PDA

View Full Version : What makes pockets tight? What makes them spit balls out?


CreeDo
05-02-2009, 08:27 PM
Seems kinda dumb to ask this but I recently went to another pool hall where the pockets were full sized, but somehow tighter.

Usually my first guess is that if they cut the jaws of the pocket differently then the pocket is tighter. But that also makes the opening smaller. These openings fit two balls with room to spare, like my local pool hall. But balls rattled out that I know for sure would go at the other place.

So is there something else besides the cut of the jaws that makes a pocket tight?

Also, we have one specific pocket in my local pool hall that always rejects rail cuts hit with speed. They don't rattle out. They actually hit the back of the pocket, hop upward for a second, go down into the pocket, then spit right back up and hang there. It sounds impossible and looks goofy but it happens all the time. There's a youtube video that shows what I mean (happening on a TV table at the us open I think). I know it's a fairly common occurence but I haven't heard of a specific pocket always acting that way. I'm not talking an excessive amount of force either. The rest of the table's pockets play fine.

So what is that?

JoseV
05-02-2009, 08:33 PM
I know some places " Shim" the pockets to make them smaller. I wonder if the rails are not properly alined on the table your talking about that would be my guess.

Cuebuddy
05-02-2009, 08:46 PM
Soft pocket facings can cause balls to rattle and come back out. That is probably the main reason I divorced my Olhausen that I had for 14 years.


I also have been told that just raising the bet will tighten pockets up.

DogsPlayingPool
05-02-2009, 08:55 PM
Yes, mainly the angle and softness of the facings. And Olhausens are famous for both of these.

Cameron Smith
05-02-2009, 09:27 PM
The shelf (how far the slate extends pass the pocket opening) is huge reason for pockets playing smaller than they look.

Lea A
05-02-2009, 09:56 PM
The shelf (how far the slate extends pass the pocket opening) is huge reason for pockets playing smaller than they look.

That's what I was going to say...pretty sure that's the difference between a pro-cut Diamond and a regular Diamond...

Alabanger
05-02-2009, 10:15 PM
Good discussion of pocket difficulty here:

http://www.azbilliards.com/rogerlong/roger2.php

CreeDo
05-03-2009, 08:55 AM
Rep for you banger, that's exactly what I needed. And thanks to the others that chimed in. I had no idea shelf was so important.

Here's a mind blower that I got from that article... the wider you make the pocket opening (i.e. the longer the distance between the nipples)... the tougher the pocket plays, in a way. Because that wider angle tends to rebound the ball away from the throat of the pocket. So having a wide opening is not always a good thing. That's probably part of what I was experiencing.

The dude even has a little formula for calculating a pocket's toughness. That's neat. If I were to calculate it at my local pool hall it'd probably come up 20-25 or something. They play really easy.

edit: lol it's kind of funny to see how easily rep is tweaked. Before my rep banger had like 2 squares and now he's maxed out. Awesome!

cardiac kid
05-03-2009, 09:31 AM
That's what I was going to say...pretty sure that's the difference between a pro-cut Diamond and a regular Diamond...

Lea,

Diamond Pro tables, at least the 4.5 x 9 variety, are different from the Smart tables in they have a three piece slate system as well as the deep pocket shelves. The Pro / Am and all Smart tables are one piece slates.

Other reasons balls spit out of poorly shaped pockets. Look closely at a pocket that keeps spitting them out and you may notice; the pocket is not symetrical, one face (or both) is vertical or the pocket is out of angular spec. Just shimming the pocket to death does not create a tight pocket. Shims change the interior pocket angles. The twelve GC III's at the cue Club are well under 4 1/2" yet, for the most part, they play correctly. If you hit the rail before the pocket, the ball generally does not go in. "Pocket speed" may change that but "bangers" suffer. Look at any table Ernesto Dominguez has engineered and you'll see the difference. Just my .02.

Lyn

tjlmbklr
05-03-2009, 10:31 AM
Soft pocket facings can cause balls to rattle and come back out. That is probably the main reason I divorced my Olhausen that I had for 14 years.


I also have been told that just raising the bet will tighten pockets up.

LOL, I am ready to serve my with papers myself! :thumbup:

tjlmbklr
05-03-2009, 10:34 AM
Good discussion of pocket difficulty here:

http://www.azbilliards.com/rogerlong/roger2.php

Nice article, Thanks!

td873
05-03-2009, 11:29 AM
Seems kinda dumb to ask this but I recently went to another pool hall where the pockets were full sized, but somehow tighter.

Usually my first guess is that if they cut the jaws of the pocket differently then the pocket is tighter. But that also makes the opening smaller. These openings fit two balls with room to spare, like my local pool hall. But balls rattled out that I know for sure would go at the other place.

So is there something else besides the cut of the jaws that makes a pocket tight?

Also, we have one specific pocket in my local pool hall that always rejects rail cuts hit with speed. They don't rattle out. They actually hit the back of the pocket, hop upward for a second, go down into the pocket, then spit right back up and hang there. It sounds impossible and looks goofy but it happens all the time. There's a youtube video that shows what I mean (happening on a TV table at the us open I think). I know it's a fairly common occurence but I haven't heard of a specific pocket always acting that way. I'm not talking an excessive amount of force either. The rest of the table's pockets play fine.

So what is that?
I haven't read the other responses, so if this is duplicate info, doh!

Pockets have 3 relevant dimensions: opening, angle and shelf. In simple terms:
Opening = how wide it is
Angle = how it narrows as it gets closer to the point the ball drops (where the slate ends)
Shelf = how deep the pocket is from opening to the point where the ball drops.

Wider = easier.
Short shelf = easier.
Angle is also critical, since poor or improper angles can cause balls to eject rather than push the balls into the pocket.

Lastly, shim material (wood vs plastic) can cause pockets to play more difficult. IIRC, Diamond tables can be set to narror pocket opening without needing shims.

-td

Tennesseejoe
05-04-2009, 12:15 AM
This is a great discusions however there is another consideration. At this point I am refering to corner pockets only.

When shooting a ball down the rail if it touches the rail before going in the pocket it can be deflected greately by the rail liveliness. Some rails are super fast and deflect a ball more thereby the object ball is not hitting the pocket opening correctly.

Da Bank
05-04-2009, 02:40 AM
the answer to this question... like all of life's questions... is:

http://liebchen11.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/jack_daniels.jpg

dave sutton
05-04-2009, 02:51 AM
When shooting a ball down the rail if it touches the rail before going in the pocket it can be deflected greately by the rail liveliness. Some rails are super fast and deflect a ball more thereby the object ball is not hitting the pocket opening correctly.

speed and english would have a great deal to do with this....

the harder you hit the pocket the less chance is has to turn over and fall in.

the slow the less accurate you can be.

also draw makes the pocket spit out the ball out.

this is about my only problem with the diamond pro. there are certin shots that almost can not be made. like drawing hard when the ball is on the rail. i see pros and amatuers miss this shot consistantly

otherwise i love em:thumbup:

spoons
05-04-2009, 10:09 AM
This is a great discusions however there is another consideration. At this point I am refering to corner pockets only.

When shooting a ball down the rail if it touches the rail before going in the pocket it can be deflected greately by the rail liveliness. Some rails are super fast and deflect a ball more thereby the object ball is not hitting the pocket opening correctly.

This is a good point. Also, don't overlook humidity and dirtiness of the equipment. If the ball touches the rail on the way in, it will also tend to pick up some sidespin (essentially running english). When the ball hits the opposing pocket face, that sidespin will tend to throw the ball out of the pocket instead of in. The more humid the environment is and the dirtier the equipment, the larger that effect will be.

CreeDo... Next time you play on a Valley Barbox, check out the corner pockets. It's no secret that most barbox corner pockets play like buckets, but very often the opening of the pockets is smaller than 2 ball widths. The pocket facings actually angle in, though, which as Roger's article points out, makes them play easier. Couple that with short shelves and what Tennesseejoe said about rail resiliency, and you've got a recipe for runouts!!

DogsPlayingPool
05-04-2009, 10:49 AM
this is about my only problem with the diamond pro. there are certin shots that almost can not be made. like drawing hard when the ball is on the rail. i see pros and amatuers miss this shot consistantly

otherwise i love em:thumbup:

See, this is a problem to me. I haven't yet played on a Diamond but hear nothing but great things about them around here. According to a lot of people they are THE best table bar none. But this thing about the deep shelf pro-cut pockets is troublesome to me. If, as you say, certain shots such as the ones you describe almost cannot be made (i.e. speed shots down a rail), I just think this is wrong. I have no problem with needing to be more accurate when hitting these shots as opposed to a shot hit from the center of the table, but still a well aimed and struck shot should be accepted. This alone confuses me as to why so many people think they are the nuts. It's as though they love this about a Diamond, but this is the exact same thing people dislike about Olhausens. The only difference is that they rattle those shots for different reasons (Diamonds because of the deep shelf and O's because of the facing angle).

I'm not slamming Diamonds because, as I said, I've not played on one. Perhaps everything else about them is perfect, but this seems like it should be a huge issue. It certainly is with the Olhausens.

Da Bank
05-04-2009, 03:48 PM
any shot can be made when hit properly... tight diamonds just separate the great from the good.

It's all about your perspective and your level of play. A B player that hits a full stroke and is able to draw the ball all the way back from the other side of a 9 foot table may be very happy with his shot, whereas a road player will be disappointed if that draw is not coming back on the exact line he wants.

When I did the clinic with SVB, he swore by the fact that he would setup a diagonal straight in draw shot and have the goal of stopping the cue ball at different spots along that line. He claims he does this for hours a day. This is a very difficult thing to do consistently, and when you can do it consistently that is when you know you have a very precise stroke. I'm not there yet, but that is the shot I practice most and I'm getting better.

cardiac kid
05-04-2009, 04:21 PM
any shot can be made when hit properly... tight diamonds just separate the great from the good.

Da Bank,

So true, so true!!!

We have a couple of tables here with mis-shaped pockets and dead rail rubbers. I try not to worry about playing balls into those pockets:shocked2:. The same goes for a bank off the dead rail. If you hit the shot into the center or the pocket, it will go regardless;). Same with the Diamond Pro's.

Lyn

TheBook
05-05-2009, 05:36 AM
Nice article. Many players are surprised that the Brunswick that I have isn't as easy as it looks with the big "buckets" for pockets. I have always said that the angle of the lead in is responsible. Didn't realize that the shelf also played into it as much as it does.

My 9 ft Brunswick Heritage table with the big buckets rates at 10.66. The openings are 5, with 4 at the back and a 1 7/8 ledge. Not bad for a table built in 1974.

Always thought about shimming the pockets whenever I get the table redone. I think I will leave it as is.