The Pool Stroke

Written by Easy Pool Tutor

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There is no question that the stroke is the one of the most important element in the game of pocket billiards, snooker or any cue sport. A smooth, straight stroke is key in pocketing your object balls accurately.

So what's a good stroke? A superior stroke will allow the cue ball to travel along an exact path to the object ball. In other words, if you aim at some point on the object ball then that should be the point where your cue ball makes contact with the object ball. One way to test your stroke is to practice a straight-in shot with the object ball about 1 foot away from the pocket and the cue ball about a foot away from the object ball. A good stroke should send your object ball straight towards the pocket, if not, then you have an imperfect stroke.

Stroke Guidelines

There is no single exact way to execute a correct stroke. Just like the other fundamentals like stance and grip, a good stroke can be achieve by each player differently. However, below are some guidelines that will help you get a good starting point to a better stroke.

  • As you do your warm-up strokes, look at your cue ball and find the point where your cue tip should make contact. Once that is set, focus on the object ball for your final stroke.
  • Your body must be kept still except for your swinging arm's elbow down to your hand. There should only be a back and forth motion of your arm and there should be no sideways movement of your arm. Obviously, if there is any sideways movement, then your stroke will not be straight and you won't hit the cue ball where you intended to, therefore, a missed shot occurs. This is very important: Besides the stroking arm, no part of your body must be moving! This includes the head, the hips, the legs and the upper body.
  • Make sure that you cue stick remains relatively level as you do your strokes.
  • Follow through your shot, that is, allow your cue stick to extend past the point of contact with the cue ball and let your cue stick come to a natural halt. The illustrations below display the progression of a full follow through.

Pendulum Stroke

A smooth pendulum stroke is the ideal way to achieve a perfect stroke. Just like a pendulum of a clock, you stroke should swing straight back and forth smoothly. See illustration below.

Figure 1: Starting Stroke position
Figure 1: Starting Stroke position
Figure 2: The Back Stroke
Figure 2: The Back Stroke
Figure 3: Follow thru
Figure 3: Follow thru

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