The Great Game of Pool ( Guide)
Pool is one of my very favorite activities to do at my house, and I love every aspect of the game. Pool is a game played on a rectangular flat table, usually about 7-9 feet long, with 6 pockets. The object is to shoot the spherical object balls into the pocket, in certain variations (depending on what game type you are playing) using the cue ball with a cue stick. Every pool player loves a good friendly match of pool, ESPECIALLY when you're the one winning. Honestly, it does NOT take much to beat the average player in a pool match, it just takes simple fundamentals! In this guide I'm going to discuss some of the basics! These tips and tricks are for Beginners!
Here’s a list of some common pool terminologies that I will possibly use in this Guide. (Billiardworld.com)
CONTACT POINT. (General) The precise point of contact between the cue ball and the object ball when the cue ball strikes the object ball.
CUE BALL. (General) The white, unnumbered ball that is always struck by the cue during play.
CUE. (General) Tapered device, usually wooden, used to strike the cue ball to execute carom or pocket billiard shots. (Also called cue stick)
ENGLISH. (General) Sidespin applied to the cue ball by striking it off center; used to alter the natural roll of the cue ball and/or the object ball.
FOLLOW-THROUGH. (General) The movement of the cue after contact with the cue ball through the area previously occupied by the cue ball.
OBJECT BALLS. (General) The balls other than the cue ball on a shot.
STROKE. (General) The movement of the cue as a shot is executed.
Fundamentals of Pool!
Pool is one of those few sports, where you don’t need any athletic ability, but rather just technique, and PRACTICE. Practicing the fundamentals, as well as any other sports, is what makes you good, or even great at the sport. The first, but probably the most basic and important thing needed in pool, is proper form.
A Proper form should consist of BEEF. I use the idea of beef in all sports I play, and is an excellent way to remember proper form. BEEF stands for (alance (E)yes (E)lbow (F)ollow through In order to have good balance, you should feel completely comfortable when aiming down your cue, and should be able to stay in the same spot if someone were to push you. The easiest way to have good balance, is to have your front foot ( when aiming ) slightly angled to the side, and your back foot, a mere 45% angle to your body. Here is an example
(not me in picture)
Next is the EYES! You want to have you dominant eye directly over the pool stick, because it gives you the most accurate aim. Also have your chin as close to the pool cue as possible.
In Order to have a nice stroke, I would say a proper elbow (and forearm) form is necessary. When leaning over your shot to aim, make sure you back arm (holding the cue stick) is perpendicular to the cue stick. It should form a right angle. Try not to grasp the cue stick too tight, because it can tense up your muscles causing your stick to wobble when shooting. Heres a picture I found online of a stance, elbow form, and his eyes are directly on the target.
A Good follow through is also necessary, but I’ll discuss this in the shot making portion.
Bridging your Pool Cue
A Good bridge should be firm but not so tight to the point that the stick is not running through smoothly. Use Powder or chalk to avoid the cue from sticking. The top two used bridges are the open bridge, and the tripod. I personally use the open bridge more than the tripod, but I use the Tripod for certain situations. To form an open bridge, place your hand on the pool table, spread your fingers, lift your palm up by moving your fingers a little bit closer, and place the pool cue between your pointer finger and your thumb. The thumb should be slightly pressed up against the pool cue to help with stability. Here’s an Open Bridge
There are a few variations of this bridge, just do what feels comfortable and stable.
The closed bridge can be formed by looping the pointer finger around the cue toe the side of the thumb, and have the cue sliding over your middle finger slightly. Here’s an example.
Open Bridge VS Closed Bridge
Each Bridge has their own advantages. Here are a few
Open Bridge Advantages:
1. Easier to aim.
2. When shooting over another target ball, the open bridge is still decently easy to aim with.
3. Better visibility of the cue shaft.
4. I just simply prefer using this bridge.
Closed bridge Advantages:
1. Easier to control on more powerful shots.
2. Easier to use English on the cue ball. ( Spin )
3. No chance of the ball lifting when shooting.
When it comes to do it, its preference, as well as using the proper bridge in the proper situation. Learning these situations just comes with practice.
OH! Almost forgot, when bridging, most people bridge about 8 inches away from the cue ball☺ Just keep that in mind! ☺
When stroking, remember your proper stance. Make sure the cue runs nice and smoothly, and does not get held back. Make sure it Goes perfectly back and forward when aiming on the cue ball, and stays on the spot your aiming at. Remember that your pool stroke affects any lifts of the cue on an open bridge, or bad follow through, not the bridge. Make sure you don’t hold the pool cue too tightly, cause the can cause the cue too wobble when shooting. When you shoot, try to make sure only your elbow and forearm are moving, and that your elbow is not dropping, because the can cause mis-hits. Lastly, after hitting the cue ball, follow through! Keep your head still, and follow through with your cue stick. Your cue stick should go a few inches past where you hit, and should be touching the felt, like in this picture ☺
Cue Ball Control
Probably about 75% of shots can use center hit on the cue ball. Most beginners actually will over use English when first playing pool. The rule for using English is never aim more than a cue tips length away from the center on the cue ball. There are 4 types main types of English. Left spin, right spin, Draw (back spin), and Follow (forward spin). The purpose of using English is usually to set yourself up for the next shot. Say you want to do a draw shot, you would aim below the ball, no more than a cues tip below the ball. Here’s a Picture I think might help explain.
Making Shots Like a Pro!
To make shots, it’s very important you learn to aim! ☺ In my opinion to become a good player, it just takes practice, and eventually you’ll be make plenty of shots! (At least if you practice the fundamentals!) Aiming can be difficult for the beginning pool players, but with the right information and fundamentals, you’ll get it soon enough! Aiming in pool is much different then in anything else, because your focusing on two different balls. The Cue Ball, and the Target Ball. There are a few different aiming systems people will use in the game of Billiards. The most basic one im going to discuss is the Ghost Ball Aiming System. This is the idea that you imagine an invisible cue ball at the striking point of the target ball necessary in order to make the ball in the pocket. At the very point the Ball strikes the object ball, it should be aligned with the target ball and the pocket. Here’s a picture to help get my point across easier
As you can see in the image above, the Ghost Ball is in a straight-line ith the target Ball and the Pocket. Where the Ghost ball makes contact with the target ball is where you want to aim the cue ball.
When I’m aiming nowadays, I don’t use much of an aiming system, but let my subconscious mind aim for me in a way. I’ve read a few articles on aiming this way, and I’ve learned it works best for me. I do use the Ghost Ball Aiming system in certain situations when needed though!
GET OUT THERE AND PLAY SOME POOL!
Pool is such an awesome game, and I want more people to get into it! I’m CERTAINLY NOT an amazing pool player, but rather just a 14 year old kid, who took the time to research, and practice, and just loves the game!. Anyone can play! Get out there and have some fun! ☺
PS: All information in this article was obtained by books, articles, and just my understanding of the game! Plus, I do NOT own the rights to these photos! Thanks for checking out my tutorial! Took a few hours, but was worth it! Had a fun time making it! Also, Feel free to comment or suggest things to make it better! It is my first tutorial, so all advice helps! Thanks!
Sources: Internation Tournament Pool ( Book ) ; http://freemedic30.wordpress.com/201...liards-stance/ ; http://www.pooldawg.com/article/pool...dge-to-victory ; http://www.billiardworld.com/glossary.html ; http://joboworld.com/590/how-to-hold...tick-properly/ ; http://www.ehow.com/how_2305430_foll...pool-shot.html ; http://www.easypooltutor.com/article...draw-shot.html ; http://www.easypooltutor.com/article...-to-aim-2.html ;http://www.youtube.com/user/OzoneBilliards
Last edited by Caleb; 07-24-2012 at 07:03 PM.
Hmm, a very nice guide Well, put together, very informative. I suck at Billiards, so this might help me
Thanks! Really appreciate it!
Last edited by Caleb; 07-27-2012 at 05:24 PM.
Bump just incase others didnt get a chance to check out my guide