How to Control the Cue Ball in Snooker

Written by glenn wigmore
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How to Control the Cue Ball in Snooker
Controlling the cue ball in snooker can help you become a better player. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Being able to manipulate the cue ball in a game of snooker can provide a great advantage against an opponent. Not only does it display impressive skill, but being able to curve, topspin or backspin the cue ball can open up the table for new shooting opportunities, set up future shots or even prevent the cue ball from scratching.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

    Backspin

  1. 1

    Rest your cue stick flatly on or in between your fingers, lining up the cue ball with the object ball you wish to strike as well as the destination pocket.

  2. 2

    Angle your cue stick behind the cue ball, aiming for the lower portion of the ball. How far you aim below the equator of the ball will determine what degree of backspin is applied. Aiming just below the equator of the ball will result in a shot that stops after impact of the object ball, whereas aiming even further down will cause the cue ball to impact the object ball and then roll back toward where you first struck it.

  3. 3

    Strike the cue ball with your cue stick, remembering to keep your eyes focused on the lower area of the cue ball with which you want to connect. If you look away or focus too much on the object ball or destination pocket, you will potentially jeopardise the backspin shot you are attempting to execute.

    Topspin

  1. 1

    Rest your cue stick flatly on or in between your fingers, lining up the cue ball with the object ball you wish to strike as well as the destination pocket.

  2. 2

    Angle your cue stick behind the cue ball, aiming for the upper portion of the ball. How far you aim above the equator of the ball will determine what degree of top spin is applied. Aiming just above the equator of the ball will result in a shot that carries on a short distance after it impacts the object ball, whereas aiming even higher above the equator will cause the cue ball to impact the object ball and then roll a great distance, likely bouncing off of table rail.

  3. 3

    Strike the cue ball with your cue stick, remembering to keep your eyes focused on the upper area of the cue ball with which you want to connect. If you look away or focus too much on the object ball or destination pocket, you will potentially jeopardise the topspin shot you are attempting to execute.

    Sidespin

  1. 1

    Rest your cue stick flatly on or in between your fingers, lining up the cue ball with the object ball that you wish to strike as well as the destination pocket.

  2. 2

    Angle your cue stick behind the cue ball, aiming for the lower portion of the ball. How far you aim to the left or right on the cue ball, along the equator of the ball, will determine what degree of sidespin is applied. Aiming to the left side of the cue ball will create a shot that goes to the right, whereas aiming to the right side of the cue ball will create a shot that travels left. A sidespin shot dictates how sharply and quickly the cue ball will angle off the object ball or a table rail.

  3. 3

    Strike the cue ball with your cue stick, remembering to keep your eyes focused on the side area of the cue ball with which you want to connect. If you look away or focus too much on the object ball or destination pocket, you will potentially jeopardise the side spin shot you are attempting to execute.

Tips and warnings

  • Experimenting with different cue stick sizes and weights will alter the power and angle of your spin shots.
  • When applying back spin, don't angle the cue stick too low as you might damage the felt of the table on your follow through.

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