Admit it, folks! We all love playing pool. No matter how long we play for or how many times in a week we play it, it is never less or more. We simply want to play for hours and hours without getting tired of it.
When we play for so long, we become master’s in it. It is only natural for us to master anything in which we place keen interest and give that habit plenty of time.
There are certain techniques in the game of pool which give the game an interesting twist. Something like a modern touch to the game for the player’s ease. One of these new techniques is the use of the mechanical bridge.
We all are aware of what the mechanical bridge is and how to use it. But for those who are not aware of it, let me tell them.
Table of Contents
What is a Mechanical Bridge:
A mechanical bridge is an equipment which is used to take a shot on such balls which are relatively placed at such positions where we can’t use cue directly. We need foreign aid to take that shot.
A mechanical bridge is actually a cue stick with the frame on the end on which the player can place their cues and hit. The mechanical bridge has different grooves on the frame which allows the players to choose the appropriate height to take the shot.
Today I am here to guide you how to use the mechanical bridge properly and how you can master it. Many out there say that you cannot master this technique unless you give it years and years of practice.
Well, I say part of it is true, and part of it is false. You can only master this nay technique if you keep practicing for years, NO! There are some quick tips through which you can learn and master this quickly.
I will be explaining you the details how you can master the mechanical bridge. So, let’s get to it.
- These bridges are very easy to use, yet many players avoid using them.
- It can be because they lack the skills to use them properly.
- There are different types of mechanical bridges.
- Their types usually depend upon the number of grooves it has.
- A typical mechanical bridge has 6 grooves, three grooves on the top, one on each side and a shallow v on the bottom.
- Different mechanical grooves are used as per the player’s choice.
- Sometimes, players have their own bridges with them.
Types Of Bridges
There are two types of bridges which are most commonly used.
- Cross Head Bridge: for quick use with firm and solid cue placement.
- Spider head: very much like the traditional bridge but with high legs to give more leverage to the player.
How to Use a Mechanical Bridge:
One should consider the mechanical bridge whenever the cue ball is beyond your reach. In case you are about to use the mechanical bridge, follow the following steps and it will come as easy as anything.
It is mostly like taking any other shot. With the exception being the bridge involved. You must get behind the line of aim and plan your shot accordingly.
When you realize that the shot cannot be taken without the bridge, only then use it. I have seen many professional players avoiding these bridges because of the fear of shaking bridge.
Usually, the use of the bridge is taken into account when the cue ball is tough to reach and sometimes when there are many object balls have the cue ball surrounded.
When you are sure about the shot, and the bridge is inevitable then place the bridge on the table. Now, remember that the placement of the bridge is critical. It should be placed in such a way that no legs should be in the air.
The bridge should be placed firmly on the surface of the table. You must remember that the mechanical bridge should be positioned in such a way that when you take the shot, the bridge should not move or shake otherwise the shot will lose its route.
3. Distance From the Cue Ball:
The bridge should be placed at about 6 – 8 inches from the cue ball. The distance is a very vital part. If you miss calculating the distance, then two things will happen.
If the distance is more than you calculated, then there is a very bright chance that the cue will hit the felt of the pool table which may damage it and you need to refelt it. There will be no shot, and this might be counted as a miscue.
If the distance is less than you expected than you will hit the cue ball in the wrong direction and the balls will change their course, and the shot will not occur as you had imagined.
So always calculate the distance properly. And then place the mechanical bridge. The bridge must be placed close enough to the cue ball and far enough to take a smooth shot.
4. Holding of The Bridge:
The holding of the bridge must be done by the hand which is not used in the shot. That hand must grip the cue stick which has a bridge attached to it on end with such strong grip which keeps it firmly attached to the floor of the table.
5. Place of Cue:
The placement of the cue is as per the requirement of the shot. If you have a cluster of object balls around the cue ball, then place the bridge in such position that will allow you to hit the cue ball only.
The cue must be placed in that groove which will make it easy for you to take the shot. It can be from the outside and even from the ‘v’ shaped.
The cue placement on the bridge is as essential as the shot itself. If you placed the cue in the wrong groove, you might not get the desired result.
Placing the cue on the top-notch allows you to bring the follow on the cue ball.
Cue placement on the lower notch should be used when you want to stop the cue ball or draw it.
6. Grip on The Pool Cue:
The grip on the cue must be strong. With two sticks being used in one single shot. You must keep your mind alert and then take the opportunity provided by the bridge. You must always hold the cue from the butt region.
The thumb must be placed under the cue while the four fingers wrapped around the cue from the above.
You should always remember to keep your shooting elbow worked outside for easy shooting of the shot.
7. Hitting Technique:
The technique involved in the hitting of the shot is related with the wrist and the fingers. Use of the elbow must be avoided as much as possible. Because the elbow can give a jerking shot which might result in your disadvantage.
There is also a chance that the shot which is strengthening by the elbow has more strength than needed.
Always make a smooth and relax shot when you are using the bridge. If you move or shake while taking a shot with the bridge, the bridge will move, and then cue and the shot will not be as you were expecting.
9. Follow Through:
You must always follow through. This technique has such a benefit which helps you a lot in the game. When you take a shot and keep an eye on the ball, you will be able to see what the hit has done on the pool table.
Some people like to remain in the same stance in which they took the shoot while others get back and follow the ball.
10. Expected Foul:
You must make sure that you don’t hit the cue ball or other object balls while placing the bridge. This is considered as foul in many types of pool games such as 8-ball or 9-ball.
The usage of the bridge is a big advantage that has been created for the players. If you follow the steps mentioned above with proper care and you practice them carefully, I have no doubt that the mastering of the mechanical bridge will not be an issue.