How do I deal with and take advantage of pocket hangers?

A “pocket hanger” is an object ball (OB) that is very close to or in the jaws of a pocket. Everything you need to know about how to deal with and take best advantage of a pocket “hanger” is demonstrated in the following videos:

Here are convenient links to important sections in the first video:

And here are specific points in the video that demonstrate pocket-point effects (e.g., when the OB is deep in the pocket and/or closer to one of the facings) and how to deal with them: 1:12, 1:36, 5:02, 13:45.

Here’s another useful drill involving hangers:

Hanger CB control is covered in great detail in:

Is it a good practice to play a hanger rail-first?

… not in general, because it can be difficult to hit the OB with the desired or required amount of fullness of hit when going rail-first; and as demonstrated in the first video above, the amount of the OB you hit has a big effect on CB direction and travel distance. But going rail first is the right play in the following situations (from an AZB thread):

  • when there is an obstacle ball forcing a rail-first hit.
  • when you want the CB to travel faster and farther more easily (e.g., on a slow table).
  • when you want to take a natural or alternative multiple-cushion path off the hanger that might not be easy or possible with a direct hit (e.g., to come into the line of the next shot or avoid “traffic”).
  • when rolling into the rail first is a good alternative to a direct hit with draw, which is much more difficult to control.
  • when hitting a point of the pocket might be a concern with a direct hit (e.g., when the OB is deep in the pocket or closer to one facing).
  • when you want to use a softer stroke to come off the hanger with stun flat along the rail after the hit.

Dr. Dave keeps this site commercial free, with no ads. If you appreciate the free resources, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation to show your support: