How to Play Pool Like a Pro?

Are you looking to improve your pool game? Whether you’re new or experienced, there’s always room for improvement. In this blog post, we’ll provide some tips and tricks on how to play pool like an expert.


Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels

We’ll begin by covering the fundamentals of pool, such as equipment and different games. Then we’ll move on to understanding its rules – both standard and less-known ones. Once you feel confident with your playing abilities, we’ll offer advice on improving technique and give some strategies for success in each subsequent match. So let’s get started!

Pool Basics: What You Should Know

In order to play pool, you will need some equipment:

  • Cue Stick – This long stick is used for striking balls. Usually made of wood or fiberglass, it taper towards its tip so that it becomes thinner at the tip.
  • Pool Table – This is the flat surface on which the game is played. It has six pockets in each corner and side, covered in green felt fabric.
  • Balls – In a game of pool, there are typically 16 balls: seven red balls, seven yellow balls, one black ball (known as the “cue ball”) and one white ball known as an “8-ball.”

Pool Game Types

There are various types of pool games that can be enjoyed, but some of the most popular include:

  • Eight-ball – This popular type of pool in America is played with 15 balls (seven red, seven yellow, one black) and a cue ball. To win, you must pocket all your opponent’s balls followed by pocketing the 8-ball to take control of the match.
  • Nine-ball – This game uses nine balls (numbered one through nine) and can be played with up to ten people. The aim is simple: pocket all nine balls in numerical order before your opponent does.
  • Ten-ball – Similar to nine-ball, this game utilizes ten balls (one through ten).
  • Straight Pool (also known as “14.1 continuous”) – This game utilizes all fifteen balls and can be played with two people. The objective of straight pool is to rack up as many points by sinking balls into pockets consecutively without missing.

Understanding the Rules

Before you can play pool like a pro, it is essential that you become familiar with its standard rules. While there are various variations of pool, most adhere to a few fundamental guidelines.

The basic rule of the game is that it can be played with anywhere from two to eight players. Each player starts with seven balls and must pocket them into designated pockets on the table; whoever pockets all their balls first wins!

Another important rule is that only one player can shoot at a time. When it is your turn to shoot, take your shot from behind the line running around the edge of the pool table. If any part of your body crosses over this line while taking your shot, it is considered a foul and your opponent will have their turn anywhere on the table.

Cubing another player’s ball (known as “cubing”) is considered a foul and they can place their cue ball anywhere on the table before taking their shot. These are just some of the fundamental rules you need to know in order to play pool like an expert!

Tips for Becoming Familiar with Pool Rules

A great way to become acquainted with all of the pool rules is to practice shooting by yourself at first. That way, there’s no pressure and you have time between shots to research any rules that need clarifying. Alternatively, ask a friend or family member who plays pool to teach you some fundamentals before joining other players in a game. This way, there won’t be any mistakes made during practice shots!

Another excellent way to learn how to play pool like a pro is by watching other people play. Professional tournaments aired on television offer opportunities to watch top-level players handle various situations at the table. You could also search online videos or lessons specifically about playing pool and its key rules beforehand. By doing your research beforehand, you’ll be well prepared when taking shots yourself!

Mastering the Fundamentals

Before you can make a shot in pool, it is essential that you learn how to stand, hold the cue, and aim. With these fundamental skills in place, it should become second nature for you to hit every shot with accuracy and confidence.

When you are ready to take your shot, approach the table from one side so that you have a clear view of the target ball and pocket. Place both feet shoulder-width apart with your non-dominant foot slightly behind your dominant one; this will help maintain balance as you take your shot.

With your dominant hand, grab the cue and position it so it is level with the table surface and pointing straight ahead. Your other hand should be placed on its buttside for extra stability. For a stronger shot, grip the cue lower; for greater precision, grip closer to its tip.

With your cue stick in hand, align its tip with the center of the target ball. Sight along its length with one eye and line up your shot accordingly. Pull back on the cue stick and strike with a smooth, even stroke until both hands are behind it.

Preparing The Table For A Shot

In order to make a successful shot, you must first learn how to properly set up or “rack”the balls on the pool table. There are various methods depending on which game you are playing (e.g., eight-ball or nine-ball).

It is essential that all balls remain touching each other when being racked. This guarantees that no ball can move out of its intended spot when another one strikes it during play.

Professional devices called “racking templates” can be used to ensure the balls are properly aligned before starting a game. But if you don’t have access to one of these, don’t fret – just use an ice pick or other long object to touch each ball in its desired location before play begins.

Improving Your Technique

One of the most essential skills when playing pool is using the correct stroke for each shot. There are four basic strokes you should know: backhand, forehand, bridge and masse. Here’s a brief breakdown of each:

The backhand stroke is ideal for shots that are close to the rail. To execute this stroke, place your cue stick on the table behind the ball and hold it with your dominant hand; use your other hand to support it at mid-shaft. When ready, extend your arm and hit the ball squarely with its tip.

The forehand stroke is ideal for shots away from the rail. To execute this stroke, place your cue stick in front of the ball and grip its shaft with your non-dominant hand. Your dominant hand should grip its shaft at midpoint. When ready to hit, extend your arm and strike the ball squarely with its tip.

The bridge stroke is used for shots that are difficult to reach with either a backhand or forehand stroke. To execute this stroke, place your cue stick behind the ball and rest it on your non-dominant hand. Use your dominant hand to grip its shaft midpoint and extend your arm out overthetabletop in order to make contact with the ball. When taking shots using this technique, it’s essential that you maintain continuous contact between your cue stick tip and ball until after it sinks into its pocket. Otherwise, scratches may result from improper placement of the ball into pocket.

Masse or jump shots are only used when a regular shot is impossible due to another ball blocking your path or you must clear an obstacle (like a side pocket) in front of your target ball and there’s not enough room for a bridge stroke. Masse shots can be tricky, so practice makes perfect! Before trying one in an actual game, be sure to get plenty of practice under your belt!

Here’s how: Place Cue Stick perpendicular on table behind target ball and raise butt end into air while keeping Cue Stick completely still. Next, lower Cue Stick down onto table making sure only its tip touches target Ball; now quickly draw back butt end while keeping Tip still touching Target Ball before hitting again quickly with intended pocket! If done correctly, target ball should pop up into air slightly then come down evenly.

Strategies and Tricks

In pool, as in many sports, the best offense is a good defense. This means trying to keep your opponent’s balls out of position while positioning yourself for easy shots. One way to do this is by “caroming off” their balls – hitting one into another in order to pocket one. Another strategy for maintaining control is playing “safety shots,” or shots which leave your opponent without an easy shot.

One important element in selecting the ideal shot is understanding your own capabilities and limitations. If you feel unconfortable making a particular shot, it might not be suitable for you; opting for simpler shots that you are more likely to make rather than more challenging ones that could leave your opponent with an easy opportunity afterward. Before taking any difficult shot, first clear away any balls that could potentially be used by your opponent for such a shot.

Tips for Winning a Game of Pool

Pool games all share some basic strategies. One important one is always thinking several steps ahead; don’t just consider the immediate repercussions of your current shot but how it could influence future shots as well. Another crucial strategy is controlling the pace; when things are going well for you, slow things down and take your time; however, if things are going poorly for you, speed up and end quickly before things get any worse. Finally, remember that practice makes perfect; the more time spent playing and practicing pool will improve your game-winning abilities significantly over time.


Although there’s no single way to play pool, there are some tricks that can help improve your game. Whether you’re just learning the fundamentals or looking to fine-tune your technique, keep practicing and never underestimate the power of a good strategy. With some practice and helpful hints, you’ll soon be playing like an expert in no time!

Sophie Delatorre
Sophie Delatorre

I'm a sports coach, mom, and reader who loves wellbeing as much as I love soccer! Follow me on social media to learn more about my journey toward a healthier lifestyle.

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