Jump Cues

Written by Tadashi Moody
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Today, nine ball is probably the most popular billiards game among more than occasional players. The difficult part about nine ball, especially when you have a good competitor on the other side of the table, is that the cue ball often gets trapped behind balls that are out of sequence. Sometimes your opponent's best play is a safety shot, which if executed properly, will put you in these tough positions.

Thus being able to make jump shots is becoming a more valued skill among pool players. They are now seen as more than just a trick shot, even as a necessary skill in the expert pool player's bag of tricks. I am often asked if a special jump cue is necessary to make jump shots. The answer is yes and no.

Depending on the problem, it can be very difficult to execute a jump shot with your regular playing cue. Since you must get a high angle on the ball, the table lighting often gets in the way. Some players will disassemble their cue and use just the shaft, but this is illegal in many tournaments and leagues. So we are left with the jump cue.

Are Jump Cues Different From Regular Cues?

A jump cue differs from a standard cue in that it is typically much shorter and about half the weight, allowing for those high angles. The shaft is a bit thicker and, most importantly the tip is much harder than standard tips. This allows for the most efficient and direct transfer of energy from the cue to the ball, but it also limits the tolerance for error. Jump shots, with or without the jump cue, take a lot of practice.


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