In this video we’re going to be looking at potting Doubles. Sometimes in a game of pool we might be left in a position where the direct route to the pocket is blocked, or perhaps the potting angle is very fine. If this is the case then we might look at playing a double to pot the ball. The first thing we need to consider when potting a double is the angle the ball comes out of the cushion. If we ignore any side spin then there are two main things that effect this, the rubber in the cushions and the pace of the ball. On a perfect table the angle a ball comes out of the cushion will be exactly opposite to the angle it comes in. If the rubber in the cushions is brand new and very springy then the ball may come out at a slightly wider angle. If the cushions have not been replaced for some time and the rubber has lost some of it’s bounce then the ball may come out at a slightly narrower angle. The same thing can be true with the pace of the ball. If the ball is played softly into the cushion the ball may come out at a slightly wider angle. If the ball is played hard then it pushes further into the rubber and may come out at a narrower angle. Unfortunately all tables are different but hopefully by the time you have to play a double in a match you have taken note of the responsiveness of the cushions during the game and allow for it accordingly. This table is fairly new and the balls come out at a fairly true angle. So the first thing we do when attempting a double is walk round and workout what point on the cushion gives us an equal angle in and the out to the pocket. A common mistake with this to pick the point on the cushion halfway between the object ball and the pocket. This is only true when the object ball is as far away from the cushion as the opposite pocket. The closer our object ball is to the cushion we are hitting, the closer our impact point is to the object ball. Once we’ve done that we imagine a ball in that spot and walk back round keeping our eyes focused on that spot. We then double check that the angle looks correct from this side of the table. Once we’re happy with that then we need to look at how to get the object ball to hit the cushion at that point. In this example, by hitting the red in a dead straight line, the red will contact the cushion at the desired point and then into the opposite middle. So what about when the straight line from the cue ball to the object ball doesn’t give us the required angle and we need to adjust our aim? Just as before we walk round the table and look at where we need to contact the cushion to create an equal angle in and out of the cushion, into the pocket. We then walk back round keeping focused on that point. We then draw a line back from that point, through the object ball to give us a postion for our ghost ball. We then line up our shot to the ghost ball and execute the shot as normal. We do exactly the same thing when we need to narrow the angle out of the cushion. You can see here that hitting the ball straight would bring us far too wide so we need to narrow that angle. Again we workout the point on the cushion that gives us an equal angle in and out of the cushion and then walk back round keeping focused on that point. This time however the position of our ghost ball means that we will be hitting the object ball quite thin. As I’ve discussed in other videos this brings the element of throw into effect. This means that the thinner contact throws the object ball forward slightly which will widen our angle and mean we end up high of the middle pocket. We need to allow for this by aiming slightly thinner, creating a narrower angle. The throw effect then takes our object ball back to where we originally intended and we make the pot. This type of double is refered to as a cross double, because the path of the cue ball after impact, crosses the path of the object ball as it comes back out of the cushion. Because these paths cross we need to be aware of this to ensure that the two balls don’t collide. In this example we are fine because the red is a fair distance from the cushion. The white has already travelled up the table well before the red bounces back off the cushion and there is no danger of collision. However the closer the object ball is to the cushion the more of a danger this becomes. This is because the object ball is quickly coming back towards the white before it has had a chance to get out of the way. With a few inches from the cushion you might be able to use some screw back or maybe top spin to get the white ball out of the way but once you get too close to the cushion it can become impossible to avoid what’s called a double kiss and the double is just not an option. Doubles can be very useful shots in the game of pool but because of the variables involved they should always be considered as fairly risky shots. Make sure you’re familiar with the cushions on the table and take time to carefully workout your angles before attempting them. As with everything lots of practice will help develop a natural understanding of the angles and also when to know when a double becomes impossible because of the double kiss.