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Most novice one-pocket players would never think of playing a three-rail bank shot, considering that such shots are only for professionals whose skill and knowledge are such that they become routine. Even beginner's in these situations can use three rails to make a ball. If you fail, you still position a ball near your pocket and leave the cue ball in a safe position. Often these shots do not require an advanced stroke or perfect accuracy.
Slightly elevate the back of the cue and use a normal-height bridge. Strike the cue ball one cue-tip width below center and one cue-tip width to the right of center. Aim to hit the 1-ball full in the face. The cue ball should move slightly to the right and the 1-ball should bank three rails, hopefully into your pocket. If it does not fall, it should at least remain near your pocket, and the cue ball should stay behind the 4 and 5-balls. Remember, the most important part of this shot is not the object ball, but the cue ball.
Here is another 3-rail shot, that has the potential to end the game in your favor. In this case, the 4-ball is short-banked off the side rail, and driven end-to-end toward your pocket, while the cue ball remains behind the group of balls for a safety if the 4-ball does not fall. Aim to hit the 4-ball head on, striking the cue ball dead center, one cue-tip width low. Again, remember to put the emphasis on the cue ball position after the shot. It is important to learn to recognize these shots, and to practice until you have no fear of attempting them.
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