Setting the cue ball

A skill to be mastered

Snooker players rarely have to set the cue ball in the D, and even when they do it is not usually critical. Billiard players have to constantly set the cue ball and make sure that it is in an exact spot. Therefore, this critical skill tends to be one that is overlooked. Apart from setting the correct position, it is often difficult for players new to Billiards to move the cue ball around in the D, using the cue.

The best way to set the cue ball, even when you are quite proficient at recognizing half-ball angles, is to use a three-stage approach.

This three-stage approach will seem like overkill to those who play Billiards on a regular basis, but it is essential for a new Billiards player to methodically learn the skill of setting the cue ball. Once you become proficient at this, you will speed up the process, but even the professional players use this technique, albeit at a faster speed.

1. PLACE THE CUE BALL AT AN APPROXIMATE POSITION.

Stand back from the shot, estimate the correct position that the cue ball needs to be and place the ball in the D with your hand. Now, whilst still standing fairly upright, adjust the cue ball with the shaft of the cue. To do this hold the cue over the cue ball and gently rest the shaft on top of the ball, about 12 inches from the tip of the cue.

2. SET THE CUE BALL TO AN EXACT POSITION.

Lower your head on the shot, but not quite down to the cue. Sight the shot and make fine adjustments to the cue ball until it is in the correct position.

At this point, if you are not happy with the position of the cue ball, stand up and repeat item 2.

3. PLAY THE SHOT.

This is the standard method of playing a shot, often referred to as your drill and will be something like: stand back from the shot, chalk your cue, walk into the shot etc.