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A beginner’s guide to the great game of snooker…

So, you’ve caught the snooker bug, and this intriguing sport—which is a mix of skill, tradition, and large, silent rooms—has drawn you in.

FullSizeSnookerTables

You now find yourself glued to the TV whenever games are broadcast, and you’re hoping to visit the local snooker bar to play a few frames. Since you’re still finding your feet, here are some hints and tips to help you get to grips with snooker more quickly.

The 22 Balls…

If you are familiar with “pool”, the cousin of snooker, many elements of the game will feel familiar. However, one of the biggest differences is that the majority of the balls on a snooker table are red, whilst there are also 6 coloured balls that are strategically placed around the table. Each is worth a different number of points:

  • Red – 1
  • Yellow – 2
  • Green – 3
  • Brown – 4 
  • Blue – 5
  • Pink – 6 
  • Black – 7

The rules require players to take turns hitting the balls into the pockets by knocking the white ball with their cue. If a player successfully pots a red ball, they get another turn, in which they must pot a colour (any apart from red). If they succeed with this, the coloured ball is returned to the table, and they must pot another red. If they miss or foul at any time, their opponent gets a turn in hitting the balls. Once all red balls are potted, the players must attempt to pot each of the coloured balls in their ascending points order (yellow first, black last). 

If a player were to pot all the red balls and the black each time, followed by each of the coloured balls, without missing a shot, they would achieve a “maximum break” which is 147 points. However, 147 is technically not the maximum number of points available, as a player could be awarded additional points if a foul is committed by their opponent. 

Fans can take a wager on the games…

Like most sports, many companies allow fans to place bets on major snooker games through high street bookmakers, betting websites, and betting apps. Competition amongst these companies is strong, so savvy consumers can benefit from promotional offers (like free bets) when they first sign up to a service. 

Fouling in snooker…

There are several reasons a player may commit a foul. These are: 

  • The white ball hits a ball other than the one intended
  • The white ball leaves the table
  • The white ball is accidentally potted
  • The wrong ball is potted
  • The white ball doesn’t hit any of the other balls on the table

Concentration and focus… 

You may have noticed that snooker games on TV are played in front of an audience that remains almost completely silent, apart from the occasional gasp and round of applause. This is a tradition in snooker that dates back many years; it helps the players maintain the high levels of concentration required to hit the balls accurately. 

Watch a tutorial on how to hold a snooker cue…

How to hold a snooker cue

Holding the cue correctly is one of the most important elements of success at snooker. You should grip it firmly, but not too tightly or loosely. It should feel natural, just like you would hold anything else. Your feet should be placed so that your stance provides a firm base for you to take the shot, with your weight distributed to the opposite side of your dominant hand. When holding the cue and taking your shot, your elbow should be directly in line with the cue itself. 

Holding the cue correctly is one of the most important elements of success at snooker. You should grip it firmly, but not too tightly or loosely. It should feel natural, just like you would hold anything else. Your feet should be placed so that your stance provides a firm base for you to take the shot, with your weight distributed to the opposite side of your dominant hand. When holding the cue and taking your shot, your elbow should be directly in line with the cue itself.

Now you’re ready to go

With snooker, as with most things in life, it is easy to get a solid grasp of the basics. However, mastering the sport takes many years of practice and dedication. Don’t let this put you off, though; snooker is fun and a great way to spend time with friends and relax.

This is a sponsored post from Florence Marceau

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How to improve your aiming: Try this FREE exercise…

When you get better as a player, you’ll find that when you get down on the shot, you’ll notice you’ll immediately feel you’re not right on the shot. What we mean is you will feel you’re not on the right line of aim. This is because you’ve played shots many times and your sub-conscious memory is alerting you to the fact that you aren’t positioned properly.

Where beginners fall down is they aren’t aware of this phenomenon (yet)

and therefore, just play the shot and hope they’re on the right line.

For those who understand the mechanics, if you don’t feel like you’re in the right position, get up off the shot and get down again. This is part of the pre-shot routine and will help you.

The Imaginary Pot Exercise – Visualising the shot can help you to take extra care on pre and during the shot…

So, here’s a quick exercise you can do which you can test out for yourself to see if you were on the right line of aim or not.

It’s called the imaginary pot!

Get down on the shot as you would doing your normal pre-shot routine. But don’t play any shot. Just imagine you’re playing the shot in your mind. Visualise where the object ball is going and make a note of where you think the object ball will go. Did the ball go in the pocket? Did it miss? And where?

Now, if you imagined the pot and it went in, then you were on the right line of aim and you cued it well, in your head! If it didn’t, then you may well have been set up wrong.

Now, play the pot for real. What happened? How far were you from the imaginary pot?

The Benefits

This exercise will help with two things:

  • It will help you take that bit extra care on aiming when you’re standing up on the shot
  • It will help you understand your set up better when down on the shot.

Visualisation routines like this can be very powerful in helping to understand what your position is when aiming. Visualising where the object ball is going will also help to understand where the cue ball will go.

Don’t forget to plan what you’re going to do as well with the cue ball. Do your pre-shot routine, and just visualise the pot. Imagine what happens after you’ve played the imaginary pot as well. Envisage yourself in that photo finish – having played the shot and finished in the correct position!

Do this in your practice sessions for around ten minutes on different shots. And then see if it makes a difference.

Also, this little exercise will help teach you good habits for addressing the cue ball on ALL shots. That little bit of EXTRA care and attention pre and during shot can make all the difference. It will teach you not to rush!

Discover how to aim and cue like a pro using Nic Barrow’s Aim Frame training: Practice these 3 ESSENTIAL tactics to improve your potting – now!

Shop for Nic Barrow’s Aim Frame, Today!

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It’s a kind of magic: 2019 style…

Hi there,

CHRIS GAYNOR here,

Part of being a snooker player is about taking pride in the equipment you’re using.

Look after your cue and it will serve you well.

That’s why you need to keep cleaning it and cherish what you have. We’ve said before on SnookerZone, that all cues, regardless of cost need to be maintained and treated with the utmost respect.

So, in this post, you’ll learn the three best ways to clean your cue that are:

  • Fast
  • Effective
  • Hassle-free
  • And give your cue that silky smooth feeling…

But first, if you haven’t read the review on how to reduce your sweaty hands when cueing, go to the link below.

Read about how to reduce sweaty hands, here. 

Now to today’s post. Cue cleaning.

Firstly, there are two simple (and cheap but still effective) ways you can clean your cue.

They are:

  • Using wet wipes such as Dettol wipes which you can get from any supermarket.
  • a NEW product for 2019 called Magic cue cloths by Cue and Case.

Magic Cleaning from Cue and Case in 2019 – a Fast and Effective Way to Rid Your Cue of Grime and Dirt…

We were given a sample of the new Magic cue cloths to try out and they didn’t disappoint.

The beauty of these is they’re simple to use. Rub the rough side to rid your cue of all the grime and dirt and mess. The cloth will show up all that. Then, use the smooth side to buff the cue up and make it feel silky smooth when cueing.

In a hurry? Then take them with you and you’ll be able to give your cue a buff on the go at the snooker club!

[bctt tweet=”Rub the rough side to rid your cue of all the grime and dirt and mess. The cloth will show up all that. Then, use the smooth side to buff the cue up and make it feel silky smooth when cueing. Magic!” username=”@chrisgaynor2″]

Reusable: How to Reuse the Magic Cue Cloths…

Did we say they’re reusable as well?

What we did is soak in lukewarm water to get rid of the mess from the grime that was on the cue and left it to dry for a few hours and, in no time, it was like using a brand new cloth!

Magic!

Ok, so, for those who have a bit of time on their hands to do a proper clean, then here’s the third and final way.

Introducing SIL KLEEN shaft cleaner…

Now, this also is a simple way to clean your cue, but you might want to take that bit extra care.

Sil Kleen is a product by Cue Silk, (the ones who did the Silky Hands product) and just a few drops on to a paper towel and a rub-down the cue and you’ll see the difference.

But the real magic (yes, there’s that word again) of this is not the Sil Kleen, but the conditioner product, which makes your cue feel silky smooth and shiny after.

Again, put two drops (or more) onto a paper towel and buff the cue for 30 seconds. You really will feel the difference after! A silky smooth run.

The Pros and Cons of Sil Kleen and Magic Cue Cloths…

So, what would SnookerZone recommend?

Well, if you’re looking for ease of cleaning and haven’t got the time to spend messing around with shaft cleaner, then the Magic cue cloths are the FAST and EFFECTIVE way of ridding your cue of all that grime, dirt, and chalk residue that gets into the wood. And they work on the go!

Carry them in your snooker ball case if you will!

But, if you are happy to spend the time cleaning, then the Sil Kleen is definitely recommended.

If we were to have a push and a shove in one direction, we’d opt for the Magic Cue Cloths though!

The choice is yours!

Shop for Sil Kleen or Magic Cue Cloths, Here Now!

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3 Simple Ways to Reduce Sweaty Hands when Cueing

SnookerZone recently requested to review a new product on the market called Silky hands from Cue Silk. 

They designed this product to make cueing much smoother when running your bridge-hand down the cue. But for this review, we wanted to focus on a problem that we’ve had since the year dot when playing snooker.

Sweaty hands! And I mean very sweaty hands…

The medical term for sweaty hands…

Did you know, the medical term for sweaty hands is Palmar Hyperhidrosis. It affects 1 – 3% of the population and is usually in both hands. It begins in childhood and can be genetic. But it can also be picked up later on in adults due to stress or anxiety issues.

You may find that a simple spray of antiperspirant (yes, deodorant spray) will do the trick, but, if that doesn’t, then you may need to seek other remedies. If it’s really bad and nothing you’ve tried works, then consult your GP.

Try this. (note: we’re not an affiliate of this product..)

But, before giving you the lowdown on sweaty hands related to snooker, we want to make people aware of other things you can try before trying Silky hands to try to help reduce sweat when playing snooker.

A cueing glove/s?

You could get a glove (or even two for both hands). We tried that. The only problem we found with a glove is that on the hand where our hands sweat the most, which is the hand we hold the butt of the cue, we felt the cue was slipping offline on shots. But for you, a glove may work!

Try a glove.

Shop now.

Talcum powder

You could use talcum powder. Some professional players have used talcum powder, and, although we’ve not tried that, we think that option is a bit messy as you don’t want to have your hands covered in white mess, as well as the surrounding space.

So, what next?

The only other option was to try this Silky hands cue lotion. Like anything, I was sceptical when I first saw it, but it’s a problem SnookerZone has suffered from since the year dot. Even our coach noticed we perspired a lot and suggested we try something to reduce it!

Silky Hands is simple to apply: 

It comes in a 1 oz or 2 oz bottle and is simple to use. All you do is shake the bottle well before use. Apply some of the lotion before playing and rub well into the hands.

Immediately, you will notice your hands feel a little weird. It feels like you’ve applied perfume as it has a sweet scent on it when you smell them. They do dry quickly though!

Did Silky Hands help reduce the sweaty hands issue? 

Now, to the important question: Did the hands feel less sweaty when playing?

Yes.

However, this invisible powder, as it’s described, will not totally rid you of sweaty hands.

It may do if you’re the person who doesn’t perspire that much, but, if like me, you sweat a lot, then it’s unlikely to rid you of sweating totally.

Our hands did feel less hot and much drier though. It helped with holding the cue to not feel like the butt was totally dripping wet with sweat. We were able to run our bridge hand down the cue much easier and didn’t feel uncomfortable on pressure pots when we played frames with someone over the weekend.

If you’re looking for a less messy alternative to Talcum powder, then this is for you.

SnookerZone would recommend trying out gloves before you do this though, as that may well suit you. For us, it didn’t. But everyone is different.

Shop for Silky hands or a glove today…

Get started now

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Stepping In to New Levels in Huddersfield…

Snooker players applaud owner Kevin Ellis’s new venue in Huddersfield – Levels…

 

Levels isn’t just a snooker club. Why not pop in and have a bite to eat in their restaurant-cum-bar?

A new venue in Huddersfield held its first Pro-Am snooker event last weekend to a packed group of eager snooker players itching to see the place for the first time since opening. 

52 top amateurs turned up to Levels to see the new top-notch venue, the brainchild of snooker fan and businessman Kevin Ellis.

These included the likes of Keighley’s Rebecca Kenna (see the SnookerZone interview here with her), who is also about to fulfill a snooker dream of playing at the Crucible this week at the Women’s Tour Championship 2019 as part of the Rockit World Seniors Championships.

Rebecca reached the semi-finals of the Pro-Am.

Although the venue Levels is not predominantly pitched as a snooker club in the traditional sense of the word, lots of snooker will be played there in the next few months, and years to come.

It’s already sponsoring professional Sam Craigie and will be holding a QSchool qualifier in October.

Said Kevin Ellis, 39, about his feelings on hosting his first Pro-Am as a venue business owner: “Very proud.”

He added: “It was absolutely top-notch to see such a talented field of 52 runners turning out for our first one.”

Exciting Times Ahead for Levels as it plans to ramp up its promotion…

The club is also planning to join the long list who have signed up to the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards’s 147 club scheme, an elite list of members who receive extra benefits from the EPSB to help promote their venues.

Ellis further said: “We are a forward-thinking venue, with a number of ideas and exciting plans. Coaching, competitions, player development and management being just a few.”

He added: “Very exciting times ahead.”

Former professional Simon Bedford beat Leo Fernandez in the final and won the Pro-Am – bagging the £250 first prize.

The first ever winner at Levels said on Facebook after: “Over the moon to win pro-am at levels today👍 just wanna say a massive thanks to Kev Ellis Stuart Gothard and their staff for a warm welcome and hospitality 😁😁😁 .The club is looking different class and I’m sure it will be a massive success to everyone involved 🥂
See you all soon 😘.”

Ellis remarked also after: “Huge huge thanks to everybody who made the effort. All games were played in the best of spirits and the compliments on the venue and tables were flowing. Met and chatted with some top-notch folk. Thankyou again. Hopefully, see you at the next one!

Finalist Fernandez added: ” First class venue. Really lovely staff and obviously well done Simon Bedford. A class player and always has been… #goodtimes#lovesnooker 😎👍.”

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12ft Snooker Table, 6 Myths Debunked…PDF

Hi there,

Chris Gaynor here

Imagine…Going to play on a “snooker table” for the first time.

Seeing how huge it is, shocked by its size.

Overwhelmed by the task that lies in front of you. I know when I first played on a table all those years ago, it felt…

 

  • intimidating,
  • scary,
  • and very frustrating!

Fast forward now, and it’s lost that intimidating and scary factor, but, it’s still, at times, very frustrating!

You’ll feel it, believe me.

Your cue action when you first play is swinging everywhere bar straight, and, even when you roll a ball along the table you can’t pot it.

You’re frustrated.

You’re exasperated…

And, you’re wondering why nothing is going right!

Hold on though…This is where SnookerZone can help!

Here, we debunk a few myths, and give you the confidence to understand what’s going on and how the table affects how you play on it! Understanding table mechanics will help you adapt to each table you play on, through trial and error.

[bctt tweet=”No two tables are the same, and this is where your powers of adaptation come into play! You need to adapt to each table you play on, and, sometimes, quickly! Especially if you’re in a match!” username=”@chrisgaynor2″]

Let’s dive right in.

FullSizeSnookerTables
Smooth: A match table with a faster cloth and tighter pockets!

MYTH 1: SNOOKER TABLE OR BILLIARD TABLE?

The first IMPORTANT myth to debunk is that the tables you and I play on are not called “snooker” tables, they are called billiard tables.

It’s like using the word hoover when it’s vacuuming. Hoover is a brand, but has become synonymous with the term, “I’m getting the hoover out to do the hoovering!! When you might use a Dyson or Vax! If you want to avoid being lambasted by hardcore fans, just say tables. We know what you mean!

Why?

Billiards was the first game played on a table and the great game snooker, now played worldwide, developed from billiards.

Snooker grew because it was “faster” than billiards and good for TV. And, now, more interesting for the viewing public.

Read the 5 essential rules you need to learn to learn better positional play: Click here to grab your FREE Quickstart guide with every Nic Barrow  Training Ball…


Now, moving on, you’ll also learn:

  • Why one table isn’t necessarily better than another.
  • Why professionals prefer faster cloths.
  • What cloths there are out there.
  • What the differences are between pockets on match and club tables.
  • And much more…

OK, let’s continue…

MYTH 2: THIS TABLE’S BETTER?

 On the professional circuit, they use the Star brand, a table which looks great on the surface, but is it “better” than an ordinary table in a club? Well, “Yes,” and “No”. What makes the table play better is the cloth that is used on the professional match table.

The real star of the show is…

NO 10 STRACHAN CLOTH!

World Snooker use No 10 Strachan Championship cloth and have used Strachan cloths since 1980.

What is it? The cloths are made from fine merino wool and offer longer-lasting resistance. The problem is, on the professional tour, the cloths do not last very long. If these “super” cloths were to be used in clubs, you’d have to change them very regularly. That would be costly indeed!

In the days of the Alex Higgins and Steve Davis era, the cloths were much slower. Technology has moved on a lot and now brands such as Strachan have developed cloths with anti-kick technology to help prevent kicks for players in matches.

EVEN CLUB TABLES CAN HAVE EXPENSIVE RE-FITS!

 Refitting cloths can be expensive. In the club where SnookerZone plays, he was told that the match cloth used in the club was around £700. A lot of money! Hence, you don’t want any Tom, Dick, or Harry going on it and potentially ripping it up! Match tables need to be used sparingly! All tables need to be covered up.

Here’s a range of Strachan cloths…

Even at the lower end of the re-fit, it is still expensive, so, as a beginner snooker player, it would pay if you invested in a coach, so that you know what you’re doing on the table and don’t give the snooker club owner a nightmare and a cost to need to re-fit, AND, also, a headache to boot!

Give the table some respect!

GET A COACH NOW!

ANOTHER CLOTH MANUFACTURER: HAINSWORTH

 Hainsworth is another cloth manufacturer and they have three types of cloth. They are…

  • Smart
  • Precision
  • Match

Some clubs will often go for a slightly “cheaper” cloth on most tables but they are still great quality and long-lasting but they must be looked after properly! The important thing is to brush the cloths regularly and ironing helps to make the table run faster.

SHARE AND READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE PDF EMBEDDED BELOW…

Snooker Tables;Myths