The Bridge Hand
The first thing to be learned in connection with billiard
placing is the making with one of the hands of suitable bridges
with which to support, steady, and guide the cue. Righthanded
players, of course, make the bridges with their left
hands, left-handed players with their right hands, and ambidextrous
players with either hand as required
Assuming the case of the right-handed player, the first
thing to be done by such a player is to accustom his left
hand to the making of the bridge which long experience
has taught the best players to be one that cannot be improved
upon for the great bulk of the strokes at the table,
and the formation of this bridge may be practised before a
cue is taken into the hand at all. To make this bridge
carefully observe the following instructions:
1.Lay the left hand flat upon the table, or anywhere
upon a flat surface.
2.Raise the knuckles of the four fingers about three
inches from the table, keeping them all close together and
lightly resting upon the table.
3. Separate the four fingers slightly so as to broaden
the support that they give to the hand.
4.Bring the ball of the thumb to a point midway
between the knuckle and the lower joint of the first
5.Turn the hand over to the right so that the root of
the thumb rests firmly on the table.
6.If the cue be now placed across the joint of the
thumb and against the knuckle of the index finger, it will
be found to be provided with a perfect rest or guide for
the cue to run across in the making of nearly all the
strokes that occur in the usual way.
Sometimes, however, it is of advantage to be able to
work the cue in a loop, and here again the experience of the
best players is that the most satisfactory and reliable loop
for several special purposes is to be formed by bringing the
tips of the thumb and index finger together and placing
them against the middle joint of the second finger. This
looped bridge, raised and depressed, can be adapted to
several purposes. There is also a modification of it when
working the cue on the cushion and almost parallel with it.
In this case the third and fourth fingers of the hand rest
on the cushion, and the middle finger on the table with the
joined thumb and first finger brought together against its
One other bridge is the masse bridge, in which the second
and third fingers are pressed vertically on the table and the
cue is worked in a groove formed by bending the first finger
as far back as possible beneath the thumb. This forms a
fork between the knuckle of the first finger and the joint of