12 Ways to AIM WITH A POOL CUE

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It always produces a carom angle 35° from the CB's initial direction, which is fairly accurate for cut angles between 3/4 ball (60°) and 1/4 ball (15°) - maybe most accurate for about a half ball (30°) cut. (Cool version of Dr. Dave's "peace sign" concept, Bob.)

What's a "node" in this context?

pj
chgo
Those could be nodes if the the stick trick was consistent and what Dr. Dave said.
 

chefjeff

Nazis are back.
Silver Member
I hesitate to post this cuz I've gotten crap for it before, but it has helped players before, so here goes...

One way to see the line a ball will go down is to use your cue to make your eyes "see" the cue along the ball's path.

How to do that:

Stare at the cue stick for a period of time (dark cues work, too, but light colored work best) until when you turn your head, the leftover vision is still there in your eyes. Like when you get your photo taken with a flash. You see a ball of darkness in the air for a while from the flash burning into your retina (not a doc, so...). With the dark vision of the cue still in your eyes, look at the line the ball has to go and make the cue line vision match that. Suddenly a shot your couldn't get yourself to see is seen. Actually seen, not just imagined.

I don't use this on every shot, of course, but it can get a player's aim back if it has been lost.


Jeff Livingston
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
I hesitate to post this cuz I've gotten crap for it before, but it has helped players before, so here goes...

One way to see the line a ball will go down is to use your cue to make your eyes "see" the cue along the ball's path.

How to do that:

Stare at the cue stick for a period of time (dark cues work, too, but light colored work best) until when you turn your head, the leftover vision is still there in your eyes. Like when you get your photo taken with a flash. You see a ball of darkness in the air for a while from the flash burning into your retina (not a doc, so...). With the dark vision of the cue still in your eyes, look at the line the ball has to go and make the cue line vision match that. Suddenly a shot your couldn't get yourself to see is seen. Actually seen, not just imagined.

I don't use this on every shot, of course, but it can get a player's aim back if it has been lost.


Jeff Livingston

That sounds interesting, but I honestly don't think it is very practical or effective. I just tried it at my table with both light and dark cues. If I stared for a long time, I would get the effect, but it was lost or it moved when I got into my stance. Also, I didn't like the odd effect it seemed to have on my vision.
 
Last edited:

chefjeff

Nazis are back.
Silver Member
That sounds interesting, but I honestly don't think it is very practical or effective. I just tried it at my table with both light and dark cues. If I stared for a long time, I would get the effect, but it was lost or it moved when I got into my stance. Also, I didn't like the odd effect it seemed to have on my vision.

It's not for everybody, but it has saved me a few times, so some may get an advantage with it. I've used it for about 25 years or so with good results.

The image tends to float around, but still can be made to be the ball's path with just a little practice.


Jeff Livingston
 

chefjeff

Nazis are back.
Silver Member
One more point the I'll stop.

That flash bulb technique works better for those with BAD EYES. For once, we have a way to gain just a bit of an edge...just a bit. Or at least not be at as big of a disadvantage, Any advantage against the young guns is good to me.


Jeff Livingston
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
Thanks. Your adjusted pivot points for more precise carom angles with fractional cuts suggested to me a simplified (but hopefully accurate enough for government work) way to estimate the carom angle using any convenient pivot length:

1. Choose any convenient pivot length to visualize.

2. For 1/2 ball cuts: make the right angle line 2/3 the pivot length (= 34° carom).

3. For 3/4 and 1/4 ball cuts: make the right angle line 1/2 the pivot length (= 27° carom).

This might be a workable quick check for people like me who are pretty good at estimating short distances and too lazy/impatient to use the stick every time. It also suggests a way to eyeball "tweener" carom angles that fall between those fractional cuts.

I imagine this can all get to be pretty accurate if you practice visualizing one favorite pivot length and its 2/3- and 1/2-length right angle lines.

pj
chgo
 
Last edited:

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Here is another way to find the direction of the cue ball off the object ball for a rolling cue ball. That's the sort of shot that you use the peace sign or the 3x angle ideas for. Those methods are restricted to ranges of angles. The following method works for all angles.

In the diagram the 1 ball into the side is set up for about a half-ball example shot. Position 1 of the cue stick is with the stick parallel to the path of the object ball and the tip even with the ghost ball. The rectangle shows those relationships. (Of course if the 1 ball were not going straight across the table, putting the cue stick correctly is much harder.)

CropperCapture[251].jpg


The easy way to get there is to put the cue stick with the tip at the ghost ball along the line of the shot and move it up in parallel. Move it until the bumper, the cue ball and the ghost ball are in a straight line. It is always possible to do this.

If a point on the cue stick 1/4th of the way from the tip is marked (or estimated by halving twice), the line from that point through the ghost ball will give the line of the cue ball off the object ball.

For some shots it easier to use the cue stick in Position 2. In that case it is the 1/4th mark that is lined up with the cue ball and the ghost ball as shown. Now it is the bumper that gives the direction of the cue ball.

This method takes a while to learn. It is always possible to place the cue stick in each of the positions. Note that for each position the tip and butt can only be in one place. The cue stick must be either perpendicular or parallel to the path of the object ball and the tip (or bumper if you turn the cue around) must be even with the ghost ball. The cue stick will rarely be parallel to a cushion -- that's just true in the example shot to make the geometry clearer.

Note that for the Position 2 example, you can use the diamonds because the diamonds run perpendicular to the path of the object ball -- very convenient. Since the cue ball is starting out to 1 diamond from the side pocket, after the collision it is deflected three more diamonds down the table.

It might be easier to use a 1/4th spot on the butt rather than the shaft and a suitable mark may already be on your cue stick.

Also, there is nothing magic about the length of the cue stick for this geometry. You could do the same thing with just the length of the shaft. Or, you could use four hand spans.
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
Thanks. Your adjusted pivot points for more precise carom angles with fractional cuts suggested to me a simplified (but hopefully accurate enough for government work) way to estimate the carom angle using any convenient pivot length:

1. Choose any convenient pivot length to visualize.

2. For 1/2 ball cuts: make the right angle line 2/3 the pivot length (= 34° carom).

3. For 3/4 and 1/4 ball cuts: make the right angle line 1/2 the pivot length (= 27° carom).

This might be a workable quick check for people like me who are pretty good at estimating short distances and too lazy/impatient to use the stick every time. It also suggests a way to eyeball "tweener" carom angles that fall between those fractional cuts.

I imagine this can all get to be pretty accurate if you practice visualizing one favorite pivot length and its 2/3- and 1/2-length right angle lines.

pj
chgo

Sounds good to me.

I still prefer my trusty peace sign. I don't need to mark or pivot anything and I don't need to measure or judge anything. I just put my hand by the OB (or just use an "air peace sign"), and I immediately know fairly accurately where the CB is heading.

Best regards,
Dave
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
Sounds good to me.

I still prefer my trusty peace sign. I don't need to mark or pivot anything and I don't need to measure or judge anything. I just put my hand by the OB (or just use an "air peace sign"), and I immediately know fairly accurately where the CB is heading.

Best regards,
Dave
I like your way too, but I'm too lazy/impatient to measure at the OB (haven't tried the "air peace sign" yet) - I'm wondering if this might be a way to improve my visualization from behind the CB.

pj
chgo
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
Here is another way to find the direction of the cue ball off the object ball for a rolling cue ball. That's the sort of shot that you use the peace sign or the 3x angle ideas for. Those methods are restricted to ranges of angles. The following method works for all angles.

In the diagram the 1 ball into the side is set up for about a half-ball example shot. Position 1 of the cue stick is with the stick parallel to the path of the object ball and the tip even with the ghost ball. The rectangle shows those relationships. (Of course if the 1 ball were not going straight across the table, putting the cue stick correctly is much harder.)

View attachment 583601

The easy way to get there is to put the cue stick with the tip at the ghost ball along the line of the shot and move it up in parallel. Move it until the bumper, the cue ball and the ghost ball are in a straight line. It is always possible to do this.

If a point on the cue stick 1/4th of the way from the tip is marked (or estimated by halving twice), the line from that point through the ghost ball will give the line of the cue ball off the object ball.

For some shots it easier to use the cue stick in Position 2. In that case it is the 1/4th mark that is lined up with the cue ball and the ghost ball as shown. Now it is the bumper that gives the direction of the cue ball.

This method takes a while to learn. It is always possible to place the cue stick in each of the positions. Note that for each position the tip and butt can only be in one place. The cue stick must be either perpendicular or parallel to the path of the object ball and the tip (or bumper if you turn the cue around) must be even with the ghost ball. The cue stick will rarely be parallel to a cushion -- that's just true in the example shot to make the geometry clearer.

Note that for the Position 2 example, you can use the diamonds because the diamonds run perpendicular to the path of the object ball -- very convenient. Since the cue ball is starting out to 1 diamond from the side pocket, after the collision it is deflected three more diamonds down the table.

It might be easier to use a 1/4th spot on the butt rather than the shaft and a suitable mark may already be on your cue stick.

Also, there is nothing magic about the length of the cue stick for this geometry. You could do the same thing with just the length of the shaft. Or, you could use four hand spans.
Bob,

This doesn't seem to jive with the approach diagrammed on page 7 on TP A.4, unless you think 1/4 (.25) is close enough to 2/7 (.29). Or am I missing something?

FYI, for a 1/2-ball hit, the predicted angle difference for 1/4 vs. 2/7 is 3 degrees!

That's no small beans.

Please advise,
Dave
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
I like your way too, but I'm too lazy/impatient to measure at the OB (haven't tried the "air peace sign" yet) - I'm wondering if this might be a way to improve my visualization from behind the CB.

pj
chgo
Here's an example of the "air peace sign," where I position my peace sign in the air along a line between my eyes and the ghost ball, with one finger pointing in the incoming CB direction. I visually project the peace sign to the ghost ball position to easily see the angle the other finger points. It is a fast and easy way to visualize rolling-CB carom direction. There are other examples in that video and in any unedited video showing me running balls. I use it often, and it works. Again, I use a stretched peace sign for a 1/2-ball hit, and a slightly-relaxed peace sign for a 1/4-ball or 3/4-ball hit. If I just want an estimate over a wide range of ball-hit fractions (which is usually good enough), I use my normal "firm, but relaxed" peace sign. FYI, one can use my peace sign angle template to practice and test "peace sign calibration."
 
Last edited:

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Bob,

This doesn't seem to jive with the approach diagrammed on page 7 on TP A.4, unless you think 1/4 (.25) is close enough to 2/7 (.29). Or am I missing something?

FYI, for a 1/2-ball hit, the predicted angle difference for 1/4 vs. 2/7 is 3 degrees!

That's no small beans.

Please advise,
Dave
Yes, it is not the theoretical ratio. It seems to compensate for friction. The user may want to figure out a small adjustment but practice is going to be required in any case. Halving or doubling twice is a fairly easy to get right. "Make the quarter a little bigger to taste."
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
Yes, it is not the theoretical ratio. It seems to compensate for friction. The user may want to figure out a small adjustment but practice is going to be required in any case. Halving or doubling twice is a fairly easy to get right. "Make the quarter a little bigger to taste."
Got it.

Thanks,
Dave
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
Here is another way to find the direction of the cue ball off the object ball for a rolling cue ball. That's the sort of shot that you use the peace sign or the 3x angle ideas for. Those methods are restricted to ranges of angles. The following method works for all angles.

In the diagram the 1 ball into the side is set up for about a half-ball example shot. Position 1 of the cue stick is with the stick parallel to the path of the object ball and the tip even with the ghost ball. The rectangle shows those relationships. (Of course if the 1 ball were not going straight across the table, putting the cue stick correctly is much harder.)

View attachment 583601

The easy way to get there is to put the cue stick with the tip at the ghost ball along the line of the shot and move it up in parallel. Move it until the bumper, the cue ball and the ghost ball are in a straight line. It is always possible to do this.

If a point on the cue stick 1/4th of the way from the tip is marked (or estimated by halving twice), the line from that point through the ghost ball will give the line of the cue ball off the object ball.

For some shots it easier to use the cue stick in Position 2. In that case it is the 1/4th mark that is lined up with the cue ball and the ghost ball as shown. Now it is the bumper that gives the direction of the cue ball.

This method takes a while to learn. It is always possible to place the cue stick in each of the positions. Note that for each position the tip and butt can only be in one place. The cue stick must be either perpendicular or parallel to the path of the object ball and the tip (or bumper if you turn the cue around) must be even with the ghost ball. The cue stick will rarely be parallel to a cushion -- that's just true in the example shot to make the geometry clearer.

Note that for the Position 2 example, you can use the diamonds because the diamonds run perpendicular to the path of the object ball -- very convenient. Since the cue ball is starting out to 1 diamond from the side pocket, after the collision it is deflected three more diamonds down the table.

It might be easier to use a 1/4th spot on the butt rather than the shaft and a suitable mark may already be on your cue stick.

Also, there is nothing magic about the length of the cue stick for this geometry. You could do the same thing with just the length of the shaft. Or, you could use four hand spans.
Bob,

Thanks for posting this. FYI, I've added a quote to the where the Cue Ball Direction for All Types of Shots resource page.

Good work,
Dave
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my heros.
Silver Member
Well the one factor is learning to do anything ell, is like breaking in NEW SHOES. Time, and Walking work best. Practice, Practice, Practice.

Practicing is what people hate a lot, reason few are good at their craft. They learn to love practicing.
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
Or you could visualize a line from the CB itself making a right angle with the tangent line and use 1/4 of that distance.

pj
chgo
I like it. Nice and simple. The advantage of using the cue or the shaft is: You can mark the cue with the ideal point instead of trying to estimate 1/4, which is itself an estimate. FYI, I did an analysis showing the error for the 1/4 (0.25) estimate, and I found the ideal length fraction, taking ball inelasticity and friction into account. Here it is:

TP B.24 - Estimating Rolling CB Carom Angle with 1/4 Cue Point

2/7 (0.286) is very close, but if you want it to be perfect, the ideal length fraction is 0.281. So if you are marking a standard 58" cue, the length is 16.3" (about 2" above the 1/4 point). And if you are marking a standard 29" shaft, the length is 8.2" (about 1" above the 1/4 point). And if you really want to be accurate, you still need to parallel-shift the carom line to account for tangent-line shift due to shot speed. Maybe I'll do a new video demonstrating all of this.

Catch you later,
Dave
 
Last edited:

chefjeff

Nazis are back.
Silver Member
I may have missed it here, but is it legal to mark one's cue with scales to make these techniques easier and more accurate?

I'd like to have a 1/2 ball mark on either side of my joint but figured that was illegal. Anyone know?


Jeff Livingston
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
I may have missed it here, but is it legal to mark one's cue with scales to make these techniques easier and more accurate?

I'd like to have a 1/2 ball mark on either side of my joint but figured that was illegal. Anyone know?


Jeff Livingston
Cues have all sorts of features on them already, and you are allowed to use the cue while aiming shots. I see nothing wrong with adding additional "artistic marks" to the cue.
 

chefjeff

Nazis are back.
Silver Member
Cues have all sorts of features on them already, and you are allowed to use the cue while aiming shots. I see nothing wrong with adding additional "artistic marks" to the cue.

Thanks.

Measuring the gap between a ball and the rail with another ball is illegal. Wouldn't a cue with scales be a violation of the spirit of that rule?

I always wondered why cues never came with scales. I just figured it must be against the rules.


Jeff Livingston
 
Top