Pool Playing: Classic Tips for Positioning the Cue Ball

Cue Ball

How you position the pool cue ball greatly determines whether you will hit or miss a shot. Mastering the correct positioning will take you far in the game. Here are some classic tips you should follow to increase your chances of winning a game of billiards.

Cue Ball

  1. Pace the ball instead of chasing it. Consider the distance between the cue ball and the target ball and then take a medium-speed shot at the center of the ball to get a naturally-induced roll. Whenever possible, play soft- or medium-speed shots.

  2. In every play, determine the kind of shot to take. Do you need to play defense or offense? How forcefully you hit the pool cue ball will determine where the target ball will rest on the table.

  3. Generally, play the shots that require the fewest rails and shortest routes. Don’t save them for later as the balls can get disarranged by your opponent’s shots.

  4. Check the best cue ball angles to play. For example, look for the wide part of shape zones for the next shot. Forget about taking difficult shots. Play to win the game rather than to impress your opponents.

  5. Plan your entire rack ahead of time. Before taking a shot, plan for the next two balls moving backwards.

  6. Learn how to work the pool cue ball in different ways. Practice hard and soft shots, immediate rolls, cut shots, cheating the pocket, micro-jumps on impact, and other shots. Different shots affect how the white cue ball behaves and will allow you to play great shots all the time regardless of the cue ball angles or the position of the target ball.

  7. Determine the speed of the stroke and spin before hitting the cue ball. Envision the shot in your head, know the exact position where you will strike and where the target ball should go.

  8. Try shooting in a soft, medium, or hard manner but not slow, medium, and fast. Don’t get confused by these two.

The eight cue ball positioning tips above will help you win most of your billiard games.

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