How To Screw Back in Snooker

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Learn the essential snooker skill of Screw Back aka Back Spin, Bottom Spin, Deep Screw and Draw Shot with this comprehensive guide.

The Screw Back a.k.a Back Spin/Bottom Spin/Deep Screw/Draw Shot refers to the technique of making the cue ball spin backward after it strikes an object ball.

Being able to screw the cue ball back is crucial in controlling the position of the cue ball and setting up for the next shot. Also, it’s one of the most coolest looking shots in snooker.

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💡 The screw back shot can also be used to avoid potting the object ball.

How to Screw Back in Snooker?

To successfully execute a screw back shot, you need to consider the following:

  1. Chalk: Before you take the shot, chalk the tip of your cue properly to prevent miscues.
  2. Aim: Aim to strike the cue ball below centre to achieve backspin.
  3. Power: Force required to achieve backspin.
  4. Backswing: Pull back the cue stick in a smooth & controlled motion with a brief pause.
  5. Follow-Through: Make sure to follow-through in a straight line and maintain a smooth stroke.

Common Mistakes:

  • Cue not parallel to the table.
  • Hitting the cue ball too hard.
  • Gripping the cue too tightly/loosely.
  • Not pausing briefly at the final backswing.
  • Not delivering the cue in a straight line.
  • Failing to follow-through with the stroke.


A Screw Back is achieved by striking the cueball below center, which causes it to spin backwards. 

A good visualisation technique to help you aim at the correct point on the cue ball is to imagine a clock face on the cue ball.


The very bottom of the cue ball is 6 o’clock. This is where you need to strike the cue ball for back spin.

💡 Make sure to level your cue parallel to the table by lowering the bridge rather than raising the butt of the cue.


How hard you need to hit the cue ball depends on the following factors:

  • The distance between the cue ball and the object ball.
  • The amount of follow-through you can achieve.
  • Timing of the strike (cue action).

💡 Instead of focusing too much on power, concentrate on achieving a smooth and straight follow-through.


After you’ve hit the cue ball, it’s important to follow-through with your stroke. This means continuing the motion of your cue forward, rather than stopping abruptly.

To achieve maximum screw back, you’ll need to follow-through a bit more than usual by letting your elbow drop as your grip will follow-through to the max.

💡 A good cue action follows a pendulum like swinging motion i.e. the backswing and follow-through distance should be equal.

Practice Tips:

  • Don’t be afraid of cueing too low on the cue ball in fear of miscue (use plenty of chalk and smooth, straight follow-through).
  • Begin by practicing with the cue ball and object ball close together and slowly start increasing the distances between them.
  • Keep your grip loose enough to allow you to pull the cue back as far as possible for maximum power.
  • Try pushing your cue through another 2-3 inches after you think you have reached full follow-through.
  • If you have your elbow locked, you may find it difficult to follow through effectively.

The screw back shot is an essential part of any snooker player’s arsenal. It allows you to control the position of the cue ball after contact with the object ball, setting up future shots and taking control of the table. By following the guidelines highlighted above, you’re on your way to produce the best screw back shots you’ve ever made.

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