Swerve

Squirt then Swerve

When right side is imparted, the cue ball will push away left, and vice versa. The cue ball will then initially follow a straight path. This initial push off is often referred to squirt.

If the cue is not horizontal, the cue ball will travel in a straight path and at some point, turn for a brief moment (in the same direction as the side) before once again following a straight path, and this is commonly known as a swerve.

Practical uses

Thin Cannon

If you are very close to the object ball (approximately between 3 and 24 inches), then it is reasonably easy to get an 'apparent' thinner contact by using side and therefore swerving onto the object ball. If you can judge to contact the object ball after the swerve, the cue ball will effectively come at the object ball from a different line. This is very useful if you need a thin contact. This shot is normally played at a slow pace; more pace will be needed as the gap between the cue ball and object ball increases. You can get an even greater effect by raising the butt of your cue more and to hit down on the cue ball. This is particularly useful technique, but must but not be used at big distances.

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Thick Shots

In the same way, if you are very close to the object ball (approximately between 3 and 24 inches), then you can get an 'apparent' thicker contact by using side. If you can judge to contact the object ball after the cue ball has swerved, the cue ball will effectively come at the object ball from a different line.

Billiards TheorySwerve point and amount of swerve

The cue ball will initially follow a straight path and at some point, turn for a brief moment (in the same direction as the side) before once again following a straight path, and this is commonly known as a swerve.

The point at which the ball swerves is dependent on the speed of the stroke and the thickness/friction of the cloth; a fast stroke on a light cloth curving late. The amount of the curve, (the angle that the ball takes) is dependent on the elevation of the cue and if the cue is level (no cushion rail) then there will be no swerve.