On every billiards table are diamonds, or sometimes dots, inlaid into the frame of the rails. These diamonds are not just for decoration, but rather serve to assist you in choosing the proper angles for kick shots and banks. When used properly, you can calculate or visualize the precise impact point to send the cue ball or object ball to any other spot on the pool table. Since all billiards tables are manufactured to specific and consistent sizes, a perfect rectangle with the width being half the length, known as the "Diamond System," will work the same on any table, regardless of its size.
Look at the whole pool table. Consider the location of the cue ball, the object ball and the pocket in which you want to sink the ball. A kick shot may be necessary because your opponent’s balls block a direct view of your target. A bank shot may be necessary because your opponent’s balls block access to an otherwise easy pocket.
Determine which diamond to use. Your goal is for your shot to successfully result in a reflection of the cue ball or object ball into the intended pocket. If you are attempting a kick shot, find the diamond that will make the cue ball bounce off the rail and hit your object ball. If you are attempting a bank shot, find the diamond that will make the object ball bounce off the rail and drop into the desired pocket. Remember that you need to aim the object ball into the correct diamond for a successful bank shot, and make sure the cue ball does not interfere with the path of the object ball after impact.
Slowly and smoothly stroke through the cue ball. Using no English whatsoever, knock it into the rail at the precise diamond location that will result in your intended path of travel. The speed and strength with which you strike the ball will vary on every table. It will also be affected by many factors such as the quality of the felt cloth, the cleanliness of the balls and the table, the weight of your cue stick and the condition of the table’s rails.
Tips & Warnings
- When you are playing on a traditional pool table with pockets, remember that the pockets themselves take the place of diamonds that would otherwise have been inlaid into the rail at that position.
- The Diamond System assumes you will not be using any additional manipulation of the cue ball. If you use English when shooting with the Diamond System, the resulting direction of the cue ball and/or object ball may be significantly altered.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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