Where to hit the object ball

In the game of pocket billiards or pool, at its simplest, the best place to hit an object or target ball is the same no matter where the cue ball is on the table. You have to bump the same spot. Remember you have to bump it. You cannot hit it unless it is a straight or near straight shot.

The diagram below is an easy shot near a pocket to make the point. Reality is much more challenging.

There are two basic questions that beginners and intermediate pool players must answer:

1. Where do you hit an object ball to get it into the pocket?
2. How do you get to hit that spot?

Finding the where

In (A), you can eyeball a straight line from where you want the object ball to go through the center of the object ball to the other side.

In (B), you can eyeball where the object ball will go if hit at certain points until you have the right one. See below.

Another way (C) is to imagine a ghost ball. Add a track from the object ball to the ghost ball. Connect a 90° line between the tracks. That line touches the object ball where it should be hit.

  • This can also be done using one track line that faces you more with a 90° line.

  • The hit spot is always 1 1/8” from the track lines (the center of the 2 1/4” object ball).

  • The hit spot is always the farthest point from the ghost ball.

You can try all of these. With longer distances and higher angles, you may want to use more than one. With enough practice, someday you will automatically “see” the spot to hit without thought. It takes time, but it will happen if you practice the right way. 

We’ve covered the basic ways to finding where to hit the object ball.

Once you start learning where to hit the object all, there is the harder part-actually hitting where you aim! Small errors can and will throw off your aim. You must become aware of them and then weed them out. The next section will show these.

Comments are appreciated on anything confusing or could be added.


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