Practice: Line-Up

Snooker Cue

    Players in any sport benefit from serious practice and snooker is no exception.

So set aside some of your normal practice time to work through the routines within this section and your all-round game should improve. You might even be able to speed this process up by making these routines competitive. Find a willing opponent of a similar standard to yourself and have five attempts each - the winner being the one who makes the highest aggregate score.

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Line-up has been a favourite of snooker players for generations, and being a practice routine there are obviously no set rules. You may adapt it in any way you choose but to make it effective there is one golden rule that you should always obey.

This is simply that when you miss a pot you reset the table and start again.

The table set for the Line-Up practice routine The diagram to the left shows how the table should be set.

The reds can be placed as you wish, but don't place them too close together or too far apart. For the first stroke you may place the cue-ball where you please, after that - then as in snooker it is played from where it comes to rest.

The object of course is to clear the table, 15 reds, 15 colours, and yellow through to black.

Although less skillful players are unlikely to clear the table they should still practice this routine seriously. Breaks in the 30's, 40's and 50's will be found much easier to make than in a normal frame because the balls are all out in the open.

Regular practice will improve your break building and this extra confidence will carry over to your competitive play.

More experienced players can make this routine more challenging by considering it a foul (and so having to start again) when the cue-ball contacts a cushion.

To really test your cue-ball control try to pot the reds in sequence.

A quick version of the Line-Up practice routine
Another version of this routine is played with only five reds and is quicker to set up.

The less skillful player has more opportunities to clear the table and will more frequently have to play the shot that leaves position on the yellow - often one of the most useful strokes in the game.

More experienced players can add to the value of this routine by trying to pot the reds in sequence - each with a black.

If then successfully continuing to pot yellow through to pink, the table should be reset before the black is played so the break can continue.

A more difficult version of the Line-Up practice routine
Former World Professional Billiards Champion Rex Williams recommended this form of the routine in his "Snooker - How to Become a Champion" (pub. 1975.)

Though far harder than those shown above it is well worth your time and study.

The reds must be taken in sequence as potting one makes the next available, so position on the black must be thought about and played for carefully.

Practicing this difficult routine will be of enormous benefit to your break building in this very important area of the table.

Snooker Cue