Always use the same weight and balance of cue, width of cue tip, and make of ball. It is impossible to chop and change about in these particulars without injury to your play.
Never let the cue go until you have made sure of your aim and know exactly what you are trying to do.
Put the red ball on a chalk mark 24 inches above the centre baulk spot in the centre line of the table and play alternately into each middle pocket from a baulk corner spot. Practice nothing else until you can bring the red back to the chalk mark several times in succession.
It is unsafe to play half-ball on to the white when it is a few inches above the centre of the table and near the centre line. To avoid losing the white in this position play a quarter of an inch thicker than half-ball with proportionately finer spotting.
Always play what seems under strength in screwing, what seems too full in run throughs, and what seems too fine in fine contacts, and when playing fast and fine on to a ball quite near a pocket, play finer still to compensate for the extra force.
Try to avoid letting the cue tip stand dead still just before the stroke. There should be some movement even though it amounts to little more than a tremor.
When playing slowly with side up the table, or diagonally towards the top, the aim for running side must be fuller than with central striking and for check side finer, or the stroke will be missed.
It is almost impossible to locate a point of aim on the object ball for an almost straight run-through. The best thing to do is to notice that the cue is pointed almost, but not perfectly, straight, and this will usually bring off the stroke.
The safest way to make the jump, or steeplechase, stroke is to lay the cue flat on the table, but if the rail of the table interferes the aim should be on to the cloth one inch behind the cue ball.*
The way in which professionals and good amateurs get so much side upon a very gently-struck ball is by hitting it as near its horizontal circumference as possible with a nice swing back to the cue and a little accentuation of the final forward swing. A mere poke is of no use whatever.
If there were no such thing as side, screw, or top in billiards very good breaks could still be made by the judicious use of varying contacts and strengths. Indeed, if a learner were forbidden to strike otherwise than centrally during the first three months he would not have subsequent cause to regret it.
The nearer and gentler the stroke the shorter should both the bridge and the cue swing be.
In aiming fuller or finer than half-ball the feet must be adjusted as well as the body. The same position of the feet cannot be right in all three cases.