Any reference points for 2 rail position

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I am trying to refine my position play on two rail position shots, both going into the rail with inside/follow (coming around the same pocket as the ob went into) as well as outside/draw (coming around the corner pocket across from where the ob went). Do any of you know a good rule of thumb for these shots? Things like: the cue ball will end up at center table if it goes into the first rail at a 45 degree angle, or the cue ball will come out of the second rail at a wider angle than it went into the first rail.

I'm mainly interested in navigating through traffic on these shots and/or setting up a good angle for a straight pool break shot. Position on these shots is an area I've identified to work on so I thought I'd start with this post.

Thanks!
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
IDo any of you know a good rule of thumb for these shots? Things like: the cue ball will end up at center table if it goes into the first rail at a 45 degree angle, or the cue ball will come out of the second rail at a wider angle than it went into the first rail.
Yep, those are the two I know (although the second one depends).

I can imagine some effective self-made drills for learning 2-rail CB routes - for instance, shooting into a corner pocket and aiming to hit 3rd rail diamonds with the CB (a version of the wagonwheel drill).

pj
chgo
 

sparkle84

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Let's leave the inside one alone because the variables involved are so extensive it's almost impossible to use any specific rules. You pretty much have no choice but to rely on feel.
Regarding the other, when I'm taking these routes and need very precise direction I use the 45 degree rule and the plus 2 system as guides but even still it ultimately comes down to a feel thing. Sorry it's not much help.
I suppose some people might tell you to use tips of english as adjustments but I can't agree with that. It's just going to increase variance which will decrease feel and muscle memory retention.
I think you've been playing a long time so my only advice to you would be to trust your instincts. Walk around the table, see the exact spot you want to end up and just do it.
IMO looking at that exact spot is extremely important. It's a reference point for your subconscious.
It's a great question. Seems simple but it's far from it
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Here are some points that may help you regarding 2 rail position especially for 14.1 break shots. When you have a choice of using inside ( against the natural angle off the OB - key ball) or running outside english off the OB- key ball - try to use the english that runs the cue ball ALONG the position line of where you need to be for the break ball as opposed to across the position line.

Reason; Along the position line gives you more room for error- you may have a foot or more of position possibilities and still have break angle. Across the position line usually gives you only a few inches of break ball angle landing spots for the cue ball. Hope this helps. BTW- most of the time you will start your 2 rail decision process by judging where the cue ball hits the first rail off the OB using the tangent line visualization.
 
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Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
@PJ - Thanks for the suggestions. I forget the plus 2 system so I'll look it up.

@sparkle - Yes, I've been playing a long time. I think your suggestion will make for a good drill -- just identify where I want the cb to be and concentrate on getting it there. Sometimes while running balls I do this and am amazed that my subconscious is able to get the ball there.

@mosconi - Thanks. I am well aware of position zones.

In the past I have used rules of thumb as a starting point for learning a new skill and found some of them to be very effective. I was trying to decide whether to try the same kind of thing on 2 rail position but I also didn't want to reinvent the wheel.

The problem is that diamond systems don't work well because we need to track the cue ball AFTER it makes contact with the ob so the angle and spin into the first rail are harder to figure than when simply hitting the cue ball into the rail.

Maybe the 3C players know something we mere pool players don't?
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... The problem is that diamond systems don't work well because we need to track the cue ball AFTER it makes contact with the ob so the angle and spin into the first rail are harder to figure than when simply hitting the cue ball into the rail.

Maybe the 3C players know something we mere pool players don't?
If you know the line the cue ball takes into the cushion, then you can apply diamond systems. I suppose carom players may have a better feeling for that angle. Another thing is that often carom players will choose the side spin and the hit on the first object ball that makes the shot natural and usually pool players don't have that luxury.

Do you have a good handle on how the cue ball is going to hit the first cushion?
 

HawaiianEye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I am trying to refine my position play on two rail position shots, both going into the rail with inside/follow (coming around the same pocket as the ob went into) as well as outside/draw (coming around the corner pocket across from where the ob went). Do any of you know a good rule of thumb for these shots? Things like: the cue ball will end up at center table if it goes into the first rail at a 45 degree angle, or the cue ball will come out of the second rail at a wider angle than it went into the first rail.

I'm mainly interested in navigating through traffic on these shots and/or setting up a good angle for a straight pool break shot. Position on these shots is an area I've identified to work on so I thought I'd start with this post.

Thanks!

I like to use a "dead" cue ball if I am going the "outside" route. I try to leave position angles that will allow me to do that. Of course, there are situations where you are unable to do that or there are times when "turning the ball loose" will allow you to change the angle and/or pick up running English when it comes off the rail.
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
I am trying to refine my position play on two rail position shots, both going into the rail with inside/follow (coming around the same pocket as the ob went into) as well as outside/draw (coming around the corner pocket across from where the ob went). Do any of you know a good rule of thumb for these shots? Things like: the cue ball will end up at center table if it goes into the first rail at a 45 degree angle, or the cue ball will come out of the second rail at a wider angle than it went into the first rail.

I'm mainly interested in navigating through traffic on these shots and/or setting up a good angle for a straight pool break shot. Position on these shots is an area I've identified to work on so I thought I'd start with this post.

Thanks!
Check out the videos and articles on the 45° rule resource page. The midpoint parallel shift system and the Plus System can also be helpful.

Enjoy,
Dave
 

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Do you have a good handle on how the cue ball is going to hit the first cushion?

I think the location on that first rail is pretty definable, but I'm not so sure about the real angle. When doubling the same pocket the ob is going into then I'm typically going to be hitting firm with some inside. So I'll be traveling along the tangent line for bit before the follow kicks in. For the precision I'd like to get on the final resting place of the cb I'm not sure I can predict that angle with enough precision. I'd have to give it more of a try and see.
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I am trying to refine my position play on two rail position shots, both going into the rail with inside/follow (coming around the same pocket as the ob went into) as well as outside/draw (coming around the corner pocket across from where the ob went). Do any of you know a good rule of thumb for these shots? Things like: the cue ball will end up at center table if it goes into the first rail at a 45 degree angle, or the cue ball will come out of the second rail at a wider angle than it went into the first rail.

I'm mainly interested in navigating through traffic on these shots and/or setting up a good angle for a straight pool break shot. Position on these shots is an area I've identified to work on so I thought I'd start with this post.

Thanks!


ah, Grasshopper, there are no reference points for two-railers.

It's all feel and experience involving where you hit the CB, speed, and even elevation. It's a great shot to have in your arsenal but pretty much like every other shot on a pool table, what you do with the CB is a blend of many factors.

Lou Figueroa
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
If you know the line the cue ball takes into the cushion, then you can apply diamond systems. I suppose carom players may have a better feeling for that angle. Another thing is that often carom players will choose the side spin and the hit on the first object ball that makes the shot natural and usually pool players don't have that luxury.

Do you have a good handle on how the cue ball is going to hit the first cushion?

you can envision the rolling ball line or stun line basesd on how you hit it to determine the line and angle
the 4 refers to 4 diamonds in the plus 2
the lines are for demonstration might not be perfect
and i am trying to show a concept
you can easily pick the diagrams apart for exactness

hope this is helpfull
dan 2 rail.png

dan 3 rail.png
 
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bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
ah, Grasshopper, there are no reference points for two-railers.

It's all feel and experience involving where you hit the CB, speed, and even elevation. It's a great shot to have in your arsenal but pretty much like every other shot on a pool table, what you do with the CB is a blend of many factors.

Lou Figueroa

i disagree its all feel
the diamond are your friends...let them speak to you
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
i disagree its all feel
the diamond are your friends...let them speak to you


Dan is addressing two-rail position plays, not kicks, and that there that is feel.

As to the diamonds,

Feel is better than a system because you have to instantaneously adapt each shot to the specific location of the balls and the condition of the table. Robert Byrnes's "McGoorty The Story of a Billiard Bum"" is one of the great books on billiards. Here's a story from it on Willie Hoppe:

#####
“In Hoppe’s book on how to play billiards is a long section on the diamond system, charts showing how to count the spots on the rails and figure out where to aim by using arithmetic. Now that is a joke, because he was not a system player. I went out to the Navy Pier one morning during the 1950 tournament to practice and there was Hoppe all alone in the hall. He had the book open and was shooting shots from the diagrams... trying out the system. He looked up at me and said, “You know, Dan, it works. But you need a perfect stroke.’

Those charts were put in the book by Bryon Schoeman and a lot of them are haywire. Sometimes one of my students will show me the book and say, ‘Look at this McGoorty. Hoppe says you can hit the rail here and end up there.’

‘My boy,’ I say, ‘it can’t be done. Those charts are just pretty pictures.’

Not only did Hoppe not use the diamond system, he had nothing to do with developing it. That was done by Copulus, Layton, and Clarence Jackson.

Guys like Hoppe, Cochran, and Schaefer, they knew the table so well, all the angles, all the returns, they didn’t need to use any system. They could get four out of two by elevating the cue a little and putting a touch of masse on the ball. The system? What system? f*ck the system.’”
#####

Lou Figueroa
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Lou
Let’s agree to disagree
For sure feel comes into playing pool because we are not robots
Just like an adjustment is necessary if the table plays “ short” or “ long “
And for speed control
But playing by the numbers gives me a great guideline for where the cue ball is going
As for hopes book it is full of errors
There are much better system references available
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Check out the videos and articles on the 45° rule resource page. The midpoint parallel shift system and the Plus System can also be helpful.

Enjoy,
Dave

Danny Sanchez shows this mid point method as a ticky trick/system. Two scoring balls are in ticky orientation along the bottom rail. Just eyeballing the shot, you wouldn't even expect a successful straight billiard but the system gets the third rail every time. Can't find the video though.
 

nick serdula

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Two rails

Watch what happens. It will do that every time. Get a feel by shooting the cue into the rail. That is what happens after a strike. If things reverse remember that. The biggest thing is watch. That is what it is.
Nick :)
 
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