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Object Ball Frozen to the Rail

Object Ball Frozen to the Rail

How do you best pocket an object ball frozen to a rail? This is a question asked by many billiard beginners, and a question that can be answered relatively quickly. Both the angle of approach and the use of English are noteworthy items in explaining now to pocket an object ball that is frozen to the rail.

Object Ball Frozen to the Rail

Angle of Approach

Basically, the sharper the angle of approach becomes, the more difficult it becomes to make the shot accurately. The reason for this, is that when you are shooting straight on, your "target" is larger, and relatively easy to shoot at. As your shot angles out more and more, the area of the object ball you want to hit becomes smaller and more difficult to strike accurately. You can only improve here with practice, but just know that it gets more difficult as the angle becomes sharper. Additionally, the degree of difficulty increases as the distance of the object ball increases from the pocket.

Tips for Pocketing Frozen Object Balls

In order to send the object ball straight down the rail, you must try to contact the rail and the object ball precisely at the same time with the cue ball. Use of "running English" is known to help in making this type of shot, and the sharper your angle becomes, the more running English you will need.

We hope this article has been useful for helping you understand the unwanted situation of having an object ball frozen to a rail. If there are any other tips for this type of shot that you know of, please contact us with them.

Object Ball Frozen to the Rail

  • Title: Object Ball Frozen to the Rail
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 8/20/2006 12:33:00 PM

Object Ball Frozen to the Rail

The Object Ball Frozen to the Rail article belongs to the Billiard Fundamentals and Basics category. Pool playing tips for the beginner. Get started with these fundamental billiard drills

Object Ball Frozen to the Rail Comments

  1. redd165 from Toronto, ON on 10/12/2008 7:04:46 AM

    Can you please provide a better explanation of running English?

  2. POPSPOPS from Dallas, TX on 12/24/2009 2:36:13 PM

    Regarding this section:

    In order to send the object ball straight down the rail, you must try to contact the rail and the object ball precisely at the same time with the cue ball. Use of "running English" is known to help in making this type of shot, and the sharper your angle becomes, the more running English you will need.

    I believe that you must contact the rail first with the cue ball. Striking them both at the same time would drive the object ball off the rail.

  3. ccbesqccbesq from Norwalk, CT on 12/31/2009 5:51:10 AM

    My understanding has always been that "running English" means simply this:

    We all know that English on the cue ball will throw the object ball in the opposite direction (e.g. left English will throw the object to the right of "straight").

    Applied to a shot at an object ball frozen on or close to the rail, you'd want to put left or right english on the cue ball (depending on which rail the object is on) to throw the object ball slightly toward the rail, so that the object ball "hugs" the rail on the way to the pocket.

    Putting the opposite english on the cue ball would throw the object ball off of or away from the rail, and too much of the proper english will force the object ball into the rail, causing it to bounce out or off of the rail, so this use of English is delicate.

    You can also see the definition of running English in the billiard glossary section of this site.

  4. Joshua DavidJoshua David from Lancaster, ON on 5/11/2010 2:41:42 PM

    One thing that I found helpful comes from Ray Martin's book, 99 Critical Shots in Pool.

    He suggests that when shooting at an angle (maybe 35-75 degrees to the object ball) to use inside/running English, hitting the rail first, as close as possible to the object ball. This throws the cue ball directly into the spot necessary on the object ball to make it glide right down the rail and into the pocket. His explanation is better, so check out the book.

  5. JefferyJeffery from Dillon, SC on 11/25/2010 4:53:22 PM

    So, lets say that I am playing stripes and the 9 ball is frozen to the rail. Can I hit the 9 ball and let the cue ball hit the same rail that the 9 ball is frozen to? Is that a good shot?

  6. railsh00terrailsh00ter from Hereford, PA on 12/13/2010 1:04:04 AM

    Actually you can make this shot with almost no english or even with none at all. It depends on your desired "leave" for the next shot. Which option you decide upon will determine the adjustment you must make on your aim.

    • With no English you want to hit the rail about one half of the cue ball length of the rail above the object ball. This is your starting point and it will hit both the object ball and rail about the same time.
    • If you are cutting the object ball left, you should use center to left english and visa versa if your cutting to the right.
    • If you need to use the opposite english for position then you'll need to aim more at the object ball than the rail as your cue ball will travel a little away from your actual aiming point before contact. A center shot will bring your cue ball back straight across the table.
    • You can gauge where you need to go from that point. If you need more to the left, then you will use left english, and how much depends on how far left you need it to go. Back up table you'll need to use the opposite with more lower english.

    Basically though you need to hit the rail first but almost exactly at the same time as the object ball. I aim where the edge of the object ball intersects 90 degrees to the rail with a center ball hit. No matter what, if you hit the object ball first, it will bounce off the rail but if the object ball has correct english and hit soft enough it can come back. There is no one exact way other than rail first, it depends on the leave you need for your next shot.

  7. Joshua KinchJoshua Kinch from Humboldt County, CA on 4/21/2011 9:32:42 PM

    The use of English on these shots can be a problem, as the English may affect the cue ball, which needs to hit rail and ball in an extremely precise place. DEFINITELY do not plan to use a soft stroke, nor any English, unless you feel able to compensate for the throw that will be produced. A hard stroke may prevent the deflection from occurring prior to contact with the ball/rail.

    Locating the exact point to strike the ball on these shots, and watching the rail hugging object ball heading for the pocket can be a VERY satisfying feeling (particularly if the ball scoots safely past a side pocket on its journey).

  8. Shady DShady D from Bethlehem, PA on 5/19/2011 7:19:31 PM

    It is almost impossible to hit the rail and the object ball at "precisely" the same time consistently. It is good to hit rail first with inside English. When the cue ball hits the rail, the rail actually absorbs the impact and pushes the rail "in" for a millionth of a second. This combined with inside English will send the object ball along the rail perfectly every time. Some people call it "walking the doggy".

  9. Brandy BBrandy B from South Africa on 10/19/2012 12:26:20 AM

    In my opinion, adding top spin to the cue ball allows the object ball to hug the rail until it enters the pocket.

  10. BonnieWithBonnieWith from Victorville, CA on 1/28/2015 4:19:15 PM

    To get the ball down the rail, you have to hit the cue ball high center, and aim for rail and object ball equally. It will take it on down to desired pocket every time.

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