Posts Tagged ‘Cue Stick’

Funny Don’ts and Do’s With Pool Sticks

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011


Funny Don’ts and Do’s With Pool Sticks

By Susan Herrmann

Pool sticks were made for just that… shooting pool. And that means using pool sticks to correctly hit billiard balls on a pool table, not for javelin-throwing in the swimming pool. I have to admit that as a kid, I occasionally used my pool stick for things other than the intended use. Even though using it as a limbo stick wasn’t necessarily harmful to the stick, using it as a sword was. Take some tips from a long-time billiard player who has learned some important do’s & don’ts the hard way, and learn some important tips along the way.

For more info, visit my websites…
Pool For Beginners
Pool and Pocket Billiards Resource

Even though you can make nice chalk designs on the ceiling, don’t. The tip of a pool stick is made of leather and is attached to the shaft of the stick with a ferrule. These are tender spots on a cue stick and should not be used to come in contact with anything other than chalk or a billiard ball. If the rounded leather tip loses its shape or is transformed into the all too common “mushroom”, your shots will be less consistent and it will severely affect your play.

I know of a pool stick that was left outside for a day or two after an exhausting duel. This is really bad. Your pool stick should be stored indoors, upright in a case. Exposure of the elements (sun & moisture) can be fatal. Both the shaft and butt of a billiard cue are made of wood and can warp. If that happens, it cannot be fixed and you may as well use it as firewood where it will serve you better.

If your cue stick is wrapped, don’t peel the wrapping like you would a Budweiser label. Wraps are put there for a reason. They give you a firm, comfortable grip on your cue stick and prevent your hand from slipping when you strike a billiard ball.

Lastly, don’t bounce your cue stick to the beat of the music (or off your competitor’s forehead). The rubber piece on the end of the butt is called a bumper. The bumper is put there to protect the cue stick when it accidentally bumps a wall or the table, or when it rests on the ground. The bumper adds to the precise weight of the billiard cue and should not become loosened. Repetitive impacts to the bumper can also cause the butt to eventually crack.

Take my advice and value your pool stick. If you do, it will perform for you every time. Don’t twirl it like a baton, use it to poke a bear, or use it to pick your nose. There are other instruments for those things. Your cue stick’s health and maintenance are vital in playing your best game.

Susan Herrmann is an avid pool player. Her website is a great resource for collegiate pool table ball sets & pool sticks. Visit today for a huge selection! While you are there, take a look at the pool table covers, pool cue balls & eight balls.

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Mirror Banking

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Mirror Banking

By Ernie Reynolds

Pool is a great game – especially when you are winning. It’s still awesome even when you are not, but it is all that much sweeter when you win. I played the other night and it seemed like the pool gods were shining down on me.

I was making great cut shots and my position play was better than normal. What I was particularly happy with was the bank shots that were going in. I was dropping some banks that had my opponents shaking their heads.

For more info, visit my websites…
Pool For Beginners
Pool and Pocket Billiards Resource

In one game, I made three table-length bank shots in a row – that really got them muttering. LOL. I wasn’t doing anything special, it seemed like I just had “the eye” working well and the stroke was coming through for me.

I was using my usual mirror banking method to make the bank shots. This is where you basically shoot the same angle going into the bank as the one leaving it. As I mention in the article that is linked to above, there are several methods to play a bank shot, but mirror banking works the best for me.

You really don’t need to use the diamonds on the pool table to use this method, although they can help to visualize the angles sometimes. The diagrams below illustrate a basic bank shot using the mirror method.

bank shot       bank shot

As seen in the Bank 2 diagram, we want to bank the purple ball cross-corner into pocket X. The Bank 3 diagram graphically shows the concept of mirror banking this shot. Using your cue stick to sight in the necessary ball path, move the stick around until you come up with the “bank point” where the object ball needs to bounce off the rail to send it to the pocket.

Once you come up with the correct bank point, your object is to make a cut shot on the object ball to make it contact the rail at the bank point so it will rebound into the pocket. Sometimes the bank angle will be right on the money and all you have to do is hit the object ball straight on, but in this case some angle was needed to correct the trajectory of the object ball.

This method can be used pretty much wherever the object ball is located on the table; however it is probably easiest to visualize the angles when the object ball is fairly close to a rail.

Visualizing the correct mirror angles to make the bank shot is one aspect of this form of banking. Another tricky item is to hit the object ball at exactly the right spot. I call this right spot the “aim spot”.

bank shot

In the diagram Bank 5 above, the aim spot to make the shot shown is pointed out. This aim spot is determined in the same way for a bank as it is for a cut shot – draw an imaginary line through the object ball in the direction you want the ball to take and the point where the line enters the ball is the aim point. If you can make the cue ball contact the object ball at exactly this spot, the shot will go in.

So that’s a quick and dirty explanation of the mirror banking method. To see more, go to my Pool For Beginners site. Of course we are only dealing with one-bank shots here. Multiple-bank shots are a whole different thing and are much more difficult.

As with any other pool shot, practice makes perfect always applies. Spend some quality time visualizing and practicing bank shots and your pool playing will take a step up, as will your number of games won. Good luck!

Play Better Pool With Your Own Cue Stick

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Play Better Pool With Your Own Cue Stick

By Ernie Reynolds

I’ve always been a casual pool player. Don’t get me wrong – I always play to win, but I never had much of a desire to enter tournaments or play in leagues.

As such, I never bothered to get my own pool cue for many, many years. I always just grabbed one off the rack at the bar or pool hall. I never wanted to bother with carrying a cue stick around and having to keep on eye on it so it didn’t get stolen or damaged.

For more info, visit my websites…
Pool For Beginners
Pool and Pocket Billiards Resource

Well, it took me a long time, but I have finally seen the light. My wife bought me a new pool cue for Christmas last year, (I picked it out), and I will never be without my own cue stick again.

This conviction was reinforced last Friday when I went down to the local bar for a cold one and some pool. I didn’t have to work Friday because of the July 4th holiday, so I went down in the early aftenoon instead of later on after work as I usually do.

I had my stick in the car but I didn’t bring it in with me because I wasn’t sure if anyone would be in there to play a game with. As it turns out, I ended up playing pool for a couple solid hours – with a bar cue.

I played a couple guys that were fair shooters and I did OK, but not really up to my usual standards. I had a hard time getting comfortable with the sticks that were there and eventually tried several different ones. None of them really felt right.

Eventually I ended up leaving and going to a pool hall where I have a standing Friday night appointment with my brother to play. I took my stick in with me this time because my brother plays pretty well and I have to be at my best to win some games.

I could tell the difference in my shooting the very first game. The stick just felt comfortable in my hands and I had much more control over the cue ball and could make it dance around the table.

My consistency took a quantum leap. With the bar cue I had to really concentrate to get a good hit on the cue ball. With my own familiar cue, that just came naturally and I could pay more attention to planning out my shots and running the table.

I keep my tip nicely rounded, and this makes the shooting so much more precise than the flattened, mushy tips on the bar cues. I could get some draw on the ball again, and the weight is right, so controlling the speed of the cue ball hit was much easier.

The smooth shaft allows my stick to slide effortlessly through my bridge fingers. It’s amazing the difference in your play when there are no dents and stickiness to the shaft to ruin your feel of the stroke.

It may sound funny, but there really was the difference of night and day between playing with that bar stick and my own clean, smooth, and straight pool cue.

So take it from a late-in-life convert to owning your own pool stick – buy one, you won’t regret it. Once you get a stick that has the right weight and feels good in your hands, it just makes the game of pool all that much easier and more enjoyable.

I just wonder why it took me so long to find out.