How to Use the Dots on a Pool Table: Easy Tricks to Become a Pro

Reviewed by
Last updatedLast updated: June 15, 2021
Rec Room Pick is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

If you are a newbie to the game of pool, then you might wonder how to use the dots on a pool table. They might also show up as diamonds depending on the designer of the table. While they might look like a simple design, they are actually quite useful. In fact, pro players use them consistently so that they can make more accurate shots during a game.

The dots/diamonds can be used as a grid system to help you measure out your shots. They can also assist you in figuring out the angles of your attack since they can be combined with a bit of physics so that not only are your shots more accurate but also more consistent as well. Of course, you do need to have a bit of understanding of how they work before you can fully utilize them. That is exactly where we come in! Read on so that you will have the knowledge you need to take your game to the next level.

What type of table do you have?

How to Use the Dots on a Pool Table: Easy Tricks to Become a ProBefore you can actually start taking advantage of these dots/diamonds, the first thing that you need to figure out is the type of table that you are going to be playing on. While it is true that some pool tables use dots rather than diamonds, these dots are more popular on snooker tables. Snooker is another billiard game that is very similar to pool in some aspects but is also quite different. The biggest difference between these two games is the size of the table and the size of the balls.

If you have a snooker table, it is going to be quite large in comparison to a pool table. This is due to the fact that this game uses smaller balls than pool. Snooker balls are 2.07 inches in diameter, while pool balls are 2.25 inches. While this might not seem like a big difference, it will affect the angles and strategies used significantly. As such, the dots for snooker cannot also be used for pool, and vice versa. If you want to play pool, you need to make sure that you have the right table so that you can easily utilize the diamonds/dots accordingly.

What are pool table dots/diamonds?How to Use the Dots on a Pool Table: Easy Tricks to Become a Pro

On a pool table, there are 17 dots or diamonds along the side rails the table. These dots are spaced out equally in each position. There are three between every pocket. While these dots might appear random, they are actually laid out in such a way so that you can geometrically divide the table. Basically, each dot is meant to be used as a marker for an angled shot. This is especially helpful for making accurate bank shots. If you’re in the process of getting a new table, be sure the dots are bright and won’t fade over time. For example this Mizerak Donovan model features matte black cabinet, and white dots are hard not to notice.

Using the dots

Basically, pro pool players use these dots to divide the table into different sections. They imagine straight lines from each dot to its corresponding mark on the other side of the table. By sectioning off the table, you are able to have a better understanding of the types of shots that you can and cannot make while you are playing.

Since the dots are at standard lengths between each other, they can act as a ruler. Pro players also think of the entire table in systems often. The corner pocket would be 0, and each dot would be a 10. That way, you can easily discern one dot from the other, as long as you use the same starting point.

Once you understand this grid system, you can use them to help you choose the best angles for your different shots. Since these dots or diamonds are always in the same location, using them in this way with a slight understanding of physics, a player can greatly improve their aim. For instance, if you are shooting the ball at a 45-degree angle towards the dot of your choice, that means that it will go off at a 45-degree angle as well. This conformity of design makes it a whole lot easier to get the shots you desire with a little bit of practice.

Line them up first

When you are first getting started with using the diamonds and dots on the side rails of the pool table, you first need to learn how to line them up. It is best to assign each of them a number before you play. That way, you will be able to keep the diamonds straight as you move around the table during the match. You can label the dots in any way that you see fit. Some players like to refer to the corner pocket as 0 and assign each dot a value of ten going around the table. Others prefer to use a base of one, with each pocket and dot being referred to by 1, 2, 3, 4…etc.

By dividing the table in this manner, you will create a gridwork that will help to inform your shots as you play. You also want to utilize the empty spaces as well during a game. For instance, the spaces between what you have assigned as 1 and 2 should be 1.5 and so on. This will make it much easier to choose your shots and will also allow you to aim your shots with more accuracy. It will allow you to choose the right angles much quicker than before, which should help you to become a more competent and complete player than those you are playing against.

Types of Shots

In pool, there are several different shots that you need to master to have a fighting chance in any match. Many of these involve the type of spin that is put on the ball as you try to maneuver around the table. Two of these, the bank shot and kick shot, pertain directly to the use of the dots/diamonds around the edge, making them powerful tools to keep in your arsenal. Of course, the type of shots that you can make will greatly depend on the type of cues that you use, so make sure that you have the best cue for your playing style.

Kick shots

A kick shot is basically the same principle as a bank shot. The only difference is that you are not banking the object balls themselves into the pocket, but rather banking the cue ball towards another ball and hitting it directly into the pocket of your choice. You will also want to make sure that you have the right cue for the shots you intend to take. You should use a high-quality, completely straight cue so that your calculations are right every time. This one from Players, for example, is considered to be one of the best cues in its price category on the market today

In order to do this successfully, you need to follow the same steps of counting and halving that you would for a bank shot. Kick shots are very useful for hitting around your opponent’s balls if they are blocking your path. Obviously, this strategy will take a bit of practice before you can say that you have mastered it. Thankfully, once you have taken the time to really figure out how much spin and power you need on a shot, as well as what angles to use, the diamond system will help you to play up to your potential.

Bank shots

When it comes to using the diamond system to improve your game, the bank shot is going to be your bread and butter. As the name implies, a bank shot is when you hit a ball off of the rails, too, hopefully, bank it into one of the pockets. Using the diamond system, all you have to do is figure out which diamond corresponds with the ball that you want to make contact with. Since you already know how to number the diamonds to your advantage, selecting the correct one should be a piece of cake. You simply have to remember that whatever angle you hit the ball into the wall is the angle you will get going towards the ball.

Keeping this in the back of your mind, you need to simply determine the number of pieces between your cue ball and the pocket you want to hit it into. Once that is figured out, you can take this number and divide it by two. This will point you to the corresponding diamond on the opposite rail, which will point you towards the most advantageous shot placement for your needs. As long as you hit the ball with the right amount of spin, using this system should allow you to greatly increase the accuracy and precision of your bank shots. This will, in turn, make it a lot easier for you to start taking down your competition with consistency.

Final thoughts

The diamond system is a great way to improve your pool skills. This system of dots around the outside edge of the table helps to separate it into a grid. This grid can be used to help players figure out the right angles for them to hit the object balls that they need to get to. Though the system takes a bit of practice to master, it is especially helpful for bank shots, as well as kick shots.

Since the grid work produced with these dots or diamonds is always uniform, it makes it much easier to get a better understanding of the types of angles that need to be used. By practicing with this system, a player can go from pretty good to playing like a pro in a small amount of time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *