How to Hold a Cue Stick

The cue stick is one of the most basic and important tools in a pool game or billiards. It’s used to strike the object balls, moving them into position for another player to take their turn. There are many different types of cues that vary depending on how they’re held, what type of material they’re made out of, and even how long it takes to break down after use.

The “how to hold pool stick for beginners” is a guide that will teach you how to hold the cue stick properly. It’s important to know how to do this before taking your first shot.

Paul Newman playing billiards.

Note from the editor: This is a guest article by James Bringman.

“I have a feeling it’s going to be me from now on.” There’s just one ball, and it’s in the corner pocket. Have you ever had it happen to you? You know how you suddenly feel like you can’t go wrong? Because, obese guy, I fantasized about this game. Every night on the road, I fantasized about this game. Ball number five. You know, guy, this is my table. “I’m the owner.” — Eddie the Fast

You’ve just finished seeing The Hustler, and the high-octane action has you itching to go down to your local pool hall and move the rock like a pro. The issue is that you haven’t touched the felt since your college rec room days, and you need to reintroduce some oil into that stroke and make the cue an extension of your arm. Here are a few pointers to get you started so you can join the next local tournament league or simply make a few money from some of the fools in the place.

Selecting a Cue

Getting back into most sports generally necessitates the purchase of a few basic essentials, and acquiring your own cue is an excellent way to stay motivated. However, if you’re tight on cash or are unwilling to spend money on something that could simply lie around collecting dust, the home cue is for you.

House Cue

House cues, as the name indicates, are supplied by the pool hall and may be located on the racks on the wall for your convenience. Unfortunately, most house cues have been overused and damaged in a variety of ways, so while looking for a cue, examine a few sections of the stick to guarantee you receive the finest shot possible.

  • Examine the tip for signs of wear. It’s preferable if there’s a lot of leather. Look for one with at least 14 inches of leather. Avoid those that have been worn to a bare minimum.
  • Place the cue on an empty table and roll it from one rail to the next while scrutinizing the shaft for warp (they’re all warped, so choose the least of two evils).
  • A heavier stick will help you keep your hand stable and your stroke consistent. It is beneficial to both beginners and larger men. Some cues may have the weight in ounces marked on them, so aim for approximately 20 oz. if you can, or simply choose a couple and go by feel.

Perhaps you have extra cash burning a hole in your wallet, or you’re considering joining a league and can’t live with an average home cue. This is the perfect opportunity to invest in a personal cue.

Personal Insight

Picking a cue that will improve your game but you don’t know where to start and the price ranges are astonishing is where you’ll have the most difficulties. Remember that the most essential thing is to choose a cue that you like. Always check to see if the weight and stroke seem right to you, and if you can, try it out on a table or see if there’s a return policy in case it doesn’t work well.


  • Stick to the price range of $50-$175, if you’re a beginner looking for a decent stick. Intermediate players should expect to pay roughly $300. And if you’re a more experienced player, go ahead and get whatever you want; you’re good enough.
  • Threading a two-piece wood cue together is one of the few things that screams manliness. If at all possible, avoid metal and composites. The standard length is 57 inches, although the experts prefer 58 inches.
  • When completely threaded, make sure the fit between the components is tight and secure. A good strike on the ball may also be achieved with a lovely uniformly rounded leather tip.
  • Design is more of a question of personal preference. What about an Irish linen wrap? Is there no wrap at all? Inlays of pearls? Inlays made of hard wood? The possibilities are virtually endless. Get something that catches your eye and that you’d want to be seen playing with (other players have been surprised to learn that my cue was just $100 on multiple occasions).
  • Cues that come with at least a one-year guarantee against warping or breakage are preferable.
  • Cuetec, Players, McDermott, and Predator are some of the brands to watch for. (Note: Sneaky Pete’s are well-made two-piece cues designed to resemble normal house cues.) Pick one up and you’ll be pool hustling quicker than you can spell M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A in no time. F-A-T-S.)


Get one if your new cue didn’t come with one. That’s all there is to it.

Cue made to order

That’s all a handcrafted cue is useful for if you spend tens of thousands of dollars on it, place it on the wall in your billiards room, and appreciate its beauty. Accidents sometimes happen in pool rooms, and ruining a valuable piece of wood isn’t worth the risk. Or, much worse, it is taken.

Getting Better at Your Game

Man posing with billiards balls in sleeveless white shirt.

To be a good pool player, you must have a lot of balls.

As you swagger into the dimly lighted room, the new cue stick is packed in its case and slung over your shoulder, ready to run a few sets. However, you don’t have a table at home and your skills are rusty. When practicing your technique, keep these three things in mind.


  • Making a decent stroke requires aligning your body with the ball. So take a step back and imagine the angle before approaching the table with your cue at hip level and a guiding line from cue ball to object ball.
  • Keep your gaze fixed on the target.
  • As though you’re gazing right down the eye of the cue ball, lower yourself to the table.


The Open-Handed Bridge and the Closed Bridge are the two options for your bridge hand.

  • When you cup your palm on the table and put the shaft of the cue stick in the groove between your thumb and index finger, you’re doing an open-handed bridge. This is often employed for shots that don’t need a lot of spin or “English” on the cue ball.
  • To create a tidy and sturdy bridge for more accentuated shots, connect your thumb to your middle finger, lay the cue across those two fingers just above the thumb knuckle, and wrap the index finger over.
  • Ideally, your bridge hand should be 6-8 inches away from the cue ball. The closer you go to your target, the less space you have for mistake in your stroke.
  • Keep your gaze fixed on the ball.



This is the most difficult talent to master, but with a lot of work, and I mean hours upon hours of repetition, you’ll be hitting the long ball with pinpoint precision day in and day out.

  • Make sure your back hand grabs the butt of the cue stick, approximately 1-2 inches from the end, with only your thumb and index finger, while the cue stick is still floating about your hip (add the middle finger if you need a little more muscle behind the shot).
  • Aim dead center with the cue ball and bring the tip of the cue within an inch of it. Slowly pull your stroke back, then bring it back up to within an inch of the ball. Keep your torso and shoulders stationary, and just move your rear arm at the elbow’s hinge.
  • Do this as many times as necessary until you feel confident attempting the shot; keep your eye on the cue ball and the object ball in sight while feeling out the cue and working on a steady and straight stroke the whole time.
  • When you’re ready to hit the ball, don’t hesitate to do so. You should stroke it rather than poke it. Good house tables feature fast-playing felt, so hammering the ball isn’t necessary. Don’t put your precision on the line for the sake of power. To obtain a sense of how the table rolls, practice shooting the ball as softly as possible.
  • Finally, once you’ve taken the shot, keep your distance from the table. Do not get up right away. Rise from your lowered position and take a step back from the table after the cue ball makes contact with the object ball and sinks into the pocket.

A lot of practice, like anything manly worth doing, will enhance your game. Pool halls are one of the only locations where a man may unwind after a long day at work by running a few racks alone, or bring the guys out for a few games, drinks, and perhaps some gentlemanly bets. Remember that skilled players don’t like to lose, so be aware of sharks and hustlers who offer you advise; it’s typically phony and intended to get you into a “friendly” game that finishes with you making many visits to the ATM. And who knows what else? Fast Eddie, St. Louie Louie, Minnesota Fats, Toupee Jay, or Boston Shorty are just a few of the masculine new nicknames you can gain at the tables as a result of your newfound knowledge.



The “how to hold a pool cue left handed” is a question that many people have asked. The answer to this question, will help you learn how to hold the cue stick correctly.

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