Billiards tips and techniques: how to master perfect billiards hand grip, bridge and stance

Professional billiards tips and techniques for beginners for mastering the proper billiards hand grip, bridge and the right stance for billiards. Find lots of billiards tips and techniques and learn to play billiards online!

A budding billiards player trying to learn billiards online and looking for tips, strategies and techniques? May be you cannot shoot the billiards ball straight like your friend in the club, whose strokes are always perfect, effortless and on the money? It's time to visit the practice room. Let's start with the first things first. To ensure a good straight shot in billiards, nay in most cue sports, you have to master the perfect hand grip, bridge and stance. Let us scrutinise the billiards straight stroke fundamentals to find out what are the best billiard hand grip or the best bridge or stance.

Best billiards hand grip on the cue

Before we move to explaining the best hand grip, let us begin with a minute's equipment check by inspecting out cues and tips. A cue should always be straight; to check that you can roll your cue or the shaft of the cue on a plain surface, for example the slate bed and find out whether your cue has been warped or not. The tip should not be too smooth otherwise it won't be able to hold the chalk. In order the make the chalk stick to the tip of the cue, it should have a little texture. Also, before making a shot, examine if your hands as well as the cue shaft are dry, otherwise it will affect the shot.

The perfect grip for billiards should be loose, comfortable and relaxed, yet controlled. Imagine the cue with a cute little bird. If you hold it too tight it will die, and if you hold it too loose it will fly. A relaxed hand grip on the billiards cue will allow your hand to pivot in a pendulous motion. If you hold the cue too tight that will tighten up the muscles in your elbow and wrist and will affect the smoothness of the acceleration of the cue. Many people tend to tighten their grips during a forward stroke, more so when looking to boost it up with some power. This happens quite subconsciously so watch out for it! Perhaps you also do the same, but if you stay alert during your strokes, you can overcome the weakness and can play perfect straight forwards strokes in billiards just as you see in a billiards straight forward stroke picture or video.

Another thumb rule is, when the billiards cue tip will hit the cue ball, your forearm should be at a perpendicular position, creating a right angle with the cue. Ensure your grip allows your grip hand to create that right angle, which will allow the cue to run straight for the impact and inhibit tilts, and will add accuracy to your placing of the cue tip on the ball.

What is the best billiards hand bridge?

You must choose the best billiards hand bridge for you from a number of options to cater to your needs and to fit your playing style, but the main thing to be emphasised is stability. There is an age old debate like open or closed billiards bridge which is best. I find this a very useless controversy since whether the open bridge or the closed bridge is best for billiards is completely a question of personal preference. Both the open bridge and the closed bridge have their own pros and cons. Here are a few good reasons to use the open and closed bridges while playing billiards.

With an open bridge, seeing the cue properly is easier. Also for the beginners, the open bridge often seems the best for you can give your cue more stability by putting it in the angle created by the index finger and the thumb. If you are a bit advanced you can switch over to the closed bridge which will allow you more impact points to guide the cue. However, be warned that a closed bridge can result in greater friction that can have negative effects on your play.

What is the ideal hand bridge length for billiards?

The ideal billiards bridge length is another very difficult question to answer easily. All we can say that the distance between the bridge and cue ball should be determined by your playing style which is always, and should be, different from that of your friend. Both short and long billiard hand bridges have their own pros and cons. Shorter bridges of about five-six inches will let you place the tip more accurately and minimize back hand movement effects. On the other hand, longer bridges measuring nine to twelve inches will allow smoother and more powerful acceleration. It is up to you what you choose. On an average, most players feel comfortable with hand bridge length of seven-eight inches for most of their strokes.

The perfect billiards stance

A proper billiards stance is too important for a proper shot. Before you move to your stance position, chalk out the aiming line and put your cue stick accordingly, then position the cue accordingly and take your stance. There can be no ultimate stance or footwork for billiards since it will depend upon the playing style of the player. Choose the stance which makes you feel the most balanced and comfortable. However, whatever stance you choose, stick to it. Do not alter your stance with every shot which will affect your performance. Keep your head low which will help judging the aim more accurately.


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