Q & A: Answers

Snooker Cue

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Posted on 5th October 2001 by John Williams of Birmingham.

Where can I get a copy of the rules of English Billiards?

You can order the rule books from the World Snooker Association and they let you view them online.

Posted on 22nd September 2001 by Jordan Tan of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

My snooker cue smells of cigarette smoke!   How do I get rid of the smell without ruining the cue?

You will need to wash your cue - this is something you should do occasionally anyway. It helps to keep the cue smooth on your bridge as it clears away the grease picked up from your hands and the dust that then sticks to it.

All you need is some hot soapy water, and two pieces of cloth. Soak one in the soapy water, and wring it out until almost all the water has gone - do not use it absolutely dripping wet as the cue could absorb this and then possibly warp.

Hold the cue vertically, with the butt on the ground and grip the damp cloth tightly around the cue. Wipe the cue thoroughly, rubbing it up and down.

You may need to do this several times if it hasn't been cleaned for a long time.

Protect the tip from the damp cloth by wrapping thin paper or plastic over it, and stick this down with tape. Try to keep this taped to the ferrule and not the wood.

After washing the cue you will need to dry and polish it. Hold the cue vertically as before, use the other DRY cloth and wrap it around the cue. Hold it tightly and rub vigorously up and down until you feel the heat that is generated - then you'll know it is dry.

You should take some care while doing this, as it is not unusual for players to knock their tips off!

It's also a very good idea to clean the cue this way every time that you change your tip, obviously before you stick the new one on.

Posted on 25th August 2001 by Ernie Harvey of Kap, Canada.

My friend recently recovered his 4 x 8 table and wanted to know the radius of the "D", and the locations of the baulk line and spots for this size of table.

A more recent reply to a similar question has been posted here.

Posted on 17th August 2001 by Peter Kleindienst of Grafton, Australia.

A question that has come up on a few occasions at our local services club has been with regards to when in attempting to break the reds a clean miss occurs. Can a free ball be taken as neither side of the object ball is visible?

A ball "on" cannot be snookered by another ball that is also "on". So in your example a free ball would not be given if the next player had a clear shot at the pack of reds.

Posted on 13th August 2001 by Roger Lo of Derby.

Do you know the name and singer of the two songs that are always playing in the snooker tournament programmes by UK BBC TV?

Can anyone help?   If you can, make contact and your answer will be posted here.

Reply from Ian Mayes of Brighton. Posted on 25th June 2006.

Drag Racer is the instrumental used as the BBC Snooker theme. The original version was written and performed by the little-known Doug Wood Band in 1982. The new version, as used since 2003, is a remix of the original Doug Wood version called '147 lockdown' by 'Diffusion'.

The other song which Roger enquires about is most likely the 1978 disco hit 'Hot Shot' by Karen Young and is usually played over the shot of the Championship montage.

Posted on 4th August 2001 by Dave, of Fife, Scotland.

Is there a difference in size between a billiard table and a snooker table? I was led to believe that snooker was played on a billiard table.

You are quite right, snooker is played on a billiard table, or to be more correct, on an "English Billiards Table". Snooker is just one of the many games that can be played, and at present (in the UK at least), it simply happens to be the most popular.

Various forms of billiards were played for around three hundred years before snooker was invented in the late 1800's, so obviously the tables existed before snooker.

Billiard games were also popular in Europe, and the French eventually discarded the pockets as their most popular game required the players to score by cannons only.

Around 150 to 200 years ago, the manufacturers would have needed to make a distinction between the two types of table, hence the "English Billiards Table".

The pocketless table is now found in many parts of the world, and is referred to as a "Carom Table".

Posted on 13th July 2001 by Chris of Stockport.

I have an old Horace Lindrum billiards cue, one piece maple with an ebony butt and a picture of HL on the butt plate. Do you know of any sites that would give me an idea of the value for insurance purposes?

Try The Cue Collector which should give you all the information you need

Old cues also come up for sale on ebay from time to time, so it might be worth looking occasionally to see what prices are currently being asked, and of course, what the winning bids were.

Posted on 8th July 2001 by Neil Reece of Auckland, New Zealand.

I am right handed, when walking into a shot where should my body be in relation to the line of the balls. eg my right hip in line or the centre of my body. When holding the cue during cueing, am I correct in believing that the inside of my forearm and thumb should form a straight line as should the back (not outside) of my hand and forearm.

Body position - before you walk in to the shot stand and take aim with the centre of your body in a direct line from the centre of the cue-ball to the centre of where the cue-ball must be when it contacts the object-ball.

Keep your eyes fixed on this aiming point until you have your chin on the cue. In this way as you move into the playing position you are aiming your entire body at this point. As a right handed player your right hip will need to be more or less on the line, although very tall players may have to stand slightly to the left to allow room for the back of the cue.

Hand position - You should always place the tip of the cue as close to the cue-ball as possible when you're taking aim, and in this position your cue arm should be vertical or close to it. On the backward movements and when you push the cue through to play the shot, your wrist and fingers need to be supple as their angle in relation to the arm must change to allow the cue to stay on a straight line.

Posted on 8th July 2001 by John of Hong Kong.

If a snooker game is draw:-
a) Is it right to put the black ball back on its spot and the cue ball in the "D" area.
b) And is it also correct that if the cue ball goes in-off I will lose the game?

You are completely right. When the frame is a draw the black ball is respotted and the next player plays from the 'D'. The next score or foul ends the game.

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Snooker Cue