The Two-Way Bank

Sometimes the easiest shot is not your best shot. In the shot shown below, the three ball is a fairly easy (although long) nearly straight-in shot into the corner. But the four ball is back down here on the head rail and the seven and eight prevent you from being able to draw back downtable for position on the four. While there are several options available to you in this situation, including a pure safety, there is a bank option that is worth considering.

If you bank the three cross-corner, you have the angle required to send the cueball to the headrail and back downtable for the four. The secret is speed. You want to hit the shot with just enough speed so that if you make it you get good position and if you miss it the three comes off the second rail to rest in the middle of the head rail. Either way the cueball is well back down towards the foot rail.

This shot only needs to be practiced a few times for you to develop the feel for the right speed. Plus, the bank is not particularly difficult and it can become a fairly high-percentage shot. This is not the only application of this principle. The next time you are faced with a long straight shot that limits your ability to gain position, consider a bank option that leaves you safe if you miss. To win you must have the vision to see the patterns and opportunities that your opponent does not see.