There are three main skills that you will need to be a good snooker player:
The ability to pot balls is vital when it comes to playing snooker. (That’s what it’s all about!). To pot the correct balls in a game of snooker you have to know the angle at which you would like the target ball to travel and then strike it directly on the opposite side of the ball using the white ball. Sounds easy in theory but when it comes to actually putting it into practice it is far more difficult than it sounds. You always have to take into consideration how much power to strike the cue ball with as if you use too much power then the target ball may bounce out of the pocket. (Hit either side of the pocket and come back onto the table). However, if you do not use enough power then the target ball may fail to reach the pocket.
Cue Ball Control
One of the key skills needed to play really good snooker is cue ball control. In a game of snooker you can’t just concentrate on potting a ball and hope that the cue ball will stop in a perfect place for your next shot. You have to plan ahead and learn to read the game. A good snooker player will be able to play a stop shot, draw back and a follow on shot. A stop shot is played to stop the cue ball almost immediately after contact with the target ball. This can be a great way to position the white ball as you will know almost exactly where it will stop. (This is because it should stop where the original target ball was). To play a stop shot you usually have to hit the cue ball in the middle. However, this can vary depending on the distance of the target ball away from the cue ball.
A draw back is used to make the cue ball roll backwards after contact with the target ball. To play a draw back you have to hit the ball below the centre point. Generally speaking the lower you hit the ball the more it is likely to roll back. You can also make the ball roll back further by using more power when you take your shot. A follow on shot is used to make the white ball roll forward after contact with the target ball. You can play a follow on shot by striking the white ball above the centre point. As you can probably guess the higher you strike the white ball the further it rolls forward after contact with the target ball. Playing a draw back shot or a follow on shot will significantly increase your chances of miscuing your shot and this could potentially lead to you losing the frame. Therefore, you need to practice these types of shot time and time again.
Every Professional snooker player uses safety at some point in a match. Usually the very first shot that is played in each frame is a safety shot. A safety shot is basically just a shot that leaves your opponent in a difficult situation. If there are no good chances of a pot on the table then a professional player will usually play a safety shot. This is because if a player misses a pot in a professional match then the other player will most likely capitalise on that opportunity. Missing a pot often leads to losing a frame so this is why we use safety.
One of the best types of safety shot is a snooker. This is where you leave a player with no direct root from the cue ball to the target ball. This often means that they will have to use the cushions of the table to enable them to hit the target ball. This makes their shot very tricky and can often lead to a foul which will gain you points. (This foul occurs when the cue ball misses the target ball. Evidently you will also need to learn to take shots to get yourself out of difficult situations such as snookers. This will involve learning to judge the bounce that the cue ball will get from the cushions and also at what angle the cue ball will need to hit the cushion in order to reach the target ball. This can take vast amounts of practice to get right and sometimes even professionals get it wrong.
If you have good potting skills and good cue ball control then you will be a confident snooker player but once you add safety to your game then you will be on the road to success.