How do you aim fast-speed bank shots?

The most accurate system for aiming fast-speed or siding-ball bank shots is the 1/3-more-than-twice bank shot aiming system. It is based on rail-groove measurements across from the diamonds. An alternative through-diamond system is the 1-more-than-twice system. Both are demonstrated in detail in the following video:

An alternative to the 1/3-more-than-twice “(2x + 1/3) to x” system is a through-diamond system described in the following video: Eckert’s bank shot reference lines. It can be described concisely as the “2x-to-3/4x through-diamond system” as opposed to the “(2x+1/3)-to-x rail-groove system.” Both this system and the system above are described and illustrated in detail in: “Fast Speed Banks” (BD, July, 2013). They actually agree fairly well in the resulting aim, except for very-large-angle banks. Another way to interpret the Eckert system, is the “8/3x to x” or “x to 3/8x” system (by dividing the “2x to 3/4x” numbers by 2). This implies that the aim point on the banking rail (3/8x) is between 25% (1/4) and 50% (1/2) of the distance from the target pocket as the distance on the adjacent rail (x). This provides an easy way to visualize fast-speed banks. When the aim is correct, the aim point on the banking rail is exactly between 50% (1/2) and 25% (1/4) of the distance from the pocket on the opposite rail, which is very easy to visualize without any diamond counting or math. You could also just multiply the diamond distance on the near rail by 3/8 or 0.375 (approximately 0.4).

The following illustration compares the two systems. The systems provide very close to the same lines of aim for small-to-medium-angle banks. At larger bank angles, above the (5+1/3)-to-2.5 line, the “1/3-more than twice” system aim will tend to make the ball bank a little short of target (in which case you can make a small adjustment).


Other alternative through-diamond systems for fast-speed banks that use a different numbering system for the diamonds are demonstrated in these video: first, second. The first uses 4, 8, 12, etc. on the origination rail, and 10, 20, 30, etc. on the target rail. It can be referred to the 4d-to-10d system, where d is the diamond number (1, 2, 3, etc.). The second uses 2-4-6-8 reference points and 11-15 diamond numbers.

In addition to being able to use the aiming systems above, there are advantages to using fast speed with bank shots. For more info, see: advantages of fast speed.

from John Gaynor (via e-mail):

I found a way to simplify the calculations for the Ralph Eckert system for banking with speed. First, I use 10 as the distance between diamonds. So the 3 to 1 track becomes 30 to 10. Then every point on the target rail that is a multiple of 3 leads to a convenient reference track since the crossing point on the near rail is 8/3 times the point on the target rail. So reference tracks are 8 to 3, 16 to 6, 24 to 9, 32 to 12, 40 to 15, 48 to 18, etc. Calculating between the reference tracks is easy. For example, if you’re between the 24 to 9 track and the 32 to 12 track, the tracks are 26&2/3 to 10 and 29&1/3 to 11, or with slight rounding 27 to 10 and 29 to 11.

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