God been careful with each one to have his own talent and his own power, but, because of different reasons we didn`t used them, neither trained them, at least.
Is never too late.
Next I want to start with the presentation of a few basic information about billiard.
Billiard has more types of games like Snooker, Eight Ball, Nine ball, Ten ball, Straight Pool, Black ball, English Billiards and many more but the most common are the ones I referred.
The difference between them is made by the specific rules of each.
Because of this reason, the analysis is different for each one of them.
For the game Eight Ball, the arrangement of the balls is correct when you put to the base of the triangle, one solid ball to one corner, and a stripe ball to the other corner. The other balls you have to put them randomly and with no specific arrangement but the black ball has to be in the middle. The ball from the top of the triangle, has to be in line with the 2 middle points of the side cushions.
For the game Nine Ball, the solid ball, yellow, has to be on top and situated in line with the middle points of the side cushions. The 9 ball in the middle, and the rest in no order but with no specific arrangement. The complete rules for each type of game, you can read them on the first page, to the right, on section World rules.
I advice you to read the rules after you finish the 3 steps, because is better not to full your memory with so much information right now, but if you really want to read them now, there is no problem, we have a memory and a concentration capacity much more bigger then we expect.
As you probably saw, the billiard tables differs in colours, like green, blue, red, beige, brown, orange... and for each colour, you can find more shades... Also, to a billiard table differ the size, the cloth, the board, the cushion and the balls. They differ in function of quality and price.
Well, as a colour, the lighter colours gives you the impression of more space compared with the darker ones, but the angle to play the cue ball is the same on all.
The colours, as you probably know or not, they have a psychological effect on our emotional state.
For example, the green colour, has a soothing and calming effect, helping to associate the ideas, offering balance.
The blue color, it has a soothing and restful effect, in the same time provides an extra of power and precision.
This effects of the colours, has an subtle influence, but small. The maximum concentration comes from the pleasure of each to make a nice billiard game, technically.
Details about the other colours, you can find on the first page, to section Links, Colours. Unfortunately are available only in Romanian language, but you can translate on google. I explained only this two colours because they are the most common in the billiard clubs. The official colours, chosen by the World billiard association, are yellow-green, blue-green and electric-blue.
If you have a billiard table, different colour then green or blue and you want to train with the goal of reaching top player, I advice you to play on the colours, named above. Is better because you get used optically to the angles and the playing surface of the green or blue tables, to be already adapted to the official billiard table.
As a measure, the billiard table differs in number. So we have, number 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Usually the lenght is the double of the width.
Nr. 5 - 5 feet
Nr. 6 - 6 feet
Nr. 7 - 7 feet
Nr. 8 - 8 feet
Nr. 9 - 9 feet
These measures are approximate, they differ in function of the manufacturer and the order of the client.
Snooker - height from 2ft 9½ in to 2ft 10½ in
- lenght 11 ft 8½ in (+/- ½)
- width 5 ft 10 in
*(+/- ½) is a tolerance*
To this measures, we add the cushion.
The rules for snooker, and more information about the snooker competition table, you can find on the first page, to section, World rules, Snooker.
World billiard association, established the official pool games, to be played on tables with the measures:
Nr. 8 - height from 29 ¼ inches to 31 inches
- lenght 92 (+ 1/8) inches
- width 46 (+ 1/8) inches
Nr. 9 - height from 29 ¼ inches to 31 inches
- lenght 100 (+ 1/8) inches
- width 50 (+ 1/8) inches
*(+ 1/8) inches is a tolerance*
More details about these two tables you can find on the principal page, on the section Official Table.
The cloth, the board, the cushion and the balls are making the difference in speed and in the quality of the english.
On a thinner cloth, well tight on the board, the balls are getting a higher speed.
The official cloth, used on the mondial tourney tables, is composed of no less than 85% combed worsted wool and no more than 15% nylon. 100% combed worsted wool fabric is preferred.
The board of the table can be composed by slate, marble or wood. You can figure which material is made, by the sound of it. The best material is the slate.
Table cushions should influence the speed of the table such that with placement of a ball on the head spot, shooting through the foot spot, using center ball english, with a level cue and firm stroke, the ball must travel a minimum of 4 to 4 ½ lengths of the table without jumping.
The cushion, in function of it`s qualities, can be high speed, average speed or low speed.
The balls, in function of their composition, you can feel the quality of the english, but the difference, is not that big. You can feel like being appreciated, when you play to the level of top amateur of professional.
All balls must be composed of cast phenolic resin plastic and measure 2 ¼ (+.005) inches in diameter and weigh 5 ½ to 6 oz. Balls should be unpolished, and should also not be waxed.
With any type of balls, you can support a quality training or game.
The game technique is the same on any kind of table, no matter what qualities it has.
I, personally have started to play pool on not so qualitative tables, and I kept changing the tables, because I didn`t had sufficient space into my house, for a billiard table. But it was not an impediment to develop my skill on billiards. I didn`t dedicated myself to this sport 100% because, 16 years ago you couldn't`t earn a living with this sport and the professional level here, were low. Now the things are staying different, including in the rest of the world.
I make a statement here, namely, even if you are used to play on a table Nr.7 of average speed, and you sign up to a tourney that is playing on a Nr.9 table of high speed, the technique of playing is the same, but you need to adapt yourself to that pool table, optically, and for the speed.
It`s better if you train at least 1 week, on a similar table as in the tourney, because you have adapt your eyes and your senses for the speed of that table.
Another thing is good to know, for example, if you play on a table Nr.9 and immediately after that you go and play on a smaller table, like Nr.5, you will have the impression of more space, the angles will seem more clear, but that will happen only for a couple of games, until you get used to the table you are playing on.
Between a pool table Nr.8 and a Nr.9, the difference is not that big.
The most important, and essential, is to dominate the billiard technique, which is not hard at all.
The first week consists in a simple but intensive training, for accommodation.
The purpose of the first week, consists in your accommodation to the game and table.
Accommodation of the body, and of the eyes.
I am saying the accommodation of the body, because you have observed a rigidity of yours when you make a shot. This is happening because the muscles of your body weren`t trained for the correct position, which is necessary for the game.
And for the accommodation of the eyes, because you will practice the basic 8 simple English for billiard, which you probably knew or not. English that will change the angles of the shots, in function of the need for the next shot.
In the picture above, you can see clearly the places where you have to hit the cue ball, for each of the 8 English.
Apart of this 8 English, exists the stun shot. The stun shot will freeze the cue ball in the object balls place after hitting.The place where you have to hit the cue ball for this English, is with 1 or 2 mm below the center of the cue ball. If you hit right in the center then the ball will forward a few cm more.
In essence, if you hit the cue ball in the right, it will go to the right after the impact with the cushion, if you hit the cue ball in the left, it will go to the left after the impact with the cushion.
Also, there are 2 more types of shot, masse shot and jump shot.
In the situation when you can`t see the object ball because of another ball, then you have 3 options, to use the cushion, masse shot or jump shot.
For the masse shot you have to hit the cue ball into the spots Top Spin&Side Spin, like you saw in the picture, to right or left, it depends where you want the cue ball to go.
For jump shot you have to hit the cue ball 2 or 3 mm down of the Top Spot.
This 2 shots they are a little special because they require a special body position. You have to raise the stick from the backhand, to your lateral, between 48-90 degrees from the cue ball. The higher you raise the stick, the more masse you will put on the cue ball.
The shot it has to be a short one and with power.
Down into the picture, you can see the classic position of the hand, to play the cue ball.
To avoid the nonsense mistakes, and to make a high quality game, it needs for you to have the hands clean always, so the cue stick will slip fine on the hand. Because of this reason, exists a special glove for the hand. I personally use it.
They are not expensive, but you can find high quality ones, more expensive.
There are some specific positions in which you can`t make a shot, because the distance to the cue ball is to long. So we have 2 solutions for this. First solution is, when you are about to make a shot, take a look at where the cue ball might go after the shot, so you choose to leave the cue ball in a place where you can make the next shot easy. And the second option, is to use a cue stick extensions.
For this you must hold the cue stick in straight line with your view. The movement has to be from the forehand in line with the cue ball and the object ball. You have to hold the end of the cue stick with the back of your hand and move it smoothly with easy closed fist.
The position of the body is essential for the billiard game. The position of the body it has to be in straight line, the back hand with your direct view and with the front hand.
In other positions you won`t be able to have 100% accurate angle on the cue ball, related with the object ball and the pocket where you want to make the shot.
The hand in which you hold the bottom of the cue stick, it is very important you hold it relaxed. In the moment you want to make a shot, do the movement smoothly and only from the forehand.
The fist has to be easy closed. Not strong.
For this movement, you don`t have to make effort, you just have to move your hand, from the forehand as it feels comfortable.
If you didn`t played billiard until now then this position is a little uncomfortable, so to avoid inconvenience to the muscles is better if you don`t try from the start the positions you see at professional players on the tv.
A tip: You can check by yourself if you have the correct trajectory of the cue stick. When you put yourself into position, make sure the middle of your chin is exactly on the cue stick, and when you move the cue stick, it should move in straight line trajectory. If not, then move the back hand to left or right until it moves straight. It`s the most likely spot where you don`t hold right the cue stick.
The first 3 days, play with the head a little above from the cue stick, so you feel comfortable, but is absolutely necessary to be in straight line. Like I said, the back hand with your direct view and with your front hand.
The next 3 days, try to lean more, and if you still feel uncomfortable, then switch back to the before position. Make gradual adaptation, until your body will become elastic and the position necessary for the game is already stored, so that every time you will play billiard the correct position in straight line will be something normal.
To adapt faster, it would be great for you to be with one friend or girlfriend when you do the training, to show him/her which is the position you are interested of, and when you are about the make a shot, your friend to tell you if your body position is correct or not.
This way, they will help you correct yourself every time, so you already have the security of the good body position after 2 weeks. But to have the position of the body, like you see at professional players on tv it needs more hours of training, accumulated in at least a few months of playing.
The feet try to position them so you will feel the most comfortable. If you are right handed, their correct position is, the right leg stretched and the sole of the foot point it to the direction that makes your foot feel comfortable. The left leg you need it slightly bent, try to fix the position until you feel all your body comfortable.
The sole of the left foot, you have to point it to the direction you feel comfortable, like the right leg. The right leg has to be further back then the left leg. If you are left handed, then you just have to switch the position I explained. This position does not require effort, but it require some practice for adaptation, like I said before.
When you feel that you are in the correct position, you store it, and it will be reflex.
Another thing, also essential, is the Chalk. From the beginning to the end of the game, after each shot, don`t forget to use the Chalk, to make a clean shot. You can take it with you, anywhere around the table.
This week, from Monday to Saturday, I established for you to train approximately 3 hours every day.
Exactly, play 2 hours consecutively from 11:00 to 14:00. You choose the hours in function of your free time, so it will not influence the rest of your activities.
And 1 hour from Monday to Friday, after 20:00, whenever you can.
If you are disposed, and you have the possibility to train more hours, I recommend to repeat the program every day, whenever you can.
But, I have to say that if it is the first time when you play billiard, it is better for you to simply finish the normal program, to avoid the unpleasant to the muscles.
In any moment of the game, if you feel like, take a break of how much time you want.
Remain to your discretion if you wish to have a tea
or a Coffey.
The training consists in arranging on the table, all the 15 balls, no matter where you position them on the table but no ball touching another, or close to the cushion.
And try to enter them in pockets, one by one, using English as you seen in the picture from above or in the video from my blog. Doesn`t matter in how many shots you can pot them all.
You will see, there will be some shots, that you weren`t able to make them, but when you had the second opportunity to make the same shot in the same angle, you didn`t missed, because you already have experience.
The cue ball, to the start of the game, you can put it anywhere on the table, but after that, don`t move it unless you made a shot and you missed. Then replace the cue ball and the ball you missed back and try again the shot until you make it.
In this kind of training, consider only 1 rule, that is, the last ball to enter is the black ball, anywhere you want.
After you entered all balls, then replace them on the table and start another game.
With this training, you will win experience about the angles. Some of the shots will become reflex, and some of them will be your favorites.
I am waiting for your comments, on the section Comments, on the first page.