How to Aim in Billiards Using the 3 Cut System

The aiming system used by the world’s most successful players in all cue sports is the “Three-Cut System.” Simply put, it is the purest and most scientific aiming system there is, and it’s based on pure geometry. There are really only three cuts you need to learn to master pocketing balls. They are: ¼, ½ and ¾ cuts. All other cut shots are slight variations of these three.

In geometry, the degree of the angle these cuts represent are:

¼ = 49 degrees

½ = 30 degrees

¾ = 14 degrees

The basis of this aiming system is to imagine the object ball (OB) having four equal slices, beginning with a perfect slice down the middle representing two halves of a ball and then to the left and right of the ½ ball slice, thus creating the ¼ and ¾ ball slice.

How do we use these references in a game?

By recognizing the degree of the angle that the (OB) needs to take to enter the desired pocket, we simply need to cut it using one of these three “lines” as our reference.

It is extremely important to understand this: on a perfectly spherical object the only absolute reference is it’s edge. Absolute from the point of view of the observer, that is, which in our example, is from the point of view looking at the (OB) from behind your cue ball (CB).

So here is the magic. From the point of view of your (CB) the far left and right edges of the (OB) represent perfect ½ ball cuts either way. In other words, by aiming your (CB) directly at either edge of the (OB) you will send the (OB) on a perfect 30 degree angle. Therefore, if you analysed the angle correctly (which you will with practice), you will pocket the ball every time. The same rules apply for all other cut shots in a game, whether they are ¼, ½ or ¾, or slight variations of them. Once you start estimating the angle correctly, it is then simply a matter of using the outer edge of the (OB) as your reference.

So start with learning the ½ ball cut and progress from there. This system works and that is why all the top professional snooker players use it.

To speed up the learning curve on this system I recommend the Billiard Aim Trainer. It teaches you how to see these angles.

SOURCE: How to Play Great Pool, by Paul Turner (Inventor of the Billiard Aim Trainer)


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