Today, we are taking a series of questions from John who’s curious to learn all about chalking a cue.
I have lately developed interest in billiards and I’m curious to learn: Why do we chalk a cue? I mean I watch a player on TV who was frequently chalking his cue tip – in fact, after every shot. Why do you chalk a cue before every shot? And if I use both playing and breaking cues, should I chalk it? Do you chalk a break cue?
We chalk a cue to ensure maximum friction at the time of its contact with the cue ball, eventually resulting in better control and more powerful shots.
Your next question was, how frequently should you chalk a cue. There is no general rule. However, most players chalk after every shot to ensure extra spin on the ball.
Moving on to your third question, you shouldn’t chalk your break cue because they don’t hold chalk well. And they are occasionally used while playing so you can leave them without chalk.
A chalk is considered vital for cue’s performance. It causes friction on impact between the cue ball and the cue tip, which results in better contact between the ball and cue, eventually giving more control to the player.
Just like we sharpen our knives to leverage their performance, we chalk the cue tips to bring more spin on the ball.
But we don’t apply this chalk on break cues, because they are not known for holding chalk well like playing cues. They have short and hard ferrules that do the job nicely.
It confuses many players how much they should chalk, should they chalk tip after playing? Ask this question to three different players, and chances are you’ll get three different answers on such a trivial thing.
A general rule you can follow is chalk every shot, it gives you extra spin on the ball which is always beneficial. Not chalking your cue during the entire game would result in less spin behind the shots. So even if you don’t like to chalk your cue before every shot, you must chalk somewhere in between.