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Best Billiard Books and Drills for New Pool Players

Best Billiard Books and Drills for New Pool Players

I just got introduced to billiards this last summer and fell in love with the game. I just got a new pool table for Christmas and have a few questions I need clarification on.

I need some basic drills to practice with. If possible I'd also like an explanation on how to execute the drill (like what type of English to use on the balls to get the cue ball in the correct position). I'm having some trouble with the drills I've found online because I'm not sure what English to use to get the cue ball in position for the next ball in the drill.

Best Billiard Books and Drills for New Pool Players

Replies & Comments

  1. ksicardFenwick on 12/29/2013 9:50:58 AM

    In the beginning it's best to learn natural angles. Top and bottom isn't english with a small e BTW. Not just my opinion. Just enter basic drills into a search and you'll find many. No one is the one and only.

    I'm not a pro just a enthusiast of the game. I just happened to notice your post while browsing and others may have very different opinions.

  2. ksicardksicard on 12/29/2013 10:25:24 AM

    Thank you for the reply, I'm familiar with English not being top and bottom. I'll do a search as you recommended on basic drills, but if you have any videos or pictures of some quality drills that you thought improved your game a large amount please send them my way.

  3. ksicardFenwick on 12/29/2013 10:45:41 AM

    In terms of learning, I would suggest that anything written by CJ Wiley is a good start.

    FYI - Top and bottom English can change the tangent line.

    You did say, "New player in need of advice." So I thought you were just starting. No offense intended.

    Here is the C.J. Wiley DVD cover:

    Going to practice and play for a hour or four now.

  4. ksicardksicard on 12/29/2013 2:37:58 PM

    No offense taken, no worries. I'm better than the average people who play pool every once in a while at bars but I'm pretty new when it comes to league and what not. I have most of the fundamentals and basics down, I'm just looking to progress further. So I'm not sure if I'm a beginner or intermediate. I bought a book called Play Your Best Pool (Secrets to Winning 8-Ball & 9-Ball) - Book by Phillip Capelle so hopefully that will help once it arrives in the mail. I'll also look up the mother drills you mentioned.

    I've been practicing a lot since I got the table, constantly surfing the web for instruction and then going to the table with it and I'm just trying to make sure I'm practicing correctly. My main weak points that I've noticed are long distance cut shots and anything to do with kicking/banking shots. I plan to just practice the cut shots the old fashion way but if you have any recommendations for videos or anything like that for rail systems please let me know because I plan to dive into them after I secure the basics/fundamentals a bit more.

    Also any other book recommendations would be helpful if they are worth the read, and are the DVDs that you can buy better than books? Just curious on your take on the matter.

    Thanks again

  5. ksicardFenwick on 12/29/2013 3:23:42 PM

    CJ Wiley has both books and DVD's. I can learn from either.

    I've taken one 3 hour lesson from Scott Lee. I took another lesson from someone else that taught me something I already knew. Wasted money.

    Freddy the beard has written some books but Banking With The Beard is either in book form or on DVD. Not sure. He does have a web site.

    Repeating my self:

    • The Mother Drill.
    • The DVD by Jerry Briesath, How to play pool right is a winner. He keeps it simple and reinforces fundamentals. I go back to it whenever I'm out of stroke.

    Not that it matters but for your reference I'm a strong B player who plays in the A division. With practice I can hold my own as a weak to middle A. There's a big jump between A and B where I play. I'm more comfortable on a 9 foot table then on an over-size 8. I mainly play straight pool with a little 9 ball mixed in. One pocket, very little. Eight ball and 9 ball in leagues. This is in a pool hall not a bar.

    Take care and put the ball in the hole.

  6. ksicardPool Psyche on 4/7/2014 8:46:14 PM

    Sounds like you are on the right path if you are seeking out information on the web and going to be reading books about pool. I'm a big fan of Phil Capelle's books. I would highly recommend his Play Your Best Eight Ball if that is your game of choice or you are playing it in leagues/tournaments. It has a lot of good strategy advice for beginning and intermediate players.

    As was previously mentioned, I would focus learning to pocket balls and playing position with the vertical axis of the cue ball first. Only after you can break and run using only the vertical axis would I suggest you begin to learn English. This will help ensure that you have a solid understanding of basic cue ball control and position. When looking for drills to practice, the biggest factor in my opinion is to find drills that you enjoy doing (so you'll want to continue to practice it) and are designed to improve a specific skill that you have identified as an area you would like to improve. If the drill you find doesn't show you exactly how to cue the cue ball, look at it as a challenge to try and figure it out. That's part of the fun in my opinion. You'll discover a lot in the process, too.

    Also, don't try and learn everything (kick, banks, etc.) at once. Pick one skill set and try and become proficient at it before moving on to another. For example, I make it a habit to typically begin my practice session by banking 60 balls cross side. That's an entire rack into each corner pocket and two into the side (one from the left side of the pocket and one from the right side). I've been doing this for years and it is the reason why I expect to make every cross side bank I take in competition and get position on my next shot.

    As for what tip to use, and any other equipment questions, that is all going to be your personal preference based on your playing style.

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Best Billiard Books and Drills for New Pool Players

  • Title: Best Billiard Books and Drills for New Pool Players
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  • Published: 12/29/2013 8:47:45 AM