1) Get to grips with your grip.
Your grip, or how you hold the snooker cue, is one of the first skills you’ll need to master. Though relatively simple, it’ll have a big impact on the way you play.
Using your dominant hand, pick up the cue about 2 or 3 inches from the butt, with your thumb on one side of the cue and your four fingers on the other. The web between your thumb and fingers should be in contact with the cue. Pressure should only be applied gently using the thumb and the first two fingers when you hold it (think roughly the same amount of pressure you’d apply when holding something made of glass).
Try not to overthink your grip too much though. It should feel natural. In fact, some snooker coaches tell their players to just pick the cue up from the table and – voila! – that’s their grip sorted.
2) Brush up on your bridging.
As well as perfecting your grip, to be a good snooker player you need to learn how to create a stable, supporting bridge. Bridging refers to the position of the hand that’s in contact with the snooker table (that’s the opposite hand from the one which you use to grip).
To create a bridge, lay your hand flat on the table. Then raise your knuckles a little bit so you hand is in an almost crab-like position. Cock your thumb upwards slightly, in a way that creates a ‘v’ shape between your thumb and first finger. You should now have a space that the cue can snugly fit into and use as a solid foundation for when you take a shot. Be careful though: if it’s not a snug enough fit, the cue could veer off slightly from where you intended it to strike.
3) Don’t stand for a poor stance.
Your stance refers to how you stand when you take a shot. You want to create a firm and balanced base that’s going to allow you to strike the cue ball with as little movement as possible.
Stand one step away from the shot. Line your right foot up with the cue ball. Place your left foot around 20 inches away from your right. This should be enough to provide you with a strong base, without putting too much pressure on the top of your legs. Bend your left leg slightly, then lower your upper body, sticking your butt out a little. The cue should then come over the of your left foot when you go to strike.
4) Line yourself up for good cueing.
When you actually do go to strike the cue ball, you want to make sure you hit it straight and accurately. Move your eyes between where you are going to strike the cue ball and the object ball you’re trying to hit. You want to make it’s as straight a line as possible.
Hopefully these tips should help you master the basics and get started playing snooker. And if it’s inspired you to see Ronnie ‘The Rocket’ O’ Sullivan in action in Playtech’s new slot release, find an online casino offering free 5 no deposit casino spins to play Ronnie O’ Sullivan Sporting Legends now.