Many characters in movies and TV shows make billiards look so easy, but in real life, it can be a struggle. Forming a ‘tripod’ position with your thumb and index finger is hard enough. But maintaining it and applying pressure in just the right angle, while keeping the ball pocket and the cue ball in one’s view? It can almost seem impossible. However, things can change drastically with just a few pointers (listed below).

Keep your cue stick still

When aiming at the ball, beginners commonly focus on the front part of the cue stick without being mindful about the back. This can make the stick thrust outward in a wrong direction, whether horizontally or vertically. To fix this mistake, try mock-hitting a few times before actually hitting the ball. Sliding the front end of the cue stick slowly back and forth on the pool bridge you formed with your fingers is a good way to warm up for the shot. Keep the cue stick from wobbling, and take a few seconds to calculate; it’s okay to take your time!

A woman forms a pool bridge with her fingers.

Hold a loose grip

Keeping one’s grasp on the club stiff can be detrimental when golfing; similarly, keeping your grip on the cue stick loose is crucial to playing billiards well. A loose grip on the stick means a freer rein on the direction of the shot and a more relaxing experience. Also, a flexible stance can contribute to loosening your arms and hands. Therefore, if you’re finding it hard to relax your grip, try and see if the rest of your body is tense. Before you know it, scoring should become easy-breezy.

A man aims at a ball with his cue stick.

Harness the shooting speed

The laws of physics dictate that the greater the distance between the ball and the hand applying pressure on the cue stick (usually one’s dominant hand), the greater the impact of the shot must be. By remembering this rule, one can use it to one’s advantage; by arranging your position in a certain way, you can save your strength better and strategize each shot wisely. This process can be hard to perfect overnight, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Let your body become familiar with the feel of the cue stick and the stances of your body. The muscle memory should pay off in the long run.

Friends surround a man who aims at a billiard ball.


Even veteran pool players can tell you that this is not the simplest game in the world to play. However, when practice and physics meld together perfectly, putting that ball in should become second nature soon enough. Try out these new tips at Johnny’s Bar & Grill. And let others know how they can play better!