There are many different ways to hold a pool stick. However, it is essential to learn the proper way to hold the pool cue correctly. Many new players do not hold their pool cue correctly, so they have difficulty making shots.
Holding the pool stick in the correct position is vital since it helps improve shot accuracy and consistency. You also need to learn how to place your hands in the proper locations. Improper hand placement can also ruin your game.
Learning the correct way to hold a pool stick can easily be broken down into five simple steps:
Step #1: Put your hands in the correct position.
Grab the pool stick with your dominant hand and place it next to your hip. Place your hand on the end of the pool cue, about four inches or so in front of the end of the stick.
You never want to put your hands on the end of the stick, as this makes it harder to control it. Nor should you put your dominant hand too far forward on the pool stick where your elbow is bent. This also makes it difficult to make great shots.
Ideally, your arm should create a 90-degree angle when you hold the cue stick and are bent over to make your shot. In other words, your arm is perpendicular with the cue stick.
Place your non-dominant hand on the pool table as close to the cue ball as possible, without touching the ball with your hand or the cue stick. Your hand will act as a bridge to provide support for the other end of the pool stick as you hit the cue ball.
Step #2: Find a comfortable position.
Bend forward, so you are closer to the pool table. You want to find a comfortable position where you can hold the pool stick and make your shot. This position will be different for each player.
Next, your dominant hand should hold the pool cue so your fingers are wrapped around it. Your thumb should be pointing downward and not placed on top of the cue stick.
In addition, you need to discover a comfortable grip. You do not want to grip the cue stick so tight it feels like you are strangling the pool stick to death. You also do not want a loose grip that is too loose, so when you make a shot the pool cue goes flying out of your hands.
Let your fingers have some play as you pull back, so the pool stick has some play. Your grip should be somewhat relaxed but not too relaxed.
Step #3: Make a bridge with your hand on the pool table.
The closer you can get your non-dominant hand on the table to the cue ball, the better. You gain better control and precision when you make your shot. Making a bridge is not difficult. The idea is to place your fingers on the table to elevate your hand.
The most common finger bridge is called the open bridge. Place the pool stick in between the “V” created by your index finger and thumb. Your thumb should be elevated off of the pool table.
You can raise or lower the height of the pool stick by raising or lowering your fingers and the arch of the palm. The pool stick should slide easily back and forth.
Step #4: Hold the pool cue steady as you take aim.
Look down the cue stick to the other end. You want to line up the shot so the cue stick hits the cue ball in the center. There are variations where you can hit the cue ball in specific spots to make it go in different directions.
However, these should be left for later after you can easily hit the cue ball on center. You want to make a direct line from the cue stick to the cue ball to the pool ball you want to hit.
Step #5: Take your shot.
When you are ready, take your shot by sliding the pool stick backward and pushing it forward so it strikes the cue ball. You want to maintain a comfortable position and relaxed grip throughout the entire shot.
The amount of force with which you strike the cue ball will cause it to react differently. If you just tap it, the cue ball will not move that far. If you hit it too hard, it will move but could hit other pool balls that you did not want to hit or even go flying off the pool table.
Different Types of Bridges
Besides the “V” finger bridge, there are several different types you may want to learn to enhance your game when you play pool.
#1: Finger Rail Bridge
You can use this bridge when you are less than six inches away from the cue ball and near a rail. You simply put your fingers on the rail. Your middle finger should be on the pool table. Use your thumb to support the cue stick and place your index finger over the top of the cue stick.
#2: Palm Rail Bridge
This bridge is when you only have an inch or two of space between the cue ball and the rail. Place your palm on the edge of the rail. Place your fingers onto the pool table. Take your shot.
#3: Natural Elevated Bridge
Using your pinkie finger and index finger, elevate your hand while closing your ring finger and middle finger so they are tucked under near your palm. Raise or lower your thumb while sliding the cue stick through the open bridge to make your shot.
#4: Closed Bridge
Instead of using the open bridge, the closed bridge is where you place the index finger over the cue stick. The tip of your index finger should be placed on the pool table. The cue stick should still slide easily back and forth.
#5: Mechanical Bridge
The mechanical bridge is used when the cue ball is too far away where it is too difficult to make a shot. The mechanical bridge is placed onto the pool table while holding the end and adjusting its height. Slide the pool stick into the groove and line up your shot as normal.
Discovering the Best Way to Hold a Pool Stick
By following these steps, you will pick up the basics for holding a pool cue. There are numerous ways to hold the cue and aim. Finding the best approach and what works best for you requires practice.
When you want to practice with the best pool cues, find your pool stick online at Blatt Billiards. We offer a wide range of cue sticks, cue cases, and accessories. Do not hesitate to contact us directly at 212-674-8855 if you have any questions or need assistance selecting the right pool stick.