# Aiming very close cuts

#### Oikawa

##### Active member
How do you aim very close cut shots? Do you have some different method for them, or visualize and execute them just like any shot?

Image of the types of shot I'm talking about:

They are a big weakness of mine, so I'm looking for inspiration of some system, method or trick for them. I aim 95%+ of all shots by feel, but these are so annoying I wouldn't mind a system/method/trick if it works better than pure instincts.

What I've been doing this far is just aligning myself while standing to wherever the pot looks right, and then picking a "spot on the wall", extending the pot line as far as I can, and then aim for that spot. It works alright, but the instinctual part of "looking right" is much more inconsistent, compared to when the cut isn't so close.

Another style I rarely use in a clutch if the pot is very important, I'm not feeling confident and I'm not under a shot clock, is to calculate the (almost) exact potting angle (ignoring for throw), by using the table geometry an angle measurement tool.

If anyone is curious, the way I do that is by calculating the OB-pocket angle relative to the CB-approximated ghost ball center angle. This gives me a value between 0 and 8 (0-90 degrees), which I then convert to a fractional aiming point by using a memorized list of sin function values and interpolating between them (0->0, 1->2, 2->3.8, 3->5.6, 4->7, 5->8.4, 6->9.2, 7->9.8, 8->10), and do my best to aim towards that fractional point (0 = full, 5 = half ball hit, 10 = 90 degree cut), accounting/adjusting for throw if needed.

That "system" (not sure what to call it, came up with it myself although I'm sure many people have come up with similar ones) can fail if your initial guess of ghost ball center is off by too much, but the system has a nice self-correcting property to be even more accurate if you iterate it two (or more) times in a specific way (the value you get out of it reveals if the original guess was off, and the direction it was off by). I can explain more if someone is curious about this.

But anyway, it works "good", and can be used for any shot, it's just painfully slow, so I don't bother except in very rare circumstances where it's worth it, which usualle are very close cuts.

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#### Bob Jewett

##### AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
There is a system for aiming shots like the 1 ball. See one of my articles here:

I think Dr. Dave also covers that case on his website.

For the other two, you have to pay attention to the amount of thin overlap of the two balls (1/16th 1/32nd, etc.) and develop a feel for the cut angle that will result for each amount of overlap. There is also the "lens overlap" system for those.

#### evergruven

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
not an instructor
I can say getting up and really looking at the pocketing angle has helped me with a lot of shots
it never seems to hurt, anyway..give your brain that info. and let it rock

#### Patrick Johnson

##### Fish of the Day
Silver Member
There is also the "lens overlap" system for those.
A cousin of the "double the distance" method - instead of aiming CB center at double the distance from OB center to contact point, you aim the CB's inside edge at double the distance from the OB's outside edge to the contact point.

pj
chgo

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#### Oikawa

##### Active member
I have tried (hundreds of shots) both double the distance and the aforementioned edge connecting method, but they are less reliable for me for tougher shots, than the two methods I mentioned in the OP (pure feel, and angle calculation). Might be poor 3D visualization skills or just a lack of practice using them, but at least it feels like they aren't for me.

bbb

#### bbb

##### AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
There is a system for aiming shots like the 1 ball. See one of my articles here:
View them?

I think Dr. Dave also covers that case on his website.

For the other two, you have to pay attention to the amount of thin overlap of the two balls (1/16th 1/32nd, etc.) and develop a feel for the cut angle that will result for each amount of overlap. There is also the "lens overlap" system for those.
bob
i like your system i need to try it on the table

#### bbb

##### AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
A cousin of the "double the distance" method - instead of aiming CB center at double the distance from OB center to contact point, you aim the CB's inside edge at double the distance from the OB's outside edge to the contact point.

pj
chgo

View attachment 728828
thats another one i need to try out

#### bbb

##### AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
@Oikawa
this may or not help but i will do my best to explain how i do it now
i visualize the contact point on the object ball
and visualize the contact point on the front of the cue ball
i stand higher up than usual
and try to connect those 2 points with a puposeful slight overcut

#### garczar

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Go shoot a s%^tload of them. you'll figure it out. bottom line is you have to cut them more than you think.

#### boogieman

##### It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
How do you aim very close cut shots? Do you have some different method for them, or visualize and execute them just like any shot?

Image of the types of shot I'm talking about:

View attachment 728817

They are a big weakness of mine, so I'm looking for inspiration of some system, method or trick for them. I aim 95%+ of all shots by feel, but these are so annoying I wouldn't mind a system/method/trick if it works better than pure instincts.

What I've been doing this far is just aligning myself while standing to wherever the pot looks right, and then picking a "spot on the wall", extending the pot line as far as I can, and then aim for that spot. It works alright, but the instinctual part of "looking right" is much more inconsistent, compared to when the cut isn't so close.

Another style I rarely use in a clutch if the pot is very important, I'm not feeling confident and I'm not under a shot clock, is to calculate the (almost) exact potting angle (ignoring for throw), by using the table geometry an angle measurement tool.

If anyone is curious, the way I do that is by calculating the OB-pocket angle relative to the CB-approximated ghost ball center angle. This gives me a value between 0 and 8 (0-90 degrees), which I then convert to a fractional aiming point by using a memorized list of sin function values and interpolating between them (0->0, 1->2, 2->3.8, 3->5.6, 4->7, 5->8.4, 6->9.2, 7->9.8, 8->10), and do my best to aim towards that fractional point (0 = full, 5 = half ball hit, 10 = 90 degree cut), accounting/adjusting for throw if needed.

That "system" (not sure what to call it, came up with it myself although I'm sure many people have come up with similar ones) can fail if your initial guess of ghost ball center is off by too much, but the system has a nice self-correcting property to be even more accurate if you iterate it two (or more) times in a specific way (the value you get out of it reveals if the original guess was off, and the direction it was off by). I can explain more if someone is curious about this.

But anyway, it works "good", and can be used for any shot, it's just painfully slow, so I don't bother except in very rare circumstances where it's worth it, which usualle are very close cuts.
Keep the target (not just pocket, but exact spot you want the ob) in your visual memory and peripheral vision. Shoot the ball without ever really looking at the overlap.

Warning: you will have to get your game and fundamentals/aim/etc trustworthy before you proceed. Once you can trust your stroke and fundamentals these shots go easily but it's better to trust your stance/aim than what you see. This shot is ripe with optical illusions. Lock your neck and eyes and don't dart back and forth. Just fire with 100% trust and it will go.

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I just think memorizing sine tables is cool as shit,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

#### Oikawa

##### Active member
I just think memorizing sine tables is cool as shit,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
For that method, you don't need the whole table, I just have 10 numbers memorized at equal distances between sin 0 and sin 90, which is enough, since you can interpolate the rest with good accuracy (have to be roughly aware of the direction and steepness of the "curve"), being off in the result of the system by a maximum of 1/100th or 2/100th of a possible cut angle at most.

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
For that method, you don't need the whole table, I just have 10 numbers memorized at equal distances between sin 0 and sin 90, which is enough, since you can interpolate the rest with good accuracy (have to be roughly aware of the direction and steepness of the "curve"), being off in the result of the system by a maximum of 1/100th or 2/100th of a possible cut angle at most.
I was being sarcastic, I actually think it's a load of BS.

#### WobblyStroke

##### Well-known member
Nick Varner shared a tip for close cuts that was once popular advice but u dont see as much anymore....

when the balls are close together, he suggested a higher atance and looking at the angle more from above than usual.

#### Oikawa

##### Active member
I was being sarcastic, I actually think it's a load of BS.
How so? It's a painfully slow method (anywhere from 10 to 40 seconds depending on how carefully you do it), and due to that it would be stupid to use it for most shots, sure, but it can help sometimes in a match if there's an especially tough close cut shot and you want to increase the odds of potting it. I aim 99%+ of shots by feel because that is simply the most effective style, but there's always exceptions.

Do you simply not find any complicated math/geometry based aiming systems useful at all to you or in general to anyone, or do you find this specific one flawed in some way?

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##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Do you simply not find any complicated math/geometry based aiming systems useful at all to you or in general to anyone,
No.

And even if you could actually figure it out, ever, you still have to be able to aim another ball at it from yet a different angle and actually hit it accurately. Like I said,,,,,,, I call BS.

And why would you need to remember a sine table or even the sine for 10 different angles? If you know sine for 1 degree you can find sine for any degree.

The only math I want to do is figure how many balls i need to win,,,,,,,,,, like Shannon Daulton once said to me in a one pocket game,,,,,,,,,, I need 1 more ball real bad!

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#### garczar

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Nick Varner shared a tip for close cuts that was once popular advice but u dont see as much anymore....

when the balls are close together, he suggested a higher atance and looking at the angle more from above than usual.
wimpy was really good at those for that reason, he kinda stood higher on these shots for a better look at the cut. only seen him on video but you could see it in his game.

#### FranCrimi

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
wimpy was really good at those for that reason, he kinda stood higher on these shots for a better look at the cut. only seen him on video but you could see it in his game.
I thought everybody knew to stand taller on close shots. You have to see the space between the two balls for proper perspective. You can't see it when you're standing low.

bbb

#### evergruven

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
if you haven't already, you could also try hitting thin cuts with a high ball..think I got that from sky woodward

#### Oikawa

##### Active member
if you haven't already, you could also try hitting thin cuts with a high ball..think I got that from sky woodward
Did he explain the reason behind this being helpful?