So, you have decided that it’s about time that you finally learn how to play pool -or snooker, depending on where you are in the world! It’s one of the most popular social games around. Everyone seems to be able to play it and it looks simple enough! You see pool tables in nearly every bar you frequent and you’ve always fancied the idea of re-enacting a classic pool challenge scene from one of your favorite movies. Now is the time to learn.
The most common way pool is played is called 8 Ball. There are many different sets of rules for playing the game, so you’ll need to make sure you know the general ways in which it can be played. The game consists of 15 balls that are differentiated by stripes or solids design. There is a single white ball -the Cue ball, which is placed in the center of the table.The rest of the balls are racked with the 8 balls placed in the middle. The object of the game 8 ball is to sink all of your balls, whether striped or solid, and at the end of the game to sink the 8 ball. The first player to be able to do this is the winner. This article will give you 5 interesting tips that will help you pull off some bonafide pool plays from your very first game!
Tip no. 1 PostureOne of the most important elements in the quality of your plays is the quality of your posture. Make sure your pool stance is strong. Your footing should be well placed so that you cannot be easily pushed over or made to lose your balance. Ensure that you have a good hip clearance from the pool table, your chin is above the cue and your back arm is able to move forward and backward in a pendulum motion.
Tip no. 2 A Secure Bridge
Another very important pointer, before you even begin to play, is to ensure that you are able to form and maintain a secure hand bridge for your pool cue to rest and slid on.There are a few ways to do this but the most simple is in 3 steps;
(i) Place your palm flat on the table.
(ii) Push the pads of your index finger and thumb together, this forces your hand to raise and form a bridge for your cue. This a Closed Bridge.Placing your hand with the finger and thumb just slightly apart is an Open Bridge.
(iii) There will now be a V shape made between your middle finger and thumb, this is where you will rest your pool cue.
Ensure that your hand is planted firmly on the table to avoid neither your hand nor pool cue slipping.
Tip no. 3 Aim!
Your aim is a vital skill you will need to develop if you want to be able to play pool like a pro!The first thing you will want to do is pick the spot you intend to strike on the ball you have set your sights on. This is called your Point of Contact. Then pick your Shot Line –this is the line you will follow with your cue to ensure you make the shot into the spot you wish the ball to go.A fool proof way to do this is to hold your cue over the targeted ball and the pocket into which you desire the ball to land.
Tip no. 4 Smooth Strokes
This is where your performance in playing pool is decided! A good (or bad) stoke will determine the outcome of your game. Mastering a smooth stroke takes concentration and control. Your elbow will move like a hinge while your forearm will move in a backwards and forwards motion like a pendulum –this is why the perfect pool stroke is called a Pendulum Stroke.
Ensure your grip on the cue is not too tight. As you move back and forth with your practice stokes make sure it is straight and smooth and get as close to the ball as possible without touching it until you are ready. This will prevent your cue from veering off to the left or right once it comes in contact with the ball.
Tip no. 5 Chalk your cue
Did you ever wonder what those little cubes were that players used on the tips of their cues? This is chalk. It is used to provide friction between the ball and the tip of the cue, giving it a good grip and keeping it from slipping off as soon as it touched the ball. It is advisable that one develops the habit of chalking their cue before every shot. The result of miscuing can be detrimental to your entire game! Some methods of hitting a ball in order to make a specific shot requires your using the edge or just a part of the tip of your cue, therefore it is imperative that your cue stick has a good grip.
Bonus Tip Practice Makes Perfect!
As with any new skill, you will find that the more you practice, the better you become.So, if you would like to be able to play pool like a pro from your very 1 st game,it will serve you well to start with a good set of skills to build from.
Practice your stance,ensuring it is well balanced with your feet planted firmly into the ground. Make sure you form a secure bridge for your cue and your strokes.
Keep your pendulum arm swinging with control and concentration to enable your strokes to be straight and true.Lastly, enjoy yourself! Pool is actually a fun game, which is why it is popular in social spaces.
You can now feel confident to do your best celebrity impression next time you’re out with your friends, and surprise them with your new ability to play pool just like the pros!