Cue Ball against the rail..

Ih82luz

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
One of the toughest shots for me is when the cue ball is up against the rail and the object ball is +1/2 table away.

Are there any good lessons or drills out there that can help with this situation?:confused:
 

West Point 1987

On the Hill, Out of Gas
Silver Member
You and the whole world. This is how I was taught...The trick is getting comfortable with a floating, fingertips only bridge, the heal of your bridge hand off the edge, hanging in mid air, tips on the railbed (unless you're shooting on a Metro with uber-huge railbeds); otherwise your bridge will be too short to address the ball correctly. You could freeze a bunch of balls to the side rail, then move down the rail drilling them into the opposite side pocket, getting used to cleanly hitting them with that bridge and only getting to hit the top of the ball. Don't jack up. Try not to rub the top of the rail with your tip on the way, as it can make your tip hop a bit and overtop or squirt the ball. Just nice and clean, through the ball, sending it into the back of the pocket. Once you're comfortable with that, add the CB and shoot slight angled shots into the other pockets...then, when you've got THAT down, shoot straight in hangers/shots off the rail without scratching/following the OB in...a tough shot, but one that comes up too often.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
One of the toughest shots for me is when the cue ball is up against the rail and the object ball is +1/2 table away.

Are there any good lessons or drills out there that can help with this situation?:confused:

I can probably do well at predicting that if you get 20 replies, 15 of them will be "practice the shot".

Not really sure what other drill you can do to help you make it aside from just shotting it over and over. Something I use that helps at times is to not quite raise the butt of the cue, but try to hit the cueball more in a downward motion. Meaning try not to shoot perfectly straight or glance over the top of the ball, but kinda shoot a bit down by a few degrees. I also tend to cut the ball to one side or another depending on the angle so make an effort to aim a bit off to the other side even if the shot looks good to me.
 

De420MadHatter

SicBiNature
Silver Member
Just practice my friend. Put the cueball on the rail and start off with object ball close. When you can make it 10 out 10 times move the object ball 6 inches further. So on so forth. Eventually you will have the object ball at the other end of the table. Just my 2 cents but it worked for me.
 

StraightPoolIU

Brent
Silver Member
It's a tough shot for me as well. My problem was that it requires a shorter bridge than I'm used to, and I was often dropping my elbow resulting in a lot of miscues since only the very top of the cue ball is available. One drill that can help is to line balls up along the cushion and shoot them straight into a pocket taking care on each one to have a proper set up, level/flat hand on the rail bridge, and to make sure the tip of your cue does not rise on the follow through. The more you do it the more comfortable the stroke will feel.
 

NitPicker

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
One of the toughest shots for me is when the cue ball is up against the rail and the object ball is +1/2 table away.

Are there any good lessons or drills out there that can help with this situation?:confused:

Of course...put the cue ball against the rail and object balls half table away or more and practice shooting those shots. :wink: Have you ever done the drill where you hit the CB center so it comes back on the same line and hits your tip? Do this same drill, except start with the CB on the rail.

My advice for these shots: A level cue is vital to accuracy since you only have the top 1/3 of the ball to hit. Some jack their cue up, but as you increase your cue's angle, your margin for error decreases. See the shot line and follow through with your stroke on that line.
 

zpele

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
People have a tendency to not stay down on this shot in particular. Don't move and concentrate on a straight stroke.
 

Matt

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
As far as I know, there is no magic bullet for shooting off the rail, but there are a few things you can keep in mind as you practice that may help.

When you do have to shoot off the rail, keep the shot as simple as possible. Playing english off the rail on anything other than an absolute hanger is usually a losing proposition because you're practically forced to hit down on the ball to avoid a miscue, which means you're shooting a masse shot. Stay on the vertical axis and play the natural follow shot if you can, even if it means some sacrifices on position for the next shot.

Another thing to be aware of is that shooting off the rail means that you're going to have a shorter bridge than normal. That means that there is more cue left behind your bridge, so you can move your grip forward if you want to maintain the same distance between your hands. Unfortunately, that also means moving your eyes closer to the ball than usual, so there's a bit of a compromise between aiming and keeping your stroke the same.

If you do need to jack up to shoot the ball, remember to keep your stroke straight. The tendency is to stroke off to the side or over the top of the cue ball to avoid running your tip into the table, but you have to overcome that instinct and go straight into the cue ball. Otherwise, you will miscue or masse the ball. If you're able to jump a ball straight, that should give you some idea of how it should feel; just don't hit it down as much or as hard as you would for a jump.
 

owll

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If you jack up on this shot, I DO, you are almost gaurantee'd to get some air under cue ball when you shoot it.

if cue ball has air under it, when it gets to object ball, it will travel past the contact some amount, hit some amount above center ball, and OVERCUT the object ball.

So if you are going to shoot this shot jacked up, you need to aim to hit object a little more full than normal, and choose a speed of cue ball (air under cue) to match with this more full hit.

(THIS IS GOLD, pm me if not getting it from above, ill try to explain better)

(maybe someone more computer savvy can make picture to better represent this)
 
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Celophanewrap

Call me Grace
Silver Member
Just put up your hand and call "spaceys"
then put you cue butt between the ball and the rail, then shoot.

What?!?!?!? it always worked in the basement when we were kids
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Aim INTO the rail about a quarter inch behind the cue ball, and only aim for the center axis of the cue ball, NO left or right English. If you do this you won't miscue and you might be surprised how good a hit you can make on the cue ball.
 

Nostroke

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Joe Frady shot them well and he used a short quick stroke on them-nearly a poke-no back swing virtually.

I knew another guy who tried to put downward pressure getting the front of the cue to hold straighter in the stroke process and keeping the tip on the ball better (according to him) so to speak.
 
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Scott Lee

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Here is a reliable way to practice shooting off the rail. Use an extended rail bridge. This is where your fingertips are on the back edge of the rail, which will allow your normal bridge length for the shot (or at least most of it). Elevate the cue so that it is at the same angle as the bevel on the front edge of the cushion (this is the only time I recommend elevating the cuestick for any kind of normal shot, excluding jumps and masse's). Using a pendulum swing, use a slow backswing, pause, and stroke through the CB. The shaft should still be laying on the bevel of the cushion at the end of your stroke. Use your normal followthrough...don't try to exaggerate the finish, and don't lift your cue off the rail. Start with very slow speeds, like a lag, and work your way up to higher speeds. As already mentioned, start with the CB and OB one diamond apart, and work your way up to several diamonds apart. This is one of, if not the most difficult shots...other than shooting over another ball. Hope this helps.

Scott Lee
http://poolknowledge.com
 

buckshotshoey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Aim INTO the rail about a quarter inch behind the cue ball, and only aim for the center axis of the cue ball, NO left or right English. If you do this you won't miscue and you might be surprised how good a hit you can make on the cue ball.

Joe Frady shot them well and he used a short quick stroke on them-nearly a poke./QUOTE]

These two put together. It seems on a Valley table you have to raise the cue butt a little more then on my home table. Due to the cushion profile I guess. Only jack up as much as necessary. You will need a short bridge so only draw a few inches and follow through a few inches. Also I have found that an exaggerated pause at the back stroke helps with hitting exactly center ball. Very important when jacking up (even only 15 deg) and hitting top spin.....which is what you are doing. As mentioned earlier, off center hit when hitting top of cue ball results in a mini masse'.
 

buckshotshoey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Doug...OB last, unless it is a break, kick, jump or masse'...then CB last. Smooth stroke here is the key.

Scott Lee
http://poolknowledge.com

Yes...smooth stroke. I think the extended pause at the back stroke helps me with that. I don't tend to be so jerky when using such a short stroke.

And this same technique works well when shooting over the top of another object ball.
 
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Samdech

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Work on the fingertip bridge,I choke up on the cue and put most of your weight on your front foot,putting you weight on your front foot is important when on the rail.then drill drill drill.
 

poolandpokerman

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Don't try getting fancy with the shot, I just try a cinch it and take what the table gives me. Every time I try and shoot harder or try English or something fancy I miss the shot and usually leave a good shot for my opponent, so I just shoot to make the shot and nothing else. Good luck this is a hard one. Tom
 

xXGEARXx

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If you jack up on this shot, I DO, you are almost gaurantee'd to get some air under cue ball when you shoot it.

if cue ball has air under it, when it gets to object ball, it will travel past the contact some amount, hit some amount above center ball, and OVERCUT the object ball.

So if you are going to shoot this shot jacked up, you need to aim to hit object a little more full than normal, and choose a speed of cue ball (air under cue) to match with this more full hit.

(THIS IS GOLD, pm me if not getting it from above, ill try to explain better)

(maybe someone more computer savvy can make picture to better represent this)
I'd have to agree on this one! :)
 
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