Tuition: Left-Hand Side

Snooker Cue

Shows how left-hand side can be used to bring the cue-ball back into a safe area of the table. This first diagram shows a stroke where left-hand side has been used to take the cue-ball to a safe area of the table.


A similar result could have been gained by playing without side and aiming slightly thicker, but the thinner contact gives the red less momentum and keeps it further away from the two top pockets.

Using a little side in any shot like this also lessens the chance of a double-kiss ruining the stroke.


You will find that this shot can be of even greater use during the early part of the frame when there are many more balls to avoid on the journey back to baulk.


A little practice will teach you how much side to use, and you'll soon discover many similar opportunities that will improve your safety play and force errors from your opponents.


Shows how left-hand side can be used to give an easier escape from a snooker. In this second example left-hand side has been used to make the escape from the snooker easier to judge than if it were played off the two cushions.

As the cue-ball is touching the cushion you will need to play the shot with a little top as well as the lefthand side.

A few practice strokes will show you how much side to use, and how close to the blue you should aim.

The idea of course is to play gently to just roll up to the red, and leave very little for your opponent.

The three balls do not need to be against the cushion for this type of escape to be played. If all three form a straight line that is at right angles to the cushion, this method can still be a safer way to judge the angle.

Shows how by playing into the cushion, with side, can get you out of an "impossible" snooker. Diagram 3 shows another variation of the same shot with the balls placed in an "impossible" snooker. The cue-ball is set tight against the cushion and is touching the black.


At first sight it appears to be perfectly safe, and yet by playing into the cushion the blue can be easily hit.


Play the stroke with left-hand side and aim towards the black cross. The cushion-rubber will compress just enough to let the cue-ball out without disturbing the black, and the cue-ball will rebound from the top cushion to make contact with the blue.


The black cross only gives an indication of where to aim. The exact aiming point will depend on the amount of side you use and the strength that you play the shot.


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Snooker Cue