English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Billiard Monthly : November, 1910

The Billiard Monthly : November, 1910

The Cueman’s ABC

ATTITUDE AND AIM.

Get well down to the stroke, with right foot, elbow, chin, and
bridge hand in exact line of aim, which is always over centre of
cue ball, whether side is employed or not. For side strokes the
cue point must not be deflected, but the entire cue, although
shifted, must be kept in strict alignment. If this is done
potting with side is not really difficult.

BRIDGE

Should be properly shaped, firm, and motionless. Put your
left hand over a piece of billiard chalk with slightly parted
finger tips and wrist joint touching the table. Then place joint
of thumb against bottom joint of forefinger, and you have an
ideal bridge. A useful loop bridge for occasional use is made by
joining tips of thumb and first finger and placing them against
middle joint of second finger.

CUE.

Balance lightly between thumb and first joint of forefinger, and
keep other fingers away. Keep butt down, and work in the dead
line of aim. The cue must go clean through the ball, with a
light, flowing motion, actuated by the pendulum-like swing of the
vertical forearm from the motionless horizontal upper arm.

DRAG. Cultivate this invaluable aid to true running and restraint
of cue ball. If the object ball should be encountered before the
reverse rotation is exhausted, “drag” becomes “screw.” Cue
contact halfway between ball centre and bed of table is low
enough.

EASY DELIVERY.

The great thing is to avoid jerks or” thrusts. “eave the cue to
do its unfettered work and never pinch it, except, perhaps, in
screwing, and then only at the moment the cue touches the ball.

FLUKES.

Don’t rejoice at these. Mourn over and try to avoid them by a
rapid mental forecast of the probable run of the balls after
striking.

GOLDEN RULE.

Never use side, top, or bottom when the stroke can be made and
equally good position secured with a plain central stroke.

HITTING THE BALL.

Use a free, flowing stroke, with cue brought well back, and sent
well forward. Don’t “thrust.” Heavy cueing makes a dead ball, and
is only useful for” stun “and similar shots. Try a pyramid spot
in-off with a free and gentle swing, and see how beautifully both
balls respond.

IDIOSYNCRASIES.

Avoid bodily contortions, ball adjuration, or cue waving.

JENNIES.

” The half-ball angle is the thing, with plenty of check side,
but the curvature produced by the slow running of the ball with
side before contact must be allowed for by finer aiming.

KISS STROKES.

These are simpler than they look. Correct division of the object
ball is the main thing, with low cueing when the ball is against
a cushion and is taken rather fully, especially when it has some
distance to travel after impact.

LEFT HANDED PLAY.

Facility in this direction soon comes with practice, and adds
greatly to one’s enjoyment of the game. Sometimes, however, use
of the rest is safer.

MISCUES.

Chalk cue when considering shots and always before applying
screw, drag, or extreme side or top. Above all, get crisply on
the ball.

NERVES.

Forget yourself and never mind the score.

OPPONENT.

Be courteous and pleasant, but otherwise ignore him.

POSITION.

Avoid going for easy shots which you know are not the game.
Improvement does not lie in that direction. On the other hand,
make no easy stroke without considering where the balls will be
left. Why work hard at every stroke when everything might be made
so simple. Pot so as to leave cue ball in a commanding position,
and play in-off so as to leave object balls or ball playable from
baulk.

QUICK PLAY.

This is better for the nerves and everything else than
excessively slow play, but must not be confounded with careless
play.

RUN THROUGHS.

Don’t be afraid of these. It is as easy to run through a ball
three-quarter as to play fine one-quarter, and the cue ball takes
the same direction, as it does with all plain strokes aimed at
equal distances inside and outside the edge of the object ball.
The right selection of “thick or thin,” “hard or soft,” when both
classes of strokes are on is half the secret of position play.

SCREW BACKS.

These are simply reverse follows. Send
your cue right through the ball, pinching the cue at the moment
of contact, after having previously drawn it well back, instead
of “jobbing” at the ball.

TOP.

Only put on top when cue ball is near to object ball and has a
decent way to run. In other cases central striking and natural
rotation are sufficient.

UNIFORMITY.

Have a method and stick to it. With the balls in a given
position the same stroke should always be played.

VARIABILITY.

This is the antithesis of uniformity. When your game
varies it is yourself that is varying and not the table or the
balls. So keep the personal equation under,
continue to make a study of every stroke, and the balls will
soon come your way.

WINNING HAZARDS.

Remember that the point to be aimed at is exactly twice as far
from the centre of the object ball as is the point which is in a
direct line (on your side of the table) with the pocket. If this
point, as you stand behind the cue ball, comes out
¼ inch inside the edge, aim ½ inch
outside, if ½ inch inside aim at edge; if ¾ inch
inside aim ½ inch inside.

EXCELLENCE.

Don’t be contented with mediocrity. Determine to excel.
YOURSELF.

Whatever you are or are not as a billiard player be yourself-at
its best. Don’t try to be a Stevenson or an Inman. You have
not time. Be natural.

ZEAL.

In other words: “Practice”; and this does not mean knocking the
balls about. Practice specific shots, especially
those that beat you in a game, and then try to think out a short
break.

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