Winning Billiards Tips

The right billiards tips can have you winning games left and right with a little bit of practice. With a good grasp of strategy and the ability to execute a few basic shots, you can develop an advanced billiard game.

Don't Show Off
One of the most basic tips that can improve any billiards game (if players take it to heart) is to resist the temptation to show off. If you have a choice between a simple shot and an extremely difficult shot, take the simple shot. Sure, the extremely difficult shot will look really great if you pull it off, but 9 times out of 10, you won't make it, and you'll drastically hurt your chances of winning. Play it simple, and focus on winning instead of impressing your opponent or the audience.

Shoot Defensively when Appropriate
Some billiards shots aren't about getting the ball in the pocket. In many cases, the difference between a winning strategy and a losing strategy is taking defensive shots when you must. If you have a difficult shot lined up, but your opponent would have an easy shot if you miss, resist the urge to take the difficult shot. Set up a safety so your opponent misses his shot, and you'll be better positioned to make a series of good shots or run the table.

Watch Your Opponent
Winning billiards isn't just about sinking shots; it's about beating your opponent. Especially if you're playing someone whose skill is equal to your own, your only edge is understanding your opponent's strategy. From the moment you remove the billiards rack and break the balls to when the last ball hits the pocket, your opponent gives you valuable clues about his or her strategy and technique.

Watch your opponent, and determine how he or she is playing. Is your challenger shooting offensively or defensively? Simple shots or complicated ones? Is he setting up the table for a run, or is he only thinking of the shot at hand? Evaluate your opponent's playing style and adjust your own strategy to counter, or you could find yourself one shot away from a victory that never comes, because your opponent suddenly runs the table on you.

Consider the Setting and the Table
Don't underestimate the importance of the setting or the billiards table. Some private homeowners and billiards halls invest in a fancy, expensive billiards light, while others have basic overhead lighting or even dim lighting. Light can make a big difference in your game, because you can use glare on the balls to help you aim.

Likewise, is the table in good condition? Does the cloth run well, or are there spots when the balls slow down or deviate from their course? Old or worn felt can really change a billiards game, so evaluate the setting to adjust your game accordingly.

Practice, Practice, Practice
The best billiards strategy in the world won't help you if you lack technical skill. If you want to win pool consistently, you have to practice. Practice hitting the cue ball without any other balls on the table, just to learn angles and shots. Practice simple and complex shots over and over so you know the angle and the degree of force required. With enough practice and the right strategies, you can learn to win consistently.

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