Controlling the Cue Ball

Billiards is a blend of control and aim, so controlling the cue ball is crucial to becoming a skilled player – perhaps the “next” Striking Viking!

To accurately aim the cue ball, the cue ball should always be aimed at the “ghost ball”. The ghost ball is an imaginary ball set directly in front of the object ball, used as a velocity guide for how much power you should use to hit the cue ball

It is also vital to understand the tangent line that the sliding cue ball will travel along after making contact with the object ball. This helps with understanding how to control the cue ball. The tangent line is a perpendicular line to an imaginary line through the object ball and the cue ball’s point of contact. It’s at a 90 degree angle from the path of the object ball to the pocket.  This is the path that all the cue ball will travel on all shots.

If you want the cue ball to travel at a 90 degree tangent line, make sure the cue ball is sliding, not spinning or rolling. To adjust the degree at which the cue ball travels after contact with the object ball, there are a few things to consider:

  • Hitting the cue ball harder or softer
  • Point of contact with object ball
  • Adding topspin or sidespin to your shot

It takes time and practice to master controlling your cue ball and hitting your target tangent line, but through trial and error, anyone can master the cue ball.

If you have tips or tricks to controlling the cue ball, we would love to see them in the comments below.

For more details on the tips above, check out these resources:

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