Yr8[1%Zn0A7%[j1B5%\a7]1%]s1Z6%^j8A4)END

I make the shots where the OB hits the diamonds and the halfway point between the diamonds.

In my next level drill, I don't worry about lining up the OB so it is exactly on an even or 1/2 diamond line. Wherever the OB is, I find the line between the diamonds where the diamond distance is twice as long on the rail I'm shooting from to the rail I'm shooting to. I put the CB on that line and knock 'em in. Once again I am hitting the OB straight on without any cut.

START(%Ag5O2%BL7P8%CJ5O4%DL7N1%EM7P1%FK6P1%GK6N8%H M7N8%IL7O4%JK6M5%KJ5P7%LJ5N2%MK6Q4%NJ5R0%OJ5M0%Pd8 X2%Wk5B5%Xc2]4%Ys1[1%Zk9B0)END

In this example, the line is from 2 2/3 diamonds going through 1 1/3 diamonds. I find the line by eye for any position of the OB. I hold my cue stick along the line to help me find the line if I need to.

The next step is to control the way the object ball banks using the speed of the hit. I use the principal that hitting faster makes the ball come in short, hitting softer makes the OB go a little long. In this excercise I am not so precise about the placement of the CB. I place it close, but not precisely on the equal in- equal out angle line. I then find the line the CB and OB are on and find where it will hit with a medium soft hit. If it will go long, I hit it harder to pot it. If it will come up short, I hit it soft to make it go longer. You can make it come quite a bit shorter by hitting it real hard. You can only make it go a little bit longer, as there is only so soft you can hit it. You have to hit it at least hard enough to reach the pocket. Once again I hit the OB straight on without any cut.

START(%Ag8O5%BL7P8%CJ5O4%DL7N1%EM7P1%FK6P1%GK6N8%H M7N8%IL7O4%JK6M5%KJ5P7%LJ5N2%MK6Q4%NJ5R0%OJ5M0%Pd1 W9%Qu2R7%Rr4[1%Wm2B4%Xa8]1%Yu9S0%Zn0A3%[r8Z0%\m6B1)END

In this example, with a medium-soft hit, the OB would go along the green line. By hitting it hard, I pot it along the blue line.

This are pretty basic drills, but it's what I do. Sometimes I shoot them into the corner, sometimes I knock them into the side. The principles work exactly the same both ways. Other times during general knocking-balls-in practice, I shoot at banks from where ever the balls lay using the required cut angle and speed. I still locate where on the rail the OB needs to hit using the angle in = angle out method.

Here is a bonus shot for those that don't know it. The OB is frozen to the rail one diamond away from the pocket and the CB is about 6" off the rail directly oppisite from the OB.

START(%AN7O5%BL7P8%CJ5O4%DL7N1%EM7P1%FK6P1%GK6N8%H M7N8%Im9C9%JK6M5%KJ5P7%LJ5N2%MK6Q4%NJ5R0%OJ5M0%Pm9 X6%Wr9Z5%Xm6A8)END

To make the OB, hit it 3/16" fuller than a half ball hit with firm speed.

Can you make this bank? The balls are frozen together and to the rail.

START(%AN7O5%BL7P8%CJ5O4%DL7N1%EM7P1%FK6P1%GK6N8%H M7N8%Ip7[0%JK6M5%KJ5P7%LJ5N2%MK6Q4%NJ5R0%OJ5M0%Pp7Y6%[r7D7%\p4[2)END

How about this way?

START(%AN7O5%BL7P8%CJ5O4%DL7N1%EM7P1%FK6P1%GK6N8%H M7N8%Ip4Y8%JK6M5%KJ5P7%LJ5N2%MK6Q4%NJ5R0%OJ5M0%Pp4[0%[r7D7%\p4[2)END

Both these shots are makable. I use them for propositions and the occassional impromptu exhibition.

03-23-2003, 10:22 AM
You really have to play a lot of banks to get good at it. Players will say they have systems and so on, but for the most part banks are all feel. One amazing thing is how good you can get at banks by playing it. After a while you are making banks with such consistency you can't believe it yourself. One winter in Florida I was playing banks with a Gypsy, we would play ever night. I was by no means a bank player, but after 4 or 5 weeks of playing it, I could not believe my game. You don't even aim, you just develop some sort of sense that allows you to make them. Playing bank pool you use different speed then you would use making a bank in say 9-ball or one pocket. It is a whole different kind of banking.

03-23-2003, 12:59 PM
Although I am sure that the 'standard' practice shot is center-ball hit, it's also a good idea to vary speed and spin, to observe the effect on the object ball.

It might be best to save the experimentation for the end-phase of a practice session though, so that 'regular' banks become more ingrained--that is, seeing common angles and aimpoints become like a base-line. Then, using different speeds and spin can be practiced, to hit abnormal shots. . .these would be considered low percentage shots, but sometimes you have to hit them out of a safety, or when you shank your positioning.

Here's an example: START(%Af1D5%BL7P8%CJ5O4%DL7N1%EM7P1%FK6P1%GK6N8%H M7N8%IL7O4%JK6M5%KJ5P7%LJ5N2%MK6Q4%NJ5R0%OJ5M0%Pi7 Z1%Uf7C8%Vf3D1%We7F2%Xi2X9%Yr5Z1%Zg8C8%eA3a4)END

It also helps to learn how to miss a double-kiss, on certain cross-corner bankshots:

START(%Al5E3%BL7P8%CJ5O4%DL7N1%EM7P1%FK6P1%GK6N8%H M7N8%IL7O4%JK6M5%KJ5P7%LJ5N2%MK6Q4%NJ5R0%OJ5M0%P]1T3%Ur9Z2%Vm9C9%Wk7G0%X]8S5%Yl9D1%Zl4D6%eC1b2)END

(Note: I diagrammed this with bottom-right spin, but sometimes top-right works well--speed will still need to be experimented with.)


03-23-2003, 09:09 PM
be able to set the shot up with "natural" angle and make it.
with this knowledge you will know where the ball will go and can adjust to move it to to pocket.
there is no real need to shoot exptremely tough angles or cuts until you know where you need to hit it at. this is the base for all shots
ball in hand where ever you feel the shot lays shoot it and stop the q ball there. the q ball must stop in place for the "natural" angle to be there.
know what that is there is no escaping that must be known.

03-24-2003, 07:08 AM
Good point with BIH type of practice: the main point is that you see them. Practice is there to make life simple, and makes something new stick in your unconcious memory.

A nice bank link:
http://www.barenada.com/poolmovies.shtml Nice short avi's of banks