Billiards Tips For Beginners
These beginning tips for billiards will assist those beginning to play pool in mastering the basics of billiards such as aligning their body, lining up their feet, building a good bridge, grasping the cue stick properly, and aligning the shot for maximum control and potential.
- Align Your Body: Make sure your elbows have enough room and clear the table. Keep them tucked to your body as though you were shooting with a bow and arrow. Make sure there is enough elbowroom and billiards cue stick room to draw all the way back as far as your arm will reach while holding the cue stick and not hit the wall or other object behind you. Some shots you will need to face the table squarely, while others you will need to align your body at an angle.
- Line-Up Your Feet: The stance your feet make is to ground your body and use as much power and balance as needed. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Point your left foot exactly at the billiards cue ball and aligned with the bridge hand, the billiards cue stick, and the target. Your right foot should be perpendicular to your left foot and parallel to the edge of the table exactly shoulder width form the left foot. There are some times when you must reach across the table for a shot and you will not be able to make this stance, just find a stance where your body does not sway when you pull back with the cue stick, readjust your stance until you do not sway at all before making the shot.
- Build a Good Bridge: Using your left had to build a bridge, rest the left wrist on the table with your fingers in a loose fist. Your left hand should be one to three inches away from the billiards ghost ball and the wrist and fingers should be flat against the billiards table. Stick your thumb up at a 90-degree angle and rest the billiards cue stick on the slight gap made between the thumb and index finger. This gap should align perfectly to where you want to hit the billiards ghost ball exactly. For a beginner this will be dead center on the curve facing you. Do not try fancy shots or jumps until you have mastered this basic shot completely.
- Billiards Cue Stick Handling: Before beginning each shot, you need to give the cue stick a good coat of chalk on the tip. Then you need to adjust your grasp for the amount of speed you want to give the ball. The closer to the ghost ball you hold the cue stick, the less speed you give the shot. The farther from the billiards ghost ball and farther on the cue stick you grasp it, the more power and speed you give your ghost ball.
- Properly Aligning the Target Ball Shot: Imagine your billiards cue stick as the bullet or arrow, your bridge hand as the one holding a crossbow and your ghost ball as a small circle you must pass through before hitting your target. Align your bridge hand and billiards cue stick tip to the point of the billiards ghost ball that aligns with the point of the target ball you want to hit. Make sure you do this with your dominant eye by aligning you dominant eye align the billiards cue stick, ghost ball, and target ball trajectory. Your dominant eye is not always on the same side as your dominant hand, but if you can master the ability to align your dominant eye’s sight down the cue stick to your target, you will make more shots cleanly. Make sure you hit the ball squarely at this point with the cue stick.
- A Few Reminders: After follow though, continue to hold your stance exactly until all the balls stop moving on the table. This is so that you do not shake the table as you remove your bridge hand and mess up the shot. If you master these techniques, you will begin to look like a pro at the billiards table. These instructions are for right-handed people, if you are left handed switch the terms appropriately.