end-game bank shots

Shoot the object ball straight-back into the corner while bringing the cueball back to the end rail. Shoot this shot with enough speed so that object ball will go back to the other end of the table if it misses the pocket.

end-game bank shot two Another tough straight-back where the most important goal is keeping the cueball near the end rail. Bryan Roberts is my favorite for this shot.

end-game bank shot three You've got nothing better to do here, so you may as well try to make the object ball two rails in the corner. Stop the cueball dead, and if the angle doesn't allow that, look for something else. You want the object ball to just barely make it to the pocket.

end-game bank shot four This is the same shot as above but with a slightly flatter angle on the object ball. The only way to control the cueball here is to try two rails in the side pocket. Shoot this shot with just enough speed to make the object ball. It should stop near the side pocket if it doesn't go in.

end-game bank shot five An even flatter variation on the last two shots. You don't care about making the object ball nearly as much as whether you can control the cueball or not. In this and the two previous shots the angle between the cueball, object ball, and the cushion dictates which is the best shot to take.

end-game bank shot six Note that this shot is not quite laying natural for the four rail shot. This is a good thing, because it allows you to send the cueball back up-table and keep it separated from the object ball. If the shot was laying more natural, lending itself to more of a stop shot, I'd pick something else before risking leaving both balls at the same end of the table.

end-game bank shot seven There are many ball positions where this type of shot comes up. There are two goals here. First, you either (duh) make the bank, or at least leave the object ball very close to the pocket. Second, and maybe even more importantly, stick the cueball as close to the far rail as you can. Watch me shoot this shot (Windows Movie 114KB) (Streaming High or Low Speed)

end-game bank shot eight Not really a bank, but this still belongs in this section. In this scenario, you need both balls and your opponent needs one. When Candyman shot this at the 2003 Derby City Classic instead of the more obvious pocket-the-five safety I thought he'd made a mistake until he correctly pointed out that a good opponent would never pocket the four in response. If you shot the five first, you'd then need to take your next shot and pocket the four. The way Candyman shot it gave him a chance to look like a genius if both balls went in, and even if the five doesn't go the spotted four is no gimme as long as the cueball speed leaves it near the headrail.

end-game bank shot nine I won a game at the 2003 Derby City Classic with this shot. This was the last ball on the table. It's hard to tell from the diagram, but crossing the ball into the righthand corner was not available because there was a kiss there. I shot the ten with a bit of a jab that let the cueball drift to the end rail while the ten went towards its target. The shot was mostly intended to leave my opponent badly but the ten happened to go in.

end-game bank shot ten Another game winner from the Derby Classic. I needed one ball, and my opponent had pocketed the ten and drawn back to put me in a bind. There was nothing I could do with the ten without a big chance of a scratch or a kiss, and I couldn't even see all of the thirteen. I shot a little jump shot, playing mostly to leave the cueball on the end rail, and the thirteen took the route shown. That shot won me the match.

end-game bank shot ten At the 2005 Derby City Classic, Larry Nevel had Truman Hogue two games to none. In this third game Larry needed both balls and Truman needed one. Larry saw nothing better and pulled off this masterpiece, then he banked the respotted 2-ball cross-side to win the game and the match. Opinions vary as to whether Larry's choice of shot was (a)reckless or (b)brilliant or (c)both.