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Billiards: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Tips For Buying a Pool Cue That's Best for You
Here are some helpful hints on buying your
How Much Space Do You Need for a Pool Table?
A big consideration in pool table dimensions is the endless question of how much space to leave around the table for free play. We have the answers for you.
Best Billiards Strategy: How To Break In 8 Ball
When discussing the best 8 ball breaks, including how to break in the 8 ball with this all-important stroke, it becomes necessary both to emphasize basic break strategy and specific 8 ball break technique. Victory in 8 ball pool at times requires (rules permitting) a commitment to sink the 8 ball on the break, and at other times, a mere shattering of the rack to spread the balls effectively to win the game.
What Are the Rules and Best Strategies for...
9-Ball's game rules and strategy are deceptively simple. But there is far more to the action than meets the eye.
What Are the Rules and Best Strategies in...
How to make 8-Ball rules made simple--and fair.
9 Ball Break Tips & Strategy
Here are some fast tips to sharpen your 9 ball breaks instantly. Learn how to rack 9 ball then smash like the pros, with accuracy and power for optimal 9 ball strategy, in moments.
How To Choose the Right Pool Cue
Your guide to narrowing down choices and selecting the best possible custom pool cue.
How To Replace A Cue Stick's Tip Yourself
How To Replace A Cue Stick's Tip Yourself
Challenges of Playing on Different Pool Table...
Pool Table Sizes: Tables measuring 4' x 8' have a key disadvantage (okay, challenge)...
Pool Balls - Weights And Pool Balls
Pool balls can vary, surprisingly even on the same table in a set.
4 x 9's Are The Best Table Size - Here's why
The 4' x 9' table size is the best, commonly used for top tournament play, and here's why.
How to Make Basic Bank Shots in Billiards
We're used to banking balls into the pocket all the time, so simply begin by dropping a line into the opposite corner pocket.
Pool Table Sizes And So-Called "Regulation...
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Which is Better, a Light or Heavy Pool Cue?
Use a billiard playing cue weight that is light or heavy? Do you know how to choose? We show you how.
10 Billiards Tips Your Opponents Don't Know
Ten pro pool tips your opponents don’t know, brought to you by About.com
Learn to Aim Your Billiards Shots Like the Pros...
I'd love for all billiard players to know the truth regarding the real secrets of aiming in pool-the
8 Questions to Ask Before You Get a Pool Table
Price alone is not an indicator of table quality. There are questions requiring forethought before you purchase a pool table.
8 Pool Strokes You Should Learn
Here are my 8 top pool strokes, there's more than one way to hit the cue ball to win. Here are some of the most important techniques for the beginner to learn.
The Right And Wrong Ways To Draw the Cue Ball
Watch and laugh as I uncork a common error on draw shots.
Billiards Instruction
You asked for it this billiards instruction! Ten of the obvious (to me, and soon to you) errors pool shooters make to lose games, throw off their rhythm, and ruin and otherwise good evening of pool.
How to Aim the Cue Ball and 'Ghost Ball' in Pool
The ghost ball method reviewed in pool. How does the pool professional take aim at billiard balls, those sometimes difficult-to-discern spheres far away across the table?
Pool Table Size - Know The Difference With The...
Overseas, people want to know whether they should use “American” or “English” for their base pool table size.
Pool Shot Of Champions - This One Shot Retrains...
This is little known, but is perhaps the best pool shot to train your eyes in making other pool shots.
How To Play Pool Like The Pros
How to play pool like the pros, using my ultimate tips and techniques.
Top 10 Mistakes Made Using Pool English
Pool english question of the day as a reader takes their object balls for a spin.
A Classic Pool Stroke, Step by Step
Note the gentle, flowing motion that makes the classic pool stroke a THROW, not a stab or jab. There are other pool strokes, but this one from the field is a tossing motion... Page 2.
How To Straighten a Bent Shaft
Don't throw away a bent cuestick! A warped shaft can easily be straightened again and the cue made ready for play.
Pool Games - 7-Ball Rules & Strategy
7-ball billiards takes concentration, discipline and a knowledge of the rules. Page 2.
Should You Shoot Pool On A Bar Table Or Not?
Should bar pool tables be used at all by the serious pool player? Here's our debate showing both sides of the issue.
Pool Training - How Pros Really Aim In Billiards
Pool training you can take to the bank, hustler.
How To Become A Professional Pool Player -...
How to become a professional pool player by skipping hours of tedious drills and doing my preferred billiards training methods, while having a lot of fun.
Bank Shot - Magic Spot Advice For A Multi-Rail...
Sinking a clever, multi-cushion bank shot is made simple using this aim method. Presented by About.com's good friend, Marcel Elfers of Washington.
10 Tips for Brilliant Billiards Breaks
Pivot your shooting side foot as I recommend online to stand upright more than for a regular stroke. This frees and lengthens your arm motion and body to add power.
The Cue Sticks Of George Balabushka
Learn about the history of George Balabushka's cue sticks, difficult to find today, easy to locate knockoffs on auction sites, and never to be equaled.
Mini Tables
Far too small to offer a true test of skill, these are toys for young children mostly.
Straight Shot - Drill It, Kill It! (How To Sink...
Drill Your Next Straight Shot - Bar none, beginning and intermediate pool shooters (and not a few experts) are stymied shooting a straight shot, one where the cue ball and the target object ball rest along a straight-in path to the pocket.
Breaking an 8-Ball Rack With Power
Pulling back for the power break, I feel like I am drawing a bow with drag and weight on my arm. Page 2.
How Do Top Pros Practice Pool?
How do top pros practice pool? Jump in for more of Donny and Matt's 8-Ball Debates...
Kick Shot Pool - The Kick Shot Properly Aimed...
A kick shot in pool is the annoying little bugger where you need to drive the cue ball to a cushion before it rebounds to strike your target object ball. The pool kick shot can be converted to a deadly weapon of pool skill—you'll look like a pool hustler--if only you have a simple way to aim them with precision.
Understand Cue Ball Angles - The Best Billiards...
Understand Cue Ball Angles, The Best Billiards Tips
Buy A Pool Table - How To Buy A Pool Table Right
Buy your next pool table, new or used, the smart way.
The Pure Stroke Action Trainer –...
Do not lend your PureCue to a friend as they will be reluctant to return it! Seriously... it's a fun cue stick that is also a teaching device.
How To Shoot Pool - Competition Tips From Top...
Learn from my coaching of regional and national champs how to shoot pool better in competition and friendly play.
Custom Cue - Brand Recommendations From An...
“Which brand or maker of custom cue should I try and buy, Matt?” is heard at many of my pool lessons. Here's what I say...
Jump Break Cue - Should You Buy (Or Not Buy) A...
I am answering a probing question today regarding that ultimate show stopper, the jump break cue. Do you need a jump break cue at all or should you separate tools?
Minnesota Fats, aka "Rudolph Wanderone", "New...
Minnesota Fats was a legend of pool and remains so today. Here are all his fascinating details in one place.
Cue Weight and Length - The Holy Grail Cue...
Seeking the Holy Grail of sticks by cue weight and cue length is a pastime for millions of players--but the real news is inside our story--how to find the true pool grail.
Pool Cue Tips - How To Choose Between Pool Cue...
A shameless request for info on pool cue tips becomes a pool cue tips compendium.
Step-by-Step: How To Aim Any Bank Shot Or Kick...
how to make a bank shot or any kick shot using simple calculations. Page 4.
The Classic Pool Grip
Another look at the pool grip, for players who prefer the cue to sit against their palm rather than hanging freely. Page 2.
Ball-In-Hand
Pool Definition -- Ball-In-Hand. Pool / Billiards.
Predator Cues - Deciding Between Other Cues And...
Choosing between Predator cues and other quality cues is like deciding between Peking Duck and Russian caviar. So here's how to decide.
The Two Things Top Shooters Don't Do
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Meet the Greatest Pool Hustler of All Time
Vernon Elliott was one of those pocket billiards legends who never played tournaments before the public but cashed against all the great. Here's his story.
The 45 Degree Stance
...And it is difficult to stroke the cue stick with any reliable action with my feet square to the table. Many players overcompensate by standing perpendicular to the shot instead, which is also a poor choice... Page 4.
How To Aim Cut Shots - Pool And Billiards
Continuing our multi-article aim primer, detailing every method top players use to play cut shots successfully in pool and billiards. Part of a multi-article series.
Aim Primer 5: Contact Point And Half Ball Line
From the player’s perspective, if the cue ball were to be stroked along the full line it will impact the 2-ball as a “full hit”. With eyes watching from behind the cue ball in the stance, the cue ball will fully eclipse the sphere of the 2-ball at impact... Page 2.
Demolish Your 9-Ball Pool Break
An interesting pool break question today from a devoted website reader. A fellow writes to ask if...
How To Practice Pool Skills Effectively –...
How to practice pool skills effectively and get on a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement.
Play Pool Games - Or Are They Playing You? -...
Play pool games in your spare time? Are you more serious that that? What are the best possible pool games to play and why?
The Best Pool Aim Systems
The dramatic conclusion of my aim primer for pool and pocket billiards.
Two Moves For An Outstanding Pool Break Shot
We just reviewed technique for break shots with the cue ball close to the rail. Let’s consider some of my keys to a better break from along the head string. Page 2.
Arm and Hand Motion in the Classic Stroke
You are looking at a greatly exaggerated backswing motion. Page 2.
Ghost Ball Usage - Sectional Pool Aim and The...
Boo! The pool ghost promises us a better path of aim.
Cue Ball Control - The Most Important Move
Cue ball control mastery becomes yours with this one simple move.
Stick Length and Weight - Let's Get It Right...
Cue length and weight discussions must start with a discussion of skills. Page 2.
Seven More Ways To Lose A Game Of Eight Ball
Knowing what not to do is as important in Eight Ball as knowing what to do. Here are seven examples.
9-Ball Break - Two Moves For An Improved 9-Ball...
I teach you a 9-Ball break with amazing results.
Billiards Shot - Over A Dozen Tips To Improve...
Over a dozen billiards shot tips in an article geared to improve your pool skills.
Fix This Or Forever Be An Amateur Pool Player
Demonstrate the problem for yourself. Take the perfect stance (for you) at a pool table, now realize your cue tip is too far...
A Craze Worth Checking In On Called, "Three Ball"
Three Ball is a terrific little game that looks easier than it is and provides some interesting wrinkles. See more about gambling and playing this wondrous pool game.
Top 3 Shaft Tapers
No two custom pool cues are the same. The taper of the shaft offers a range of control options in determining play.
A Proper Cue Stick Grip - Do It Right
It's time again to look at the proper cue stick grip--here it is in words and pictures along with pro secrets of grip.
Carabao Reasons - 2 Wrong Ways And 1 Right Way...
Shooting pool with english, you are likely to miss your target or miscue without using the methods I describe. Here are reasons to shoot with carabao english.
Pool Movies! (The Ultimate, Definitive Pool...
We salute a pool movie--actually, a list of very hot pool movies to die for and dive into.
The Triple Loosen Draw
Adding pool draw is easy if you follow my 3-step recipe.
English
Pool Definition -- English. Pool / Billiards.
List Of Existing Pool Leagues - And How To...
This list of established pool leagues comes with my recommendations for improving local and national billiards and pool leagues.
How To Sink Balls On The Break - Sink More...
How to sink more balls on the break? I'll tell you how the pros do it and how to straighten your break stroke at the same time.
Easy Pool Trick Shot - The Power Of 9
A delightful and easy pool trick shot, this is worth just a few minutes' practice before you set out to dazzle your audience.
Break Tips - Difference Between Table Sizes
Looking for break tips? Some of the best break tips are recorded in this unique article.
Pool Practice - Some Of My Best, Most Fun...
A day of practice for pool and billiards--everyone hates pool practice! I make it fun with a few simple routines.
How to Play Last Pocket Eight Ball
Take on 8-ball with a difference with this often money-saving game of Last Pocket Eights.
How To Improve Fast
How to improve your billiards skills fast? Work the following routines daily or as often as you can.
Efren Reyes - A Stunning Straight Pool Bank Shot
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Pool Cues - Luther Lassiter Stick Weighs In
A Luther Lassiter Balabushka joins the ranks of fabulous pool cues hitting auctions this year.
Sneaky Petes & House Cues
House Cues: Any two-piece cue stick whether a sneaky pete or no, that costs more than seventy dollars
How To Hold The Pool Cue - A Closer Look
How to hold your pool cue? Let's take a closer look, shall we?
Choosing A Smart Pool Cue
Unless soft tips help you truly pocket every ball you look at, stay clear of them, in my opinion.
How To Aim In Billiards - Tried And True Tips
How to aim in billiards using tried and true tips. Here's a quick rundown of some of the aim tips and techniques I share in pocket billiards clinics and individual lessons.
How To Choose a Tip Material
Pool cue tips range in hardness and widths besides material composition. Learn what pool professionals consider in this, their most important investment--the cue tip!
Better Billiards Training - Split The Cue Ball...
Your billiards training towards excellence continues today. We'll talk soon about a straight aimed cue stick that is aimed at the wrong target.
8-Ball Or 9-Ball, And Why?
8-Ball Or 9-Ball Billiards, And Why?
The Best Pool Cues May Not Be Straight Cue Sticks
The best pool cues may not even be straight. Here's why.
Turn a 9-Ball Rack To Powder!
Crushing a 9-ball rack like the pros is easy when you know how--and here it is outlined for you in stop action photos.
The Noble Game of Six Ball
6-ball provides a quick test on pool. Rack 'em, scatter 'em and run 'em--but will you find Six Ball easier or tougher than running a game of Nine Ball? Check it out.
How To Run A Rack - 8-Ball - Step-By-Step - The...
To pocket that 8-ball this turn, you'll need a correct sequence. Do you know how and what is the next shot? Page 2.
A Weighty Word On Using Pool Cues
You shouldn't be using pool cues to break--if you value them highly. Break cues are meant to offer speed, not mass, to the pool shooter for the open break. Consider options carefully before making your purchase.
Parallel Aiming In Pool
Let’s examine the parallel method of aiming pool balls. We are exploring a parallel aim method suggested by Willie Mosconi from his 1950's book... Page 2.
20 Top Billiards Lies - Do Stop Believing These...
Sort fact from fiction (and cloth friction) with these 20 pieces of garbage that even some famous pros and teachers use in their lessons. Billiards on this GuideSite is like life, in that I enjoy sorting myths from truth.
Box Method of Aim
The box aim method helps draw the contact point on the object ball. Is it enough? Page 2.
Aim Primer 1: Introduction And Aim Techniques
Playing professsionals use a wide variety of aim methods; Fraction Aim, Edge to Edge Aim, Ghost Ball Aim, Contact Point Aim, Parallel Aim, Pivot Aim, and other aim systems. How to choose the correct methods are outlined within.
Do The Pros Use A Big Or Small Tip Gap At The...
Sometimes players need a fundamentals overhaul, yes. Other times, there are very easy fixes.
Wood Pool Cues Are Where It's At
The best cues are wood pool cues, not graphite and other Space Age materials, and here's why.
All About Jump Shots - Cues And Methods
All about jump shots including aim, technique and special equipment to get you high faster and cheaper, too.
3 Ball Breaks
Perfect Practice - 3 Ball Breaks
Learn to play the speed of the balls in pool
The "Home Again" cut shot is the single most important technique in billiards to teach the correct stroke.
Where To Hold The Fingers, Billiards Player?...
Listen, billiards player! Here's where to hold the fingers (four hand designs/shapes).
Pool Stick High - Who Was The Best Ever With A...
Who is the best ever to wield a pool stick? Is there a clear way to determine the best at the sport?
More on Buying Pool Table Slate
A quality slate is key to a level, enjoyable playing surface.
Pool Shot Technique - Aligning Straighter Than...
Head, eyes, chin, fingers—Is your stick pointed at the target accurately for positive pool shot technique? Are you sure?
Repairing Dents On Your Cue Stick's Shaft
Repairing Dents On Your Cue Stick's Shaft - how do to it on your own, step-by-step.
How To Round Your Tip
It takes just a few minutes' time to care for your cuestick's tip, and the effort is well worth it.
360 PureCue Stroke Trainer - A Truly Great...
The 360 PureCue Stroke Trainer is a terrific invention, a simple idea that is brilliantly executed. I believe an APA-ranked 2 or 3 might quickly turn to a 6-level or higher using a PureCue to train their skills.
Rotation (a.k.a. Chicago) Rules, Odds & Strategy
With its potentially lengthy contest, Rotation was the darling of most pool shooters up through the Depression era and WWII. This classic game deserves a second look. My students enjoy it at our pool and billiards clinics...
How To Sink More Bank Shots
My guide shows you how to make many more bank shots than you do now, and you can take that to the pool bank.
Play 9-Ball Better In Competition
Are you planning to play 9-Ball for an upcoming tournament or simply enjoy the game? A devoted reader asked me yesterday about how they might...
Open Break
Pool Definition -- Open Break. Pool / Billiards.
Aim Primer 4: Instinct Vs. Fraction Aim
Aiming the cue ball using instinct vs. Fraction Aim... continuing our aim primer where every different method used by the pros to aim object balls is illustrated. You may catch up on past reads first if you wish.
Aim Primer 7: Ghost Ball vs. Contact Point Aim
Contact point systems are simpler and more effective than ghost ball systems. As illustrated in the diagram, the player marks the contact point on the object ball with an early terminus to the aim line as shown. Page 2.
How Billiards Experts Stroke The Cue Stick
How billiards experts stroke the cue stick is less a matter of debate than of fact. I give 17 reasons why every good billiards player shoots a certain way.
Slip Stroke Technique
As the cue moves forward for the next practice stroke, without touching the cue ball, my hand is slipping along the cue's length toward its rear. Page 2.
The Killer And The Mosc Part V: Ralph Greenleaf...
Young player Arness will need his best to defeat Mosconi--here's why.
Willie Mosconi, aka "The Mosc"
The All-Time Pool Legend lives on in the hearts of those who know Willie's Game.
Actually Hit The Cue Ball Where You Aim With...
It’s a frequent occurrence for me to spend 15 minutes to correct the player habit of fudging the address position. Here's how to fix it yourself.
Great Pool Tricks - The Never Missed Bank Shot
One of a number of easy but show-stopping pool trick shots from About.com.
How To Shoot Pool - Iron Defense Made Easy For...
Most pool players would win more by slowing down and considering defensive options. The pros do! Page 2.
Pool Draw - Accomplished Far More Easily Than...
I've reduced pool draw to (one!) easy step anyone can follow for improved billiards play.
APA Break - And For Other Players - 8-Ball...
The APA break rules can be a blessing or a curse as can other pool league and tournament rules. Here's why.
History Of Pool - Pool Ball Progression
John Wesley Hyatt saved elephants from pool extinction, by inventing modern plastic, as part of the legacy of the history of pool.
How To Play Soft Breaks Safely in Eight or Nine...
I'm all for pounding the break balls in during an open game. But softly also does it, even for old favorites like Eight Ball and Nine Ball.
8-Ball Rules - Which? When? Why?
Donny and Matt's 8-Ball rules debates continue at About.com. Which side will you choose?
Ralph Greenleaf, aka "The Aristocrat"
Name: Ralph Greenleaf, aka "The Aristocrat" Claim to Fame: Widely considered the greatest pool player
How To Draw Pool Instant Improvement
Here is an exhaustive list of draw pool stroke techniques every billiards player will want to aid them with the sometimes challenging draw stroke.
Pool Hustling Legends - On The Road With Players
Read true stories about pool hustling legends at About.com.
The Real Deal On Aiming Pool
I'm going to tell you the real story on aiming pool. This is the pro method to ensure better play at billiards.
Not Your Usual Boring Drills
Here's an interesting drill to spice your pool practice. Take video of your play-you can. Page 2.
Pool Ball Drills - Killer Safeties To Win...
These double-sided pool ball drills develop intense safety skills to win games.
Olympics and Pool - Will Billiards Make A Splash?
The story of pool at the olympics is a checkered one--but first steps have been accomplished as billiards enjoys an international oversight organization.
Ferrules
The shock terminator of pool, the ferrule absorbs impact. Keep it clean and damage free and it will reward your pool game.
Slop
Pool Definition -- Slop. Pool / Billiards.
4 Steps To Choosing The Perfect Pool Cue Price
The essential costs/pool cue price range hasn't changed much in 20 years so here's the 4 steps to picking the right stick.
3 Pro Techniques For Your Choice Of Bank Shot
What makes a bank shot so difficult? You are not aiming at a typical target but an imagined rail point.
How To Snap the Break
Crushing a pool break in billiards is simple when you learn how. Here are super tips on breaking with style.
A Place With Space - Proper Pool Room Space
Clear pool room space on all four sides of the table for standing and shooting in comfort, and also...
Cue Ball
Pool Definition -- Cue Ball. Pool / Billiards.
Pro Skill Drill - Get Your Pool Shape In Shape
Get your shape fixed with Dominic Esposito, The Drill Instructor, and these fabulous pro skill drills.
Banking like the pros
Yes, the yellow line in the diagram is the correct bank shot plot. So why will the pro often pound the bank with inside (in this case, right hand) english applied? Page 2.
Pool Table Room Size - I Answer A Reader's...
A reader's question about a bargain pool table leads to a response on pool table room size.
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