One main "straight" stroke fundamental

Cue Alchemist

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
One of the modern ways, is to have a big pause on your back swing, before you go through.
Two ways of delivering the cue. Drop your elbow or keep it high. Both will work well. One thing that you will need to do, is keep your head still. If you can do that, as you deliver the cue. You will be well on your way!!!!
Your grip will also, have an effect on how straight the cue is going.
The main elements I think, is decent stance, and staying still, along with your elbow being In the right place.


Well-known member
I said something similar in the 'confessions' thread where I called bicep-powered strokers 'never-get-good numpties'. Most ppl know how to swing their arm. muscles of the arm, do not swing the arm. swing ur damn arm and build a stance around it so ur natural arm swing is on the aim line. There you go, straight and powerful.
So what muscles should we use? Most of the pros I watch have very little movement in their upper arm.


Well-known member
wonderfully put by Kinister. FWIW a swinging arm will be organized in such a way as to best deal with the forces involved in being swung when done at speed. I def agree with keeping arm muscles out of it but the whole thing gets triggered by some muscular moves and the same ones that would even gently swing a hanging arm back and forth can start the cue going before you let the cue and the collapsible hinges do their work.
This is correct; with the key idea being, to reduce influence of the muscle groups as much as possible. I guess the difference being, some people 'hold with muscle', when by Bert Kinister's thinking, they should instead 'hang from bones'; and thus, eliminate as much muscular influence in their Stroke as possible.

Bert's classic and much-beloved Stroke Building video: 'The Mighty X', is available to watch for free on YouTube: Bert Kinister: The Mighty X

Also, Bert's 'Advanced Fundamentals': Bert Kinister: Advanced Fundamentals

And, while the following video focuses primarily on developing the power Break Stroke, there is good general stroke philosophy expressed and reinforced: Bert Kinister: The Big Bang

For those interested, enjoy! Back in the late 80s and early 90s, we used to pay about $40.00 for VHS versions of Bert's course material via mail-order from magazine ads - about $100 for EACH tape title in 2022 money - HOWEVER, today, you can watch a good portion of the Kinister instruction library on YouTube and FOR FREE; all Courtesy of Bert! - GJ


Well-known member
So what muscles should we use? Most of the pros I watch have very little movement in their upper arm.
GentlemanJames provided one stroke philosophy above that takes them out of it. You can always lock down excess elbow movement with a good stance, that doesn't mean that the bigger muscles aren't working on the arm at points. And as GJ and Kinister point out, the idea is to make it more about physics than muscular force. There is a little bit of action we put into the stroke but it is a little bit and mostly to do with timing.

There are many ways to stroke a cue and I was a bit hard on the biceps guys b4 cuz u can play a decent game like that too. But why work so hard for so little cue power when there are better ways?

Small list of guys whose elbow moves slightly or more than slightly that I've studied....
Earl, Efren, Busty, Ronnie O, Mika Immonen, SVB, Larry Nevel (best draw stroke ever), Mike Massey, Nick Varner, and just about any Pinoy with a vertical wobble. Also, for the pure absurdity of how big his wobble is: Waleed Majid, maybe my fav to watch after Earl and Efren. His technique makes what he is doing very obvious bc it is quite unrefined. The later back you look at him, the less refined it is. He's not a great player, but that stroke is wonderful and is one of my favorite to play with when messing about. I promise u, u can stroke it like that with your bicep surgically removed.

Here's Waleed Majid at the Masters. His wobble is without exaggeration half a ball high on many shots throughout the match (and his elbow isn't exactly flying around either as a little goes a long way). Awesome.
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AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
ACCURATE bridge hand position. Most of players have it just sligthly to left or right from actual shot line. Myself included.
Players never put attention to that in detail and do it instictive and naturally. Then we feel down in shot that something is wrong and our inner mind do automatic corrections.

Silver Member
When trying to develop a straight stroke, what is one of the critical elements of the "STRAIGHT" stroke?
Better for the instructors' forum, but a commitment to a straight stroke whether or not you feel aim is off. This is the very fastest way to both straighten your stroke and learn instinctive, correct aim.

If conversely, you feel aim is off but don't commit to a straight stroke, you will likely swerve the cue in the stroke, possibly scoring the shot and compounding the future errors. Make sense to you?


Elbow position (directly over the stroke line).

I think this is it. A straight stroke, especially at faster speeds, does require muscle memory (and enough confidence/experience to avoid jerking the cue or changing grip pressure mid-stroke). But ultimately, it's a pretty simple movement when the elbow is fully aligned with the shot.

The problem is that very few people naturally get that right, and they later have to correct it if they want to improve or gain consistency. However, some do get it right from the start, which is interesting to watch.

I used to play in a pool room that brought in a lot of complete newbies/people on date nights. Most of those people had awful mechanics, but occasionally I would see someone who somewhat by accident was lined up well (but otherwise had a bad stance, jumped up on shots, a wobbly bridge, etc.). They were the ones who could run a few balls and break well despite not really knowing what they were doing.

Some of my friends were like that when we all started out playing. Pool seemed relatively simple to them and I suspect it was because they fortuitously adopted pretty good mechanics from the get-go while the rest of us were all over the place, especially in regards to elbow alignment.


Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
Pendulum stroke works well if you can get down low to the table. If you can't or don't choose to you may find full arm strokes suit your game better.

Try to have the cue stick moving straight and level at contact with the cue ball. Don't get too anal and wrapped up in this though. Stroking into a long necked bottle is a bad idea.



Center Ball
Silver Member
Three points of contact with the cue.will give instant feedback if the stroke varies from straight and level. I use my chin for the third contact.
Snooker play requirement of precision has me following the teaching of Barry Stark. He has a YouTube channel that is pure gold.
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