How To Hold A Pool Cue - Bridge Hand

Rather read than watch? Read about how to hold a pool cue - bridge hand below:


Hello and welcome to billiards basics from Ozone billiards. I'm instructor James Roberts and today we're going to talk about another part of your fundamentals bridges,let's have a look.

Open Bridge

First, we have the open bridge suitable for most standard shots using center ball or just off-center tip placement. As you can see the heel of my hand and fingertips are planted firmly on the bed of the table, my thumb is pressed against the base of my index finger pointing upwards forming a V channel to which I guide my shaft through. This allows unrestricted sighting on my shot.


Closed Bridge

Next we have a closed bridge. Suitable for more high spin shots such as draw or heavy right or left English or heavy follow. Allows greater tip control but does tend to impede on sighting of the shot depending on the cue ball position. It also will hide bad stroke characteristics, so watch out for this.


Rail Bridge

Occasionally, you'll have the cue ball close to the rail, in which you want to form a rail bridge guiding the thumb along one side of the cue and the edge of your index finger on the other side. Using the rail itself for bottom stability. This is typically used when the cue ball is four, maybe six inches off of the rail and there's not enough room to form a standard bridge on the bed of the table. You may also find the cue ball right against the rail or only an inch or two off here. You lay the palm of your hand against the edge of the rail, lay your index finger flat, guiding it on one side, the tip of your thumb on the other, again using the rail as bottom support.


Elevated Bridge

If you have to elevate over a ball, plant your index finger and pinky finger, pulling the two middle fingers back forming a bit of a tripod. Again pulling your thumb upwards forming a V channel. Guide your shaft through, stroke down on the shot. Make sure you hit center ball. 


Mechanical Bridge

A large table or particularly a nine-foot table sooner or later you're going to find yourself faced with situations similar to this. As you can see the placement of the cue ball and object ball put it out of my effective reach. You don't want to try and stretch for a shot to this degree, the answer the mechanical bridge affectionately known as the crutch or the granny stick there's absolutely no shame in having to use this. Be sure you know how to use it properly. First you want to make sure that if at all possible the bridge is placed flat on the bed of the table and not elevate it. Second, place the shaft into one of the grooves of the mechanical bridge, grab the butt cap with your thumb, your index finger, and your middle finger, holding it much like you would a dart. Then pull your head down into the line of the shot so that what you're sighting is true, should be right down the line of the cue, a couple of warm-up strokes. Be sure to pull the bridge and your cue out of the way. Thanks for joining us for another edition of billiards basics.