English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Billiard Monthly : May, 1912

The Billiard Monthly : May, 1912

A Few Cue Tips

  • There is only one rule in position pocket play. It is:
    Never make a losing hazard before you have decided where
    you wish the object ball to stop, and never make a winning
    hazard before you have decided where you wish the cue ball
    to stop.
  • To correct and improve your aim and manner of addressing
    and striking the ball, practise winning hazards in
    preference to losing hazards and cannons. Whenever you
    intentionally pot a ball your aim has been practically true,
    whereas you can score losing hazard or cannons with very
    imperfect aiming.
  • When the balls are out of position don’t attempt miracles
    or a scattering shot. Rely rather upon the next stroke or
    safety play. For instance, when the red and white are
    near the spot, but not favourably placed for the winner-cannon
    movement, make a gentle cannon, guiding one of
    the balls to the side cushion and the other for a gentle
    losing hazard into the pocket. The ensuing drop cannon
    from baulk should restore the position.
  • Play as many strokes as possible with dead central
    striking, reserving side and other compensations for position
    purposes. Practise these compensations by placing the
    object ball in a given position and making it travel in a
    number of different directions while the cue ball always
    pursues the same direction, and vice-versa.
  • Reserve force for exceptional occasions. Substitute fuller
    contact for force in screwing and slow side for forcing whenever
    position can be gained of retained in that way.
  • A gentle swing of the cue sends the cue ball two lengths
    of the table, or, if the object ball is struck nearly full on
    the journey, makes that ball complete the distance. Why,
    therefore, when playing, use greater strength in order to
    cover even lesser distances?
  • The next time you see professionals play, spend a few
    minutes without watching the balls at all. Watch how the
    cue is held, how the feet are positioned, how the body is
    aligned, how the ball is addressed, and how the swing and
    stroke are delivered. Choose, preferably, for this purpose
    the professional whose style seems to you to be the most
    easy and graceful.
  • When aiming from some distance up the table a quarter-ball
    losing hazard or cannon can be converted into a halfball
    by playing a slow stroke with plenty of check side.
    Down the table the side must be reversed, but the aim is
    still half-ball.
  • A point that cannot be too carefully remembered in
    billiard playing is that the cue ball (when there is no miscue)
    always travels exactly in the direction in which the
    cue is pointing at the moment of contact, whether such
    contact be central, high, side, or bottom. Consequently,
    when side is employed, if the cue is not moved bodily and
    then swung parallel to the central line, the ball will travel
    on a different course from that intended. When the cue is
    properly aligned for side strokes it is as easy to aim at an
    object ball with side on the cue ball as it is to make a plain
    stroke, and all that is needed is the confidence that comes
    with success.

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