Piqués

What is a Piqué?

The Piqué is an extreme screw-back off the object ball, whereas a Massée is used to go around the object ball.

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When to Use it?

The Piqué is used when:

  • The cue and object balls are very close and a push shot is feared.
  • You want the cue ball/object ball momentum ratio to be greater.
  • A standard screw back contact would not make the shot.

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 backspin, but it is important not to get too steep as the cue ball may ‘jam’ against the bed of the table. 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. As a guide, 60° is a good starting point and is about the cue angle that will split the momentum equally between the cue and object balls (if the balls are close together). Remember that with a standard screw-back the object ball will always have more momentum than the cue ball. So up to about 60° the object ball will have more momentum than the cue ball and beyond 60° the cue ball will amazingly come back quicker than the object ball!

Grip

People grip the cue in different ways, but the grip should always be light to allow a ‘falling cue’ effect. If the grip is tight, the delivery will not be as efficient and less spin will be imparted onto the cue ball. You can use a standard grip, with the thumb and index fingers facing the bed of the table but many players prefer to reverse the grip, with the thumb and index fingers pointing towards the ceiling. In addition, a 'dart' grip can be used, holding the cue between only the thumb and index finger.

Bridge

A similar to standard bridge will suffice for this shot, but the palm of the hand will need to be raised off the table. It is usually best to keep the wrist reasonably straight, unlike the bridge used for a Massée. If you prefer, a loop bridge can be used, with either the hand resting on the table or a free-hand bridge. With the loop bridge you must be careful not to put any unwanted side on the cue-ball.

Use of Side

By putting side on the shot you get an amazing effect. Simply make the cue parallel with the standard Piqué. Note that this is NOT the same technique as putting side on a standard shot! It is possible to make the cue ball come off the object ball at almost 90°, even when hitting the object ball at full ball. The cue ball comes off the object ball as though it was a cushion, but the effect is even more pronounced.