How to hold a pool stick the right way? Proven Techniques Revealed

As an avid pool player, I always ask quettions “how to hold a pool stick the right way?“. Because the grip you use can have a significant impact on your overall game, from your accuracy to your consistency. That’s why it’s crucial to take the time to learn how to hold a pool stick properly.

One common mistake that many players make is gripping the cue too tightly. This can lead to tension in your arm and wrist, making it harder to execute smooth, accurate shots. Instead, try to find a grip that feels comfortable and relaxed, allowing you to maintain a smooth stroke.

Another important factor to consider is the placement of your hand on the cue. You want to make sure that your hand is in the right position to provide maximum control and accuracy. By following some simple guidelines and practicing regularly, you can improve your grip and take your cue sports game to the next level.

The Basics of a How to Hold a Pool Stick The Right Way

As a pool player, I know that the grip is one of the most important aspects of the game. A good grip on the pool stick allows you to control the speed and spin of the cue ball, which is essential for setting up shots, making position plays, and avoiding scratches. In this section, I will share with you the basics of a proper pool stick grip.

Understanding the Pool Cue

Before we dive into the grip, it’s important to understand the different parts of the pool cue that are relevant to gripping. These parts include the shaft, wrap, and butt. The shaft is the long, tapered part of the cue that you hold onto when taking a shot. The wrap is the part of the cue that provides grip, typically made of leather or rubber. The butt is the thicker end of the cue that rests against your forearm.

It’s also important to note that a well-maintained cue is crucial for a consistent grip. A cue that is warped or has a damaged wrap can make it difficult to hold and control the cue ball.

Grip Hand Position

When it comes to holding the pool stick, there are two main hand positions: the open bridge and the closed bridge. The open bridge involves placing your index finger and middle finger on the table and resting the cue on top of them. The closed bridge involves curling your index finger and middle finger around the cue, with your thumb resting on top for support.

As for which hand to use for the grip, it’s best to use your dominant hand. Your grip hand should be positioned on the cue at the balance point, which is typically marked with tape or a decal on the cue.

Cue Stick Grip

When it comes to actually gripping the cue, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure you’re holding the cue with a relaxed grip. Squeezing too tightly can cause tension in your hand and wrist, which can affect your shot accuracy.

Next, make sure your grip is balanced between your index finger, middle finger, and thumb. Your index finger should be slightly extended, while your middle finger provides the majority of the grip strength. Your thumb should be used for support and stability.

Pool Hand Position

Finally, your hand position on the pool stick is also important. Your hand should be positioned slightly behind the balance point, with your wrist straight and your elbow close to your body. This position allows for a smooth and controlled stroke.

The Leading Hand: Your Cue’s Guide

When holding a pool stick, the leading hand is the one that guides the cue and determines the accuracy of your shot. Proper positioning of the leading hand is crucial to achieving success on the table.

Positioning the Leading Hand

The leading hand should be placed on the cue approximately 12-16 inches away from the tip, depending on personal comfort and shot type. For longer shots, the leading hand should be placed closer to the back of the cue, while for shorter shots, it can be placed closer to the middle.

The Open Bridge

The open bridge is formed by placing the index finger and middle finger of the leading hand on the table and using them to support the cue. This type of bridge is best used for shots that require a softer touch, such as finesse shots or shots that require spin.

The Closed Bridge

The closed bridge is formed by curling the index finger and middle finger of the leading hand around the cue, with the thumb providing support. This type of bridge is best used for shots that require more power and accuracy, such as break shots or long shots.

The Grip Hand: Control and Stability

When it comes to holding a pool stick, the grip hand plays a crucial role in providing control and stability. A relaxed grip is essential to prevent the cue stick from sticking to your hand, which can negatively affect your shot accuracy.

It’s important to maintain a relaxed hand throughout your shot. Tensing up your grip can lead to inconsistent shots and a lack of control over the cue stick. Instead, try to keep your grip relaxed and loose.

Finger placement is also crucial in achieving optimal control over the cue stick. Positioning your thumb and fingers correctly can help you maintain a stable grip and improve your shot accuracy.

Your thumb should be placed on the bottom of the grip, while your fingers should wrap around the cue stick. Each finger plays a role in supporting the cue, and it’s important to find the right balance between each finger’s contribution.

Hand Alignment and Cue Positioning

One of the most important aspects of holding a pool cue is ensuring that your hand is properly aligned with the cue. This will help you achieve a consistent and accurate stroke, which is essential for success in pool. Here are some tips for achieving proper hand alignment and cue positioning:

Aligning the Cue with the Forearm

To ensure that the cue is a natural extension of your arm, it is important to align your hand and forearm properly. This can be done by placing your hand on the cue in a way that allows your wrist to remain straight and your forearm to be in line with the cue. This will help you achieve a smooth and fluid stroke.

To check your alignment, you can use a mirror or ask a friend to watch you shoot. If your wrist is bent or your arm is not in line with the cue, you may need to adjust your hand position. Experiment with different hand positions until you find one that allows you to achieve proper alignment.

Consistent Cue Elevation

Maintaining a consistent cue elevation is also important for achieving a consistent stroke. For most shots, you should aim to keep the cue level with the table. This will help you achieve a straight and accurate shot.

However, there are some shots, such as jump and masse shots, where you may need to adjust the cue elevation. For these shots, you may need to raise or lower the cue to achieve the desired result. Practice these shots to develop the ability to adjust your cue elevation as needed.

By following these tips for hand alignment and cue positioning, you can improve your pool game and achieve greater success on the table. Remember to experiment with different hand positions and cue elevations to find what works best for you.

The Stance: Foundation of the Grip

When it comes to holding a pool stick the right way, the stance is critical. A good stance provides a solid foundation for the grip, ensuring accuracy and control in your shots. Here are some tips on how to get your stance right:

Positioning the Feet

The first step in getting your stance right is to position your feet correctly. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with your weight evenly distributed between them. This will help you maintain balance and stability as you take your shots.

When adjusting your stance for different types of shots, you may need to shift your weight slightly to one foot or the other. For example, when taking a shot that requires more power, you may want to shift your weight to your back foot to give yourself more leverage.

Body Alignment

In addition to proper foot placement, body alignment is also important for getting your stance right. You should align your shoulders and hips with the intended shot line, which will help you maintain a straight and accurate stroke.

Body positioning can also affect your grip and cue action. If you’re not aligned properly, you may find that your grip is too tight or that you’re not able to follow through on your shots as well as you’d like.

By taking the time to get your stance right, you’ll be setting yourself up for success in your pool games. With a solid foundation in place, you’ll be able to focus on your grip and other aspects of your game, confident that you’re starting from a strong position.

The Stroke: Bringing it All Together

Now that we have discussed the grip and bridge, let’s talk about the stroke. The stroke is the most important part of the shot as it determines the direction, speed, and spin of the cue ball. Here are some tips to help you master the stroke:

The Pendulum Swing

The pendulum swing is the movement of the forearm during the stroke. It should be smooth and straight to ensure a straight shot. To achieve this, I keep my elbow close to my body and use my forearm as a pendulum, swinging it back and forth like a clock. I also make sure to keep my wrist loose and relaxed.

The grip also plays a crucial role in a smooth, straight stroke. I use a loose grip, with my thumb and index finger providing the control and the other fingers lightly wrapped around the cue. This allows me to create a smooth and consistent stroke.


The follow-through is the continuation of the stroke after the cue ball has been struck. It is important to follow through with the shot to ensure that the cue ball travels the desired distance. I like to imagine that I am trying to touch the tip of my cue to the back of the ball, which helps me maintain a smooth follow-through.

The grip also influences the quality of follow-through. A loose grip allows for a longer follow-through while a tight grip can cause the cue to jump off the ball, resulting in a miscue.

By focusing on the pendulum swing and follow-through, you can improve your cue ball control and create right spins, backward spins, and right spin shots. Remember to practice these techniques consistently to improve your overall game.

Practice Drills for Perfecting Your Grip

As I mentioned earlier, how to hold a pool stick the right way is crucial for a good pool game. But how do you develop muscle memory for the grip? Here are some specific exercises that I use to improve my grip:

  • The Fist Drill: Hold the cue with your bridge hand and make a fist with your grip hand. Practice moving the cue back and forth, focusing on keeping your grip hand relaxed and your fist loose. This drill helps to develop a light grip and improve consistency.
  • The Thumb Drill: Hold the cue with your bridge hand and place your thumb on the cue. Practice moving the cue back and forth, focusing on keeping your thumb relaxed and your grip hand loose. This drill helps to develop a proper grip and improve accuracy.
  • The Finger Drill: Hold the cue with your bridge hand and place your fingers on the cue. Practice moving the cue back and forth, focusing on keeping your fingers relaxed and your grip hand loose. This drill helps to develop a comfortable grip and improve consistency.

In addition to these drills, there are some simple tips that can help you perfect your grip:

  • Make a Mental Note: Before each shot, take a moment to mentally remind yourself to keep your grip light and relaxed. This will help you develop good habits and improve your consistency over time.
  • Use a Training Cue Ball: A training cue ball can help you develop a proper grip by providing feedback on your shots. Look for a cue ball with markings that show you where to place your fingers and how to position your bridge hand.
  • Good Luck: Finally, don’t forget that luck plays a role in any game of pool. Keep a positive attitude and focus on enjoying the game, and you’ll be more likely to succeed.

By practicing these drills and using these tips, you can develop a consistent and comfortable grip that will help you improve your pool game. Good luck and have fun!

Common Grip Errors and How to Correct Them

I know that holding the pool stick the right way is critical to the overall game. Here are some common grip errors that can affect your performance and how to correct them.

Over-gripping the Cue

One of the most common grip errors is over-gripping the cue. Signs of an overly tight grip include a tense grip hand and a stiff wrist, which can lead to poor cue ball control and inaccurate shots. To learn the feeling of a relaxed grip, try these simple tips:

  • Hold the pool cue with your grip hand and place the cue tip on the training cue ball.
  • Squeeze the cue stick as hard as you can for a few seconds, then release the pressure until you feel the cue stick resting in your hand.
  • Repeat this exercise a few times until you can hold the cue stick with a relaxed grip.

Inconsistent Bridges

Another common grip error is inconsistent bridges. Common issues with bridge hand stability include the bridge hand moving during the shot, the cue tip hitting the rail bridge, and the bridge hand losing contact with the pool table. To develop a reliable bridge, try these practice routines:

  • Practice the rail bridge technique by placing the bridge hand on the rail and the cue stick on the bridge hand.
  • Practice the mechanical bridge technique by using a mechanical bridge to support the cue stick.
  • Make a mental note of the balance point of the cue stick and use it to find the striking position on the cue ball.

By avoiding these common grip errors, you can improve your cue ball control, accuracy, and consistency, which can have a good effect on your overall game. Good luck and happy playing!


In this article, I have covered the basics of how to hold a pool stick the right way. By following the simple tips mentioned here, you can achieve good shots, right spins and have better cue ball control. The most important thing to keep in mind is to develop muscle memory and consistency in your stroke by holding the pool stick the same way every time.

To recap, the key points for holding a pool stick correctly are:

  • Keep your grip hand relaxed and loose to prevent swerving in different directions.
  • Use your dominant hand to guide the cue and keep it in a striking position.
  • Establish a sturdy foundation with your bridge hand, the one that rests on the table.
  • Find the balance point of the pool cue and hold it near your waist.
  • Use an open bridge or closed bridge technique based on your preference.
  • Keep your index finger and middle finger close together for better control.
  • Practice regularly and seek feedback from avid players to improve your overall game.

Remember, holding a pool stick the right way takes time and practice. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see good effects right away. Keep at it and good luck in your future 8-ball tournaments or other cue sports events.


Which grip is commonly used by professional pool players?

Professional pool players often use a closed bridge grip, also known as a closed fist grip. The closed bridge provides stability and control, allowing for precise aiming and stroke execution. This grip offers a solid foundation for consistent and accurate shots. However, it’s important to note that grip preferences can vary among professional players, and some may use variations or modifications of the closed bridge grip based on their individual playing styles and comfort levels. Ultimately, the grip that works best for a player is a matter of personal preference and what allows them to perform at their highest level.

Are there any disadvantages or challenges associated with using a closed bridge grip?

While the closed bridge grip is widely used and favored by many professional pool players, it does come with a few potential disadvantages or challenges:

  1. Limited Adjustability: The closed bridge grip can be less adjustable compared to other grip styles such as the open bridge. Once the hand is formed into a closed fist, it can be more challenging to make micro-adjustments to the bridge position during a shot. This may limit the player’s ability to fine-tune their aim or adapt to different shot scenarios.
  2. Reduced Sensitivity: With the hand wrapped around the cue, the closed bridge grip may result in reduced sensitivity or touch compared to other grips. Some players may find it harder to feel the cue and make subtle adjustments in their stroke or hit. This can be particularly relevant for shots that require delicate touch or finesse.
  3. Tension and Grip Pressure: The closed bridge grip can sometimes lead to excessive tension and grip pressure in the hand and forearm. This tension can negatively impact cue ball control, fluidity of stroke, and overall shot accuracy. It’s important for players using the closed bridge grip to be mindful of maintaining a relaxed and fluid stroke to mitigate this challenge.
  4. Difficulty with Elevated Shots: When shooting shots that require the cue ball to be elevated, such as jump shots or shots over obstructing balls, the closed bridge grip may become less practical. It can be more challenging to achieve the necessary elevation or bridge height with a closed bridge grip. In such cases, players may need to adapt their grip or switch to alternative bridge techniques to execute these shots effectively.

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