Learning to play pool and billiards properly may at times look very easy, but it’s not. Those top level players that move and control the cue ball and make every shot look easy spent years practicing, and mastering their craft and cue work. To be able to complete your first break and run is huge milestone and may at times seem unobtainable to the beginner, and even to many intermediate students, however with our expert instructors and coaches and plenty of hours practice at the table you’d be amazed at what you can achieve. Besides even the professional players had to start somewhere.
The Professional Billiard Instructors Association is the largest pool and billiard instructors association across the globe. Out instructors have been trained to teach everything from the very basic fundamentals to high level competitive play.
For beginning students, our instructors will simply want you to get a good feel and understanding of the sport. We have instructors as well as training academies throughout the United States, Canada and the globe that will take you through everything you need to know to get you playing and starting to look like you know what you are doing when you are at the table.
After booking lessons and learning a few fundamentals you’ll be running racks, beating your friends and neighbors before you know it. Before you get to that level however, you have to learn the basics to really enjoy this great game!
Open or Closed Bridge
One of the first things you will need to determine is how you will hold and play with the cue. An argument can be made that an open bridge is easier and more comfortable to learn and play with, while a closed bridge takes more time to get adjusted to but provides more stability a less miscuing.
When you start working with one of our instructors they will show you different examples of open and closed bridges and will help you determine which bridge will work best for you.
In these two video clips below, PBIA Master Instructor Dr. Dave demonstrates the difference between an open and a closed bridge.
Choosing a Cue
For a beginning pool and billiard student almost any cue will do. Today, pool cues have advanced to the point that it’s really hard to purchase a bad cue. Even the low priced cues from most brands are well-made and durable. A few things to consider when picking up your first cue:
- How is the overall quality?
- Is it smooth to the touch?
- Is there any glue, nicks, or blemishes that you notice right away?
- Does it roll straight or is bowed and warped?
- Does it have a nice ferrule and tip?
- Is the middle joint and pin flush, and do they match when screwed together?
These are simply a few things to consider when picking up and playing with your pool cue. We recommend consulting one of our PBIA Instructors to help you find your perfect cue!
In the clip below, PBIA Master Instructor Jerry Briesath demonstrates how to select the right pool cue.
Winning, and Losing
Let’s be honest here, if you are learning to play pool you’re going to lose some games. You’re going to win some games too, but it’s important to learn how to not only win, but also learn how to lose. Always be respectful of your opponent, congratulate them on making good shots, and be sure to watch and learn as they play, you never know what you might pick up from them to make you a better player.
Pool and Billiards is a gentleman’s game and exhibits an extreme amount of rules and etiquettes which at first may seem to be counter intuitive but in reality, it’s the only way the game and sport can truly be enjoyed. To learn more of the spoken and unspoken etiquette of pool and billiards please visit our etiquette page.
Playing pool and billiards isn’t a skill you’re going to just pick and be perfect at playing. You actually need to play, practice, compete, and practice some more — a lot more. The more hours you put in the better you will get – it’s as simple as that! Luckily for you we have instructors across the globe that are willing and able to help you improve your game. Please feel free to check out this web site as a resource for video tips, recommended reading and many other tips and tricks to help take your game to the next level.
Below are a few practice drills from PBIA Advanced Instructor Dominic Esposito and Master Instructor Dr. Dave.