Banks can be fickle. Some people love them, and others not so much.
I had a friend once that insisted that you should ALWAYS cut unless you absolutely have no choice….
These shots are for him.
I contend that banks are an absolute necessary skill and not all BanksR4StupidPeople.
There are options. Depending on how comfortable you are with banking, it’s often a preferable shot if you can hit the ball in the face or get better shape or…your opponent has left you few options with their stellar safety. If you never practice them, how will you get comfortable taking them when you need to in a big game?
I find it’s more fun to practice bank shots than cut shots, and no, it’s not always the “right” shot, but when they work – and the more you practice the more often they will – they are just so much more dazzling. It’s the difference between winning and a KO. I love them and the more English and rails the better! The most I’ve seen so far is 6 rails – and it was set up, not in a game….but man, it was a pretty shot and impressed even the haters that really do believe BanksR4StupidPeople.
Banking is an art, and finding the right combination of English, Angle and Speed can be challenging, but there are folks out there that have dedicated a significant amount of time in getting it just right. There are systems out there – the diamond system is probably the most common. There are certain banks I use the intersection of the ball back to the pocket I’m shooting from (not where I’m shooting to) and it seems to work pretty well. There is also the Ghost Table system, and some poolhalls have their tables set up so it is almost perfect to use the table next to you to aim at the ghost table.
Truthfully, I didn’t learn banking through a system. There’s a certain feel to them once you start practicing and you can start to see the angles and how the English will affect the shots. I started understanding the banking systems better after I was pretty good at hitting them center ball. Faster speeds will cut down on the variations of a specific table, as the harder you hit them the less the english will take and the more the angles dominate the shot – be careful, hard banks usually play a little shallower than they will at slower speeds. Slower speeds will allow the english to have more effect and make the angles open up more. There are dozens of rules and variations of banks. It takes some complex calculations to get them right…and when they go, the crowds all know that banks are definitely not for stupid people!