How To Hold A Pool Stick Properly

The pool is one of the most enjoyable indoor games, but to enjoy its real essence, you must know the proper way to hold the stick. If you fail to follow the correct techniques, you are more likely to fail at scoring a single goal, let alone win. So, you should know how to hold a pool stick properly. Beginners are unable to hold their pool cue correctly, so they can't perform shots properly.

However, many individuals think that holding a cue stick is something complicated and requires a lot of effort. While you might need some practice, there is nothing challenging if you know the steps to the proper method. That said, this guide will explore how to hold a pool stick to maximize your chances of securing the goal.

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Effective Techniques For Holding Pool Stick Properly

Are you an ardent pool player but still not very experienced with how to hold a pool stick right-handed? Worry not, as our guide will help you get pro at it without putting in any extraordinary effort. Let’s begin:

1- Level The Cue Near Your Waist

The first step to hold the pool stick is to grab it with your dominant hand. Next up, level it near your waist and precisely grasp its rear end with the same hand. At this point, the tape at the cue’s end will guide you regarding the correct holding position. Make sure your hand is at least 4 to 5 inches behind the tape.

Another factor that indicates you are holding the stick correctly is that your hand will be at a 90-degree angle. Besides this fundamental process, here are some tips that you must keep in mind:

  • The grip you have on the pool stick must not be too tight. Instead, it should strike a perfect balance between comfort and precision.
  • One aspect that many players miss is the cue ball’s position. It must be aligned with that of your body for a successful shot.
  • To hold the stick’s rear end, I would recommend using your thumb and index finger. Any other technique is more likely to fail in this context. Also, you can use your middle finger to tighten the grip so the stick does not slide off from your hand.
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2- Position Your Upper Body On The Table

After holding the stick, now comes the turn for strategic positioning of your body on the pool table. For that, you must bend your body forward so you are looking in the cue ball’s direction. Standing too stiff or straight can hinder your capability to make a satisfactory shot.

Also, when bent, your body should be relaxed while keeping your feet a bit apart from each other. This way, you can stay balanced when hitting the ball.

3- Form The Bridge

For the next step, you need to put your other hand (the one that’s not holding the cue) at work to develop a solid support for the cue’s tip. In pool terms, this is particularly known as a bridge. Without a bridge, you won’t be able to make an accurate shot, putting all your efforts in vain where your hand works as an anchor.

For a successful bridge, you must hold the cue in such a manner that it facilitates enough movement without compromising stability. You can use the mechanical bridge for this purpose as well. Similarly, you can employ an elevated bridge to raise over a ball.

At the same time, it’s also important to ensure the correct placement of fingers, which can be achieved by a few techniques on how to hold a pool cue bridge given below:

1- Opened Bridge - Most Popular Bridge Forming Method

  • Spread the fingers of your free hand on the table’s surface while holding the cue’s rear end with your dominant hand.
  • The pool stick’s tip must be between the index finger and thumb. Afterward, you need to lift up both and cradle the tip properly. In case you feel the grip is loose, it’s a good idea to utilize your middle finger to strengthen it.

2- Closed Bridge - An Advanced Bridge Technique

  • Form a fist and place it on the table’s surface.
  • Gradually spread your three fingers, i.e., ring, middle, and pinky, outwards. Make sure the index finger is not open, and you have to keep your thumb under it in a way that creates a proper loop.
  • Now, you must push the pool stick tip into this loop, but make sure it’s done lightly. However, the grip of your thumb on the index finger must be tight for a perfect shot.

While these two techniques are the most popular, some pros use rail, elevated, and mechanical bridges as well.

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4. Focus on the Target and Hit the Cue Ball

Once your hand position is fixed following the above guide, it’s time to maintain the focus on the cue ball before hitting it. Besides ensuring a firm posture, you must also concentrate on the target ball. Also, you must move the pool stick forward and backward at least or once to ensure everything is in line.

If there’s any problem, then you can easily re-adjust instead of hitting the ball the wrong way. Finally, it’s time to make your short. The key is to hit the ball’s center, which enhances the chances of securing that goal.

Ways To Hold A Pool Stick Properly

Level The Cue Near Your WaistHold the cue stick near your waist with your dominant hand, maintaining a flat and precise grip. Ensure a 90-degree hand angle and align the cue ball perpendicularly to the body for accurate shots.
Position Your Upper Body On The TableBend forward with a relaxed posture, balancing on legs that are slightly apart. This position provides a clear view of the cue ball and enhances shot accuracy.
Form The BridgeCreate a solid bridge with your non-dominant hand supporting the cue's tip. Choose between an open bridge, spreading fingers on the table, or a closed bridge with specific finger placements for stability.
Focus on the Target and Hit the Cue BallMaintain focus on the cue and target ball, ensuring a firm posture. Move the cue forward and backward for alignment and aim for the center of the ball to increase the chances of successful shots. Adjust if necessary before the shot.
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Pool Stick 1

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How To Hold A Pool Stick Like Professionals?

The stick-holding method of professional pool players is almost the same when they wish to play pool, with a few variations depending on the individual styles. What they ensure is a relaxed and fluid grip over the cue. It means the hold should not be too tight to restrict movement but must be firm enough to maintain precise control. Other than that, the major focus of pro players is over the bridge formation. They can use a rail bridge if they are near the rail and their distance from the cue ball is less than six inches.

They ensure a stable bridge with their non-dominant hand, ensuring smooth gliding of the stick during the shot. If you're having trouble with a smooth slide, you can try wearing a pool glove or using hand chalk. They will serve you for a better grip and smoother cue action. When it comes to choosing a specific bridge technique, pro players often prefer a closed bridge where fingers are closed together. But this can vary! Additionally, it’s also necessary for pool experts to maintain a straight wrist, which helps eliminate unwanted side-to-side movements in the cue. It’s pretty much necessary for accuracy while preparing the shot.

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How To Hold A Pool Cue With Small Hands?

While the process of holding the pool cue remains the same, here are a few tips to manage it if you are someone with small hands.

  • Consider using a shorter cue. While standard cues measure 57 to 58 inches long, shorter ones around 48 inches can also be found.
  • Some pool cues have a smaller diameter shaft, so opting for them can be a good decision.
  • For small hands, a cue with a tapered shaft is highly preferred as it offers better grip, narrowing from the tip to the butt.
  • Players with small hands must maintain a light grip on the cue. Avoid squeezing it too tightly, as it can lead to tension and lesser control.
  • Small-hand players should not be afraid to experiment with different hand positions until they find a comfortable stance.

Cue Stick

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Hold A Pool Stick As A Beginner?

If you are wondering how to hold a pool stick for beginners, hold a pool cue by gripping it like you would hold a bicycle handlebar, with your dominant hand at the back end and your non-dominant hand forming a bridge on the table. This provides stability and control as you learn to play.

How Can I Hold A Pool Cue Properly?

If you want to know how to hold a pool stick right-handed, stand with your dominant foot forward while holding the stick in your right hand. Now, using your non-dominant hand, create a bridge and maintain a straight wrist. Make sure the cue is parallel to the table before hitting your shot.

What Is The 2 Finger Rule In Pool?

The two-finger rule in the pool is a guideline used by some players to help determine the approximate angle at which a cue ball will rebound off a rail (cushion) after you hit it. This rule is not a precise or universally accepted method but can provide a rough estimate for players who are learning to control their shots and understand how the cue ball will react off the rails.

Where Should I Hold Pool Stick?

It’s important to hold the pool stick in your dominant hand, depending on whether you are right-handed or left-handed.

Does It Matter How You Hold A Pool Stick?

Yes, your technique of holding a pool cue matters a lot. If you are not following the right way, hitting the ball with accuracy would lead to the shot being wasted.

Why Do You Rub A Pool Stick?

Rubbing a pool stick ensures it does not slide off the ball prematurely, leading to a miscue or a ruined shot. It helps create friction between the cue’s tip and the ball, ensuring better accuracy and control upon striking the ball.


That was all about how to hold a pool stick with precision for a successful shot. Following our above-mentioned guide, you can become a pro at this sport with practice. So make sure to grip the cue firmly, create an optimum bridge, and let your focus be on the target. With it, nothing could stop you from impressing your fellow players! What kind of bridge do you prefer - open or closed? Do let us know in the comments.

Sophia William

An accomplished author with an impressive history of 6 years of contributions to renowned informational websites.

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