When side is used the cue contact is nearer the centre of the ball than the line of aim. Thus when, with a half inch tip, the ball is addressed a quarter of an inch from the edge it is actually struck half an inch from such edge.
When the butt of the cue is raised either purposely or by necessity and when running side is at the same time employed, the aim of the object ball should be full and when check side is employed the aim should be fine, as anything approaching a pique stroke imparts a considerable curve to the cue ball.
The cue tips that” stick like a postage stamp “are excellent and quite practical. Every billiard player should use these tips and have the small file in clamp to make the end of the cue flat and allow the tip to set. When one of these tips comes off in play, however, it can often be put on again, and the game resumed, by simply moistening and pressing with the finger.
In playing the frequently-recurring short-legged in-off, especially into a middle pocket, the contact should usually be fine screw rather than fullish forcer. Try both ways and judge.
Two of the most valuable (but little known or practised) rules in position play are: When gentle fine stroke would ruin position play stronger and fuller, and when gentle full stroke would carry the object ball too far play stronger.
In losing hazard play with the object ball well up the table and a half-ball stroke on into either top pocket, the play should always be into the pocket nearer to the ball as this brings the object ball more towards the middle of the table.
When you cannot get the angle for the full run of the cue ball after contact in the eye take it to a distance of a foot only along the line that it should travel. The strength to be applied to screws is also best judged in this way.
To practise strengths place cue ball on middle baulk spot and play with sufficient strength to bring the ball back from the top cushion nearly as far as the pyramid spot. Call this No. 1 strength. Then gradually increase the strength so that No. 2 brings the ball to the baulk line, No. 3 to the pyramid spot again, and No. 4 to the baulk line again. Practise each of these strengths until you can do either at will and use no other strengths in your practice or games.
Good education in strength as related to difference in contact may be obtained from baulk with the red on the centre of the table. Place cue ball on a baulk end spot and play a gentle half-ball. The red will reach the top cushion, and the white return from the top to the side cushion high up.
Next play a finer ball and the red will only travel half-way from the side cushion to the top, whilst the white will come lower down the opposite cushion. Finally play still fine and the red will lie under the side cushion and the white will come down to the middle pocket.
Almost as bad a thing in cue delivery as gripping the cue or neglecting to swing it on the stroke is imparting either an upward or sideways curve in completing. If there is a curve at all let it be downward on to the cloth in the direct line of aim. In forcers played with top or in close follow-throughs the cue tip may go up a little, but these cases are exceptional.