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How to hold a pool cue (Step by Step Guide)​

The pool game is so interesting that people of all ages are attracted towards it. But the point to note here is that some beginners really don’t know how to hold a pool cue but still are on master level! Yes with digital pool games it is possible. But in reality it isn’t the case.

You might be a pro in playing online pool games but it really takes a lot of expert skills to be a real life player. Since pool doesn’t require a lot of physical activities like ping pong or cricket but still it requires an advanced level of strategically aligned skills and some serious playing attitude to win!

So if you are someone who loves to play this game in real you should first buy yourself a good pool cue that is suitable for beginners.

Here is my list of best pool cues you can buy on Amazon. But if your budget is low, check out my article on Best Pool Cues Under $100 instead.

Mostly the newbie’s hold the pool cue in a wrong way as there is no other way around it but holding. However with absolute grit and entire attention, you can just hold the pool cue stick correctly by educating yourself with its fundamentals and understanding few important holding strategies and techniques.

Let’s start by discussing everything you need to know on how to hold a pool cue perfectly!

First and foremost you should have the knowhow of the importance of holding a pool cue correctly.

There are multiple ways of holding a pool cue, just like your unique writing style or your swinging arm techniques while playing table tennis, shooting golf or even playing cricket.

Everyone has their own favorite shots and signature playing on how they like to hold/swing things. There is no right and wrong but there are ways to optimize the way you can hold a cue to ensure you hit the best shot each and every time.

As you’ll all agree the pool cue is the key element and the motivating strength of the pool game. Therefore by holding it in a correct manner, you can increase the probability of your winning, can increase your precision in shots, enhance your focus, and control in the.

On the other hand, holding your pool cue inadequately can ruin all your chances to take winning shots.

There are two imperative aspects a newbie have to be aware of to hold the pool cue rightly

Understanding the essential tips and tricks

Making a 90 degree angle

Step 1 is to simply know with which hand you are most comfortable in holding your pool cue. Adjust the cue for clutching it at your waist level carefully. Then you need to gently hold the rear end of the cue with the hand with which you are most comfortable.

In order to check if you have positioned your perfect hand on the exact position, make confirmation for some tape at the rear. Now, gradually move your hand at the back the tape. Note to keep a distance of 4 to 5 inches from the rear of the tape by making a 90 degree angle from your right hand.

This will actually indicate your accuracy level for holding a pool cue however keep in mind do not get lost in the tension, always hold you pool cue in a relaxed mood with comfortable and precise grip.The cue ball and your body should be in the same line, this is important because doing this will help you make your shots properly.

The next step is holding the other end of the cue known as tip with the other hand without bridging it as a modest trip can strike the pool ball. Also do not forget to bend your legs a little and do not keep them very straight.

Bridging the tip of the cue

This is indeed one of the most important parts of learning to hold the cue for making a precise shot. You need to open your palm and put on the surface of the pool table behind the cue ball. You need to know that according to a standard rule you should keep the other hand approximately 6 to 8 inches right behind the targeted cue ball.

Then you can just hold up the pool cue tip with the help of your hand. Adjust the tip of the pool cue between your thumb and the index finger not moving the middle finger and do not rush at all as it can cause injury.

Also, you have the choice of using you middle finger for supporting your grip. This kind of bridging technique is known as open bridge, even though there are many diverse forms of bridges available, but this one is the used universally. Keep in mind that if your hand or fingers tremble a bit there are many chances of losing the shot precision.

Your center of attention should be on target

You need to make sure that you are holding the cue firmly by maintaining a good balance of your body. Our You should know that just hitting the ball is not going to fulfill sure you hit the center of the pool ball with extraordinary precision as by hitting at the center of the ball can boost all the chances of hitting the target ball greatly.

Make yourself at ease and bring into line your pool cue with the targeted pool ball in the correct way so that you can notice the targeted pool ball in your shot way as well.

Take your shot after balancing

Once you have constructed your target shot, slither your cue ahead and toward the back in order to get the perfect position for your focused shot. However, if you think that there is something missing you can always adjust your final shot again as and when needed.

You just need to maintain a good balance, stay focused and budge the cue frontward and toward the back multiple times in order to aim your shot in the ball center. Always follow through your intended shot quite a few times, strike the pool ball only when you are absolutely certain about you posture, bridge is just right and the shot you are about to make is just the way you want it to be.

Also once the shot is taken just don’t forget to keep you body in the exact same posture for some time; this will actually make your signature shot.  Make sure you don’t get anxious and sweat on your palm because that can disturb your grip.

Learning Different Types of Bridging

There are multiple bridging tricks with fingers which can be utilized in different pool game scenarios. Let’s discuss some of them precisely.

Open Bridge

I have already discussed a bit about it in the above part of the article, this is the most general and widely used bridging technique in pool game which is also much easier to apply as compared to other bridging techniques. Here’s a step by step process:

  1. Place your submissive hand on the surface of the pool table and make e fingers apart from each other in the hand
  2. Then you have to clutch the other end of your pool cue with your main hand
  3. Position  the cue tip in between the thumb and index finger of your hand
  4. Now slowly raise our thumb and bridge the cue’s tip with your index finger
  5. Also it is non-compulsory to bring into play your middle finger along with your index finger if you feel to adjust your grip feels

Close Bridge

This bridging technique is used by many professionals for enhancing precision of shots. Here’s a step by step process:

  1. You need to make a closed fist and put the non-dominant hand on the pool table
  2. Widen your hand by opening your small, ring and middle finger and middle finger. Don’t include your index finger in a fist position
  3. Place your thumb under your closed index finger
  4. Now enclose it by making a circle with the help of index finger by placing it over your thumb.
  5. Bend your fist circle made by the index finger and the thumb by positioning the pool cue within and make many forth and back movements in order to release it adequately and making a comfortable shot

Rail Bridge

This technique is particularly employed when the pool ball is close to the rail, and your one hand has no space for the specific shot. However it’s quite a simple technique. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Place the non-dominant hand slowly on the rail
  2. Now make the usual open bridge shot by positioning your cue between your index finger and thumb slowly and then place your index finger above the cue in a way that the cue becomes fix between the middle finger and the index finger perfectly
  3. Adjust your firm balance, bend your legs slightly and take a shot with a precision by aiming on the center of the cue ball.

Mechanical Bridge:

The utility of mechanical bridge is just used when the pool ball target is at quite a distance from the player and is not reachable with simple open bridging.

Also thus is applicable when you are playing on a wider and larger pool table or if an object ball positioned ahead of the cue ball and when you trying to hit over the target ball exclusive of even touching it, your bridge becomes unstable and wobbly. Here is how you can apply it:

  1. Place the bridging cue flat on the table surface
  2. Now position the bridging cue so the bridge top is approximately about 6 – 8 inches away from the respective cue ball. You need to be a little close to the ball, but with an adequate distance allowing a smooth shot
  3. You need to grip the bridge cue confidently on the pool table with your other unused hand
  4. Make sure that your bridge cue must be on the left to your shooting cue if you are right handed player
  5. Move your shooting cue and position the cue shaft in one of the marks on the bridge head.
  6. Now place the cue in the lowest mark that is most appropriate when you are trying to draw or for stopping the cue ball. Also note that by positioning the cue in an elevated notch is suitable when you want the cue ball on the following path
  7.  Also you have many object balls there are going to need some additional elevation, position the bridge top on its side surface, and by using a side mark
  8. Clutch your pool cue at the end of the cue. Your thumb should be positioned below the bottom of your playing cue. Position you’re all other four fingers over the crown. Your shooting elbow should fix on to your side.
  9. You need to use your wrist and fingers for stroking the cue instead of your elbow
  10. You don’t have to touch and other object ball or cue ball in the game
  11. You need to make a very even and conscious ball hits
  12. Also remember to go after, just as with any stroke you take further.

Frequently Asked Question

Here are some (FAQs) for your help:

1-  Can you push your pool stick while taking a shot?

Ans: Well the answer is a clear No. By only pushing the pool cue it can be signified as a “clear push shot.” This can be a foul game and in snooker, this breach gives your challenger four points.

2-  Can I play with pool gloves in order to perk up my game skills?

Ans: Wearing quality pool gloves during game can decrease the quantity of resistance produced in between the cue and the player’s bridge. This will ultimately let the pool cue to have a very smooth slide. Additionally, it can be a substitute for using hand talc, which could make a chaos on the pool table if too much is put into use.

3-  How can I take a straight shot in a pool game?

 Ans: in order to take a straight shot, you need to hit in the middle of the cue ball as by hitting anywhere else it will produce a spin on the ball.

Wrapping It Up

Make sure that with proper practicing and following fundamental techniques a newbie can efficiently learn to handle and have full control on the cue ball.  However if you are someone who has the least knowledge of the basics of how to hold a pool cue perfectly, then the first key aspect for winning this game is learning this trait in and out in order to take your game to the next level to improve your game

You really don’t have to worry about not making an ideal hold or the target aim on the very first try. This will improve as you carry on playing pool and working on improving skills will surely be a step towards winning as Zig Ziglar once said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”.