English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Billiard Monthly : May, 1911

The Billiard Monthly : May, 1911

A Few Cue Tips

  • When confronted on the billiard table with an apparently
    difficult stroke, either positional or not, pause a moment
    to consider how an exact reversal of what is first in the
    mind will pay. For instance: The shot is too fine even for
    a grazing stroke. Then play for an equally thick follow
    through. A shot at ordinary strength will leave the object
    ball in baulk. Then play double strength and bring it
    out. A fullish stroke across into a top pocket may
    leave the object ball too near a side cushion or too high up.
    Then try a finer and faster shot and cut it a little more
    down the table.
  • In making curly masse strokes aim as though to miss.
    You will then just catch the edge and the curl will do the
    rest. Masses are not so difficult as they look, and need
    less “addressing” than they usually receive even from
    professionals, with whom it is something of an asset to
    make them look rather portentous.
  • Amateurs who play the position game too often endeavour
    to get to their ideal in one stroke instead of three or
    four. Professionals are more patient in this respect.
  • In practising at top of the table place the red on the
    spot and the white as closely behind as will enable a
    gentle, nearly-full contact with the red to be made without
    a kiss. This should only just move the white, leaving the
    cue ball quite near to it, and there should be quite a series
    of alternate pots and cannons before the white reaches the
    cushion. When tight there another 50 could be scored
    without moving it.
  • Before putting down the red in top-of-the-table play, the
    position of the white must first be noted. It may be above,
    below, or at the side of the spot, and, wherever it is, the
    cue ball must be brought round to a nice half-ball position
    when the red is re-spotted.
  • Sometimes a succession of these cannons following pots
    will work the white gently but gradually down the table,
    and then comes the time for an in-off from the red instead
    of a pot and for a drop cannon from baulk sending the
    white back to or behind the spot.
  • When the half-ball cannon position guiding the red to
    the pocket is lost in top-of-the-table play there are three
    orthodox ways of procedure. There is the very gentle
    screw, in making which the object ball is but slightly
    moved, there is the gentle cushion cannon, and there is the
    masse. These strokes must be separately practised a great
    deal before being resorted to in games.
  • The very gentle screw at close quarters is extremely easy,
    as very low cueing can be safely indulged in and its effect
    is enormously enhanced by the short distance that the cue
    ball has to travel.
  • In all classes of strokes in billiards practice should proceed
    from the minimum strength to the maximum rather
    than the contrary. A right-angled screw can even be
    made almost gently into a middle pocket from the centre
    of the table with the cue ball on the centre baulk spot, if
    the contact be full enough and the cue sent freely through
    the ball. Try to do this without bringing the object ball
    back into baulk. You may not succeed but you will have
    learnt a valuable lesson.

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