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Billiard Clock Aiming System

This article describes the billiard clock aiming system, or the clock method of aiming in billiards as originally described by user PTA John in spring 2008.

Billiard Clock Aiming System

In the billiard clock aiming system, a line from the designated pocket through the object ball is from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock (looking at the face of a clock)? The object ball then is the center of the clock where the hands come together. A line exactly perpendicular to that line (the tangent line) is 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock. Any shot from 12 to 3 and 9 to 12 is not possible. A shot from 4 o'clock would be 60 degrees. A shot from 5 o'clock would be 30 degrees. From 6 o'clock is zero degrees or straight in. From 7 o'clock is 30 degrees, etc. The way you know that is that 1 minute on a clock is equal to 6 degrees on a compass. (360 degrees in a circle divided by 60 minutes on a clock is 6 degrees per minute.) Below I will explain in more detail.

Clock Aiming System for Billiards

Imagine or draw a circle. A circle is 360 degrees. It is made up of (4) 90 degree segments. Draw a line from the top of the circle to the bottom of the circle. Next draw a line from the left of the circle to the right side of the circle. Now draw a big dot in the middle of the circle where the two lines cross.

Imagine that this circle is the face of a clock.

Your line at the top of the circle is 12 o'clock, and as you move around the circle, you have 3, 6, 9, and back to 12. On the clock you have three 5-minute increments of time from 12 to 3, from 3 to 6, from 6 to 9, and from 9 to 12.

Go ahead and mark the numbers 1 and 2 between the 12 and 3. Mark a 4 and 5 between 3 and 6. Mark a 7 and 9 between 6 and 9, and mark a 10 and 11 between 9 and 12. That finishes the clock.

As you look beneath your clock you see that the 5 minutes between 3 and 4 o'clock is really 30 degrees on the compass. (circle = 360 degrees / 60 minutes, = 6 degrees per minute. 5 minutes multiply by 6 degrees is 30 degrees.

Now imagine a pool table. Lay the clock you just drew down on the table so that the line from 12 to 6 runs straight from the object ball into the pocket you are aiming for.

Okay that sets you up to now find the cue ball. Plot the cue ball on the table onto face of the clock. If the cue ball falls between 9 to 12 to 3 o'clock, the shot is not possible, unless you do a bank or cut shot. If the cue ball falls on the 4 o'clock line then you have a 60 degree shot, on the 5 o'clock line you have a 30 degree shot.


  • From 6 back to 5 is five minutes or 30 degrees.
  • From 6 back to 4 is 10 minutes or 60 degrees.

For every 1 minute that the cue balls is between one of the lines you add or subtract 6 degrees from your cut angle. Lets say the cue ball is 1/2 way between the 5 and 6 lines. That means that you are 2 1/2 minutes from 6. So you start at zero degrees because 6 is the 0 degree line. You would add 2.5 minutes times 6 or 15 degrees plus 0. So you have a 15 degree shot or 3/4 ball hit on the object ball. As you move away from the 6 you add degrees. As you move down from the 3 (15 minutes past the our or 90 degrees) you subtract your result. If the cue ball was on the 4 o'clock line you would subtract 30 degrees from 90 to get 60 or if you start at the 6 o'clock line you would add 10 minutes times 6 degrees = 60 degrees. So it works either way. The trick is to imagine the hands on the clock.

The Object ball is the center of the clock. From the center of the clock up to 12 (or into the pocket) is the path the object ball follows to the pocket. From 3 to 9o'clock is the tangent line. It also sets up the 90 degree limits for the shot. I hope this helps. If you draw it out it becomes much easier to follow

Billiard Clock Aiming System

  • Title: Billiard Clock Aiming System
  • Author:
  • Published: 1/21/2017 5:56:12 PM
  • Last Updated: 1/21/2017 6:12:05 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)

Billiard Clock Aiming System

The Billiard Clock Aiming System article belongs to the Aiming and Execution Tutorials for Billiards category. Billiard and pool playing tips around shot making, aiming, and execution.

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