Choosing a Pool Cue to Play Billiards Like a Pro

For the serious billiards player, your pool cue can make or break your game. Choosing your pool cue — whether selecting one for an impromptu game while out with friends or investing in your own cue — can be a challenging decision.

Your pool cue needs to be an extension of your skill in the game. You can spend a lot or a little on your pool cue, but without knowing what to look for, you could waste your money. An expensive pool stick won't do you any good if it's not the right one for you.

How do you know how to pick the perfect pool cue? Keep reading to learn the essential factors to consider when searching for your ideal pool cue.

Budget Your Bucks

We mentioned that pool cues can range in price. You can find a cue for less than $100 or spend more than $1,000 on a pool stick, depending on your preferences.

Before you spend more than you can afford, decide on your budget. Knowing how much you can spend narrows down your options to help you find your ideal cue in time for your next game.

The Long or Short of It

Did you know that pool cues come in different lengths?

People come in different heights, and pool cues can accommodate your reach if you choose the right stick length.

- Most people 5'8" or taller can use a standard length billiard cue stick of 57-59 inches long.
- If you're shorter than 5'8", you might prefer a shorter cue.
- If you're taller than 6'5", a cue longer than 59 inches might help your game.

These length suggestions aren't strict rules for choosing the best length of your pool stick. Go for the length that helps you play your best game.

Be sure to check for warps before buying a cue. Warps can affect the accuracy of your shot. It's also a sign of a weak cue that won't last long as you begin putting it into play. Hold the cue up and examine looking from the base through the shaft when checking for a straight, warp-free cue.

Weight Matters

Much like length, you have choices for the weight of your pool cue. Most of the cue's weight is in the shaft (or bottom) of the stick. Standard weights range from seventeen to twenty-one ounces.

The weight of your cue impacts how you deliver a shot. Choose an average weight if you only have the budget for one cue. If you can purchase more than one cue, a heavier stick is more effective for breaking shots. Light cues can help with precision or combination shots.

No matter the type of shot, your personal preference should be the ultimate factor in the weight you want for your pool cue.

One Piece Or Two?

If you've never purchased a pool cue, you might be surprised that some sticks come in two pieces that connect to form a complete cue.

One-piece pool cues are ideal for play at home. If you have a billiard table in the garage or game room and you want to stock the room with cues, one-piece sticks are an excellent choice.

Two-piece pool cues are ideal for travel. If you play competitively and take your personal billiard cue when you play outside of your home, a two-piece cue makes it easier to store and carry it with you. Simple screw the two pieces together for gameplay.

Pool cues show wear over time. With frequent use, they begin to warp. This usually happens in the shaft—or the thinner end that strikes the ball. It's tough to use a one-piece cue that warps or cracks, and trying to repair it isn't always effective. You'll need a new pool stick.

When you see a two-piece cue begin to warp or crack in the shaft, you can replace the shaft without replacing the base.

How to Use Pool Cue


If you've played billiards for very long, you'll notice blisters begin to form on your palms. Even a few casual games during a night out with friends can rub your palms raw. To protect your hands, choose a grip for the base of your pool cue. grips can also help you hang on to the cue during play if you have sweaty palms. Choose from smooth or textured leather, synthetic grips, or linen wraps. The best grip is the one that helps you play comfortably and control your shots.


The tip of the cue strikes the ball. The shape and texture of the tip affect how your ball moves toward it's intended target. Cue tips also come in a range of sizes that affect the spin you put on the ball. Larger tips make it easier to aim and hit the ball. Smaller tips can add more spin, but they can also make it harder to hit the ball accurately. Softer tips will wear faster than a more solid tip. However, replacing the tip of your cue is easy and inexpensive.


When you think you know the best combination of length, weight, grip, and tip, try a few practice shots before finalizing your purchase. If the shop doesn't have a practice table or you're buying online, make sure you understand the return policy before leaving the store with your new cue. Play a few games and take notice of where your shots go and the vibrations in the stick. If it's not what you expect or doesn't perform that way it should, take it back and make adjustments to the combination of features.

Get Help Choosing A Pool Cue

With so many options, it can be confusing to choose the right pool cue for your game. Don't settle for the wrong cue! Imperial International has a wide variety of cues and options to help you find your ideal pool stick.