A Few Cue Tips
A correspondent asks for a “tip” to assist in the making
of the long loser off the centre spot. Here it is: Swing cue
very lightly and freely, striking cue ball a trifle above the
centre, and aiming a shade thicker than half ball. This
should bring the object ball nicely below the centre pocket
without any undue exertion. Spot seven inches from centre
for ivory, rather more for crystalate, and more still for
To know whether object ball will strike one, two, or
three cushions above middle pockets when playing from
baulk, remember that with ordinary half-ball shots two
cushions are usually struck when player’s ball is nearer side
of table than the object ball and three under the same circumstances
when the object ball is well down the table.
When the cue ball has been correctly spotted aim is best
taken over its centre with the eye before settling down to
the stroke This ensures the body being in right position
and there is no need to wriggle or shift uneasily after the
cue is brought to the ball.
Whilst side is often essential to position play, too much
of it often defeats the main idea. It is very pretty to see
a lot of side operating after the actual stroke is successfully
completed. But what about position after the next cushion
When practising in-offs from baulk with object ball 23½
inches up the table, on the centre spot or on the pyramid
spot, take the pocket on each side of the table alternately.
It is possible to practise too much on one side of the table.
Use the rest when over-reached or when left-handed play
is not certain, and remember that when using the butts the
strength must be less than usual or the stroke will be
forced. Chalk the butt tip.
When the object ball is a few inches above the centre
spot a half-ball in-off from baulk generally sends each ball
in a top pocket. To avoid this, play a little fuller than
half-ball, spotting rather finer.
A cannon that is doubtful and difficult off one cushion is
frequently easy and almost certain off two or more, besides
leaving better position. Take the sequence of half ball
angles with the eye and apply side or not as required.
In screwing, the fuller the contact the greater the recoil,
but the direction of the object ball has also to be considered
and low cueing and strength must be regulated accordingly.
The half-ball aim is not merely at the edge of the object
ball. It is at the extreme edge, or slightly over one inch
on the perpendicular line from the cloth.
At top of the table keep the balls reasonably apart. Some
of the greatest players overlook this essential, hence the
frequent use of the masse stroke.
When the table is evenly lighted the shadow on the cue
ball is an excellent guide for central and also for screw
The over-ironing of a table is a mistake. A fair amount
of nap assists careful play.