3 Rail Kicking


Even though the shot doesn’t come up very often you should know how to perform three rail kicks. They might only come up a few times a match, but if you know how to execute them they’ll definitely help win you a game or two. For many beginners three rail kicks seem daunting. The number of rails and the angles make it hard for amateurs to visualize the path the cue ball needs to take to hit its target. Fortunately, there’s a kicking system to help you with that as well.

This is another diamond system called the Corner 5 System. The reason it’s called that is because from the specific number 5 position on the table the cue ball should hit the opposite corner pocket every time. This system is more complicated than the two plus system and does take a little bit more math, but once you learn it, its fairly easy to use on a regular basis.

The reason this system is more complex is because you need to keep track of 3 different numbers for the Corner 5 System. The three numbers you’re going to need are the original direction number, the first rail number, and the third rail number.

The first numbers, the original direction numbers are set in the corner from which you’re aiming. The corner is always 5 and the numbers increment by one along the short rails up to 8. On the long rail the numbers decrement by one half until you get to 3 at the side pocket.

The other two numbers are the first and third diamond numbers which represent the first and third diamonds you are going to hit which you can see below. These numbers start at 7 from the corner you’re shooting from and increment down by one for each diamond.

The way this system works is you take the original direction number minus the first diamond number to get the third diamond number. That might sound complicated, but you can see in the example below its pretty easy. In the example we can see that the cue ball is in front of the corner which means its going to have the original direction of 5 and we want to hit the cue ball into the corner pocket. In order to do that we need to hit the 3rd diamond on the long rail. So if we take 5 – 3 we know that we have to hit the second diamond on the first rail diamond to hit the 3rd diamond on the 3rd rail diamonds. If we do that when the cue ball will head straight to the pocket

For some more information on this system, Dr. Dave has a great video on this concept which should help account for any scenario you come up with using this system.

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