What is a Massée?

A Massée is used to go around the object ball whereas a Piqué is used to pull the cue ball back.

When to Use it?

The Massée is used when the object balls are ‘covered’ and a direct cannon is not on.

Cue Elevation

The elevation of the cue can be varied to get the amount of spin on the cue ball that is required. With a steep cue angle the cue ball will get more spin, but it is important not to get too steep as the cue ball may ‘jam’. In all cases the cue ball must be able to get away from the tip and at nearly-vertical cue elevations this may not be possible. 60° is a good starting point for most Massées.

Cue Direction

The cue should angle slightly in towards the centre of the cue ball, so that on impact it ‘pinches’ the cue ball against the cloth. It is possible to Massée with the cue pointing slightly away from the centre of the ball, but as you are giving the ball a ‘glancing blow’ the Massée is not so pronounced and there is always a danger of a miscue. The follow-through Massée is a very advanced shot where the cue is aimed at the far side of the cue ball and the cue is aimed away from the centre of the cue ball.

Coriolis’ Aim Point Method

The final path of the cue ball will be parallel to a line joining the point where the cue ball is resting on the cloth to a point on the cloth where the cue is pointing. (through the cue ball)


The more force put into the shot the further the cue ball will travel before it starts to curve. (This is a very similar situation to a swerve shot, where the angle of cue elevation determines the amount of swerve but it is the power of the shot that determines the swerve point.) In general, Massées require very little power; a 'falling cue' is normally sufficient to produce the desired curve.


The bridge needs to be twisted so that the fingers are facing the body and so that the thumb and index fingers are off the bed of the table. Alternatively, a loop bridge can be used, with either the hand resting on the table or a free-hand bridge.

How to aim

Imagine the shape of the shot and particularly the final path that you want the cue ball to take. You will have to imagine the amount of power that you will use for the shot. Take aim on the cue ball, making sure that your tip is aiming at a point on the cloth (through the cue ball), so that the line from the where the cue ball is resting on the cloth to this point is parallel to the final path of the required cue ball path.