Tips and Tools to Play Pool like a Pro

Playing pool requires a great deal of skill, but playing pool like a pro only requires a few more small tips and tools for your game.  Many average players aren’t very familiar with these simple tasks that can greatly improve one’s game.  First, be sure to gain control over your stance, hand-bridge, and breathing.  This is mandatory for improving your game.  Also, use a cue stick made of quality materials.  It does not have to be too expensive necessarily, but should be straight, with a smooth shaft section for gliding through your fingers and a quality and well chalked tip.  Psychologically, rising to the next level requires preparation for long sets of games, stressful decisions, and asserting yourself at the table despite whether you think you might win or not.  Some say the game is 90% a psychological “chess match” and only 10% skill.  Last, and perhaps most important, know the tablecloth speed, table angles and math, and even your own strengths or weaknesses.  We can go on all day about every single tip to put your game at 100%, but these few tips and tools will develop your game to play like a pro.

As an average player, you could put hours of work into developing your skills in certain situations, shots, or remedies for mistakes. More importantly, you should know how to position your body, arms, legs, eyes, and hands as you shoot. Let’s begin for the right handed person. Approach the table with your left foot forward pointed at the cue ball. Your right foot should be perpendicular to the left and your feet should be a little over shoulder width apart. This distance could be slightly wider if you are taller or wish to get lower to the table for certain shots. Your left hand should be comfortably in front of you and on the felt of the table, holding the shaft section of the cue stick approximately eight inches from the tip. Your right arm should be in an “L” shape with the portion of your arm above your elbow parallel to the floor. You should position your right hand on the bottom section of the cue stick approximately twelve inches from the end of the cue. Grasp the bottom section of the cue firmly, but do not grip it tightly. Concerning your left hand’s bridge, you should use either an open bridge with the shaft resting in the nook of your bridge, or you should use a closed bridge with the shaft section gliding through your fingers. Either bridge that is comfortable for you will work, but more importantly you should not let the shaft section of the cue slide left or right. Use a firm bridge and keep the tip of your cue from swaying. Your rear or right hand, arm, and shoulder, for the right handed person must follow a path directly toward your cue ball. That is, do not let your rear or right hand sway back and forth so the tip section of the cue ends of doing the same. This is an important stroke necessary for gaining control of the momentum you generate while shooting. Lastly, be sure to breathe in slowly while moving the cue stick backward and exhale slowly as you deliver the cue stick forward to strike the cue ball and shoot. In total, using proper body positioning and mechanics will add a great deal of accuracy to any shot, no matter how much you have practiced it.

Average players often do not recognize the differences in a good cue stick vs. a poor one. The “not so often” pool player typically uses a cue off of the wall rack at a local pool hall or pub. These cues can be straight if they are new, but usually the tips are broken, they are warped from being dropped, taken out of the rack too often or harshly, and are generally not in very good condition. Purchasing a simple two piece cue made of better wood is often a good investment for those who want to bring their pool game to the next level. Also, it may be good to invest in a solid case that will keep your new cue away from the elements and out of danger from being scarred up, bent, or broken. You can invest heavily in a cue and case, tools to shape and chalk a good leather tip, and simple cloths to clean or smooth your cue, or you can find these items relatively cheap. Never settle for using the cue available at the pool hall or pub if you want to elevate your game. The following website is one of many that offer pool cues and cases at a reasonable cost. This is a very inexpensive way to start to perfect your game.

Mastering psychological control over your pool game is a very important tip for improvement and a winning mindset.  Let’s face it, as with any challenge, if you think you are beaten before you begin, you are less likely to win.  In many situations you might find yourself facing a player who has a reputation as the best in his / her class, yet they are able to lose.  You must believe in your abilities, know your weaknesses, and make good decisions in this and any match.  Maybe you find that your game is far better than your opponent and don’t take the game seriously enough.  This is another important part of maintaining emotional well being while enjoying the sport of pool.  Believe in yourself, don’t ever get extremely anger and rude, be a good sport, and play every game to win.  It’s also important to get enough rest, know your alcohol limit if applicable, and especially make sure to have fun.  Great pool players know that winning skills come from winning thinking.

Part of being in the know includes knowing the table’s composition, your strongest and weakest shots, and a solid understanding of the math and geometry involved.  These are things that you can learn from analyzing yourself, watching others, reading a few good pool books, and studying the mathematics of pool a little.  Simply, don’t take shots that you know you haven’t practiced well enough. You should practice thinking of where your cue ball will land once you have made your current shot, and then once you know that, determine again where you can pocket another ball.  If you do this continuously and have the necessary skills to continue to position the cue ball for upcoming shots, you can begin to make more consecutive shots and stay at the table longer than your opponents.  Before the game begins, ask questions about the felt material and its speed.  Check it for yourself, and drift a cue ball down different parts of the table to see if there are any inconsistent rolls that you will need to compensate for.  Understand the geometry of your shots, speed control, and how spinning the cue ball, in what is known as English, will affect your game.  Analyzing these things will make you a winner among amateurs.

You might not develop into the next world champ right away, but utilizing a few simple measures of success will likely raise your game to the next level. As with anything, continued practice makes perfect, and your desire to succeed will continue to feed your pool game. There is a vast amount of free information available to better your pool game. You might not be master overnight, but keep at it and you will definitely enjoy getting better. Pool or billiards is a great way to enjoy yourself, spend time with friends or family, and compete individually or even as part of a team. Practice these tips and it won’t be long before you too are playing pool like a pro. ~Article by D.C., 2009

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Play Pool Free Online 7 years ago

I have to agree that if you're wanting to play any serious pool, the first step is to get your own cue. House cues are abused and inconsistent, and having a cue that you know inside and out will benefit anyone's game tremendously.

Play Pool Free Online 7 years ago

I have to agree that if you're wanting to play any serious pool, the first step is to get your own cue. House cues are abused and inconsistent, and having a cue that you know inside and out will benefit anyone's game tremendously.

Tabitha Oscorp 7 years ago

I completely agree. House cues couldn't be more abused!

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interesting-stuff 6 years ago from USA

I find I can be quite inconsistent with my game. A lot of the stuff in this guide hadn't even occurred to me when I play. So thanks!

Tom Taylor 6 years ago

Great tips here. If you're ever on the market for your own table my company offers billiard equipment and pool tables at deep discounts. We're all over social media sites too so feel free to shoot us a question or follow us on twitter @greatpooltables. We'd love to help you find what your looking for or even just talk billiards and help your game out!

nick 6 years ago

I find it hard to believe that having your own pool stick makes such a big difference I've seen people run the table not only with house sticks but mop handles after seeing that I believe its the player not the stick

nick 6 years ago

I find it hard to believe that having your own pool stick makes such a big difference I've seen people run the table not only with house sticks but mop handles after seeing that I believe its the player not the stick

Joe 6 years ago

Good article, good advice. I played pool for 30 years before I got my first cue because I always played in bars and didn't want to carry one around. However, I always carried a tip tool and could get practically any house stick in playable shape in just a few minutes. I own several cues now, and I like my sneaky the best-reminds me of those crazier days, I guess.

Curtis29Iva 4 years ago

Have no enough money to buy a house? You should not worry, just because it's possible to get the business loans to resolve such problems. So get a term loan to buy all you want.

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