The only cue sports I have good experience of are Snooker and British pool. For these cue sports one usually play with a 9mm tip. Even though American pool balls are slightly bigger and heavier than the balls used on British tables, I still think that I might struggle to get used to a 13mm tip (this seems by far the most common option when buying an American pool cue; other sizes like 12 or 11.75 mm are quite rare, so I presume they are not as common as the 13mm tips among players?). An American cue might feel very different from what I'm used to, almost like I'd be playing with a broomstick rather than a cue. Furthermore, I'm afraid that the amount of spin (or "English" if you prefer) that I can put on a ball with a 13mm tip is far less than what I could do with a snooker cue, thus increasing my sense of frustration.

Has anybody undergone a similar experience? Of if you have used a 13mm tip, are my fears not grounded at all?

2 Answers 2


I've been through exactly that experience. I expected to find it weird, but did not - proportionally, it's almost the same. In fact, what does feel strange is playing with a 9mm snooker cue, hitting US pool sized balls. It's easier (for me, anyway) to put unwanted side on the ball with a small tip.

Dr Dave Alciatore's page on cue tips gives more information than you could ever imagine.


My experience disagrees with @timseal's answer, for two reasons.

  1. Control: cue sports are all about cue ball control, and I feel that the snooker cue gives me far more control over its movement and in consequence of the table. This is perhaps because I come from a snooker background and am more "used to" micromanaging the exact spot on the cue ball that I want to strike. The much larger pool cue tip feels to me like a behemoth compared to the snooker tip.

  2. Deep screw: don't get me wrong, many pool players are able to perform a deep screw with a usual pool cue. However, I find that this requires far more effort with a large tip than with a snooker cue since you can keep the shaft much closer to the table while maintaining a parallel position. I was able to pull off close to jaw-dropping deep screws on a full-sized pool table that would have required a lot more effort with a pool cue.

  3. Laser view: one habit I developed playing snooker is the refined view you get when you align your shaft with the potting line. This creates a sort of "laser view" that you don't get with a huge pool cue as it does not allow to refine your line of aim.

Again, note that these are only my points of view and others might of course find that a pool cue is more adapted to the game and should be used as such. Experience should be your guide and the general rule of "whatever feels best for you" should be applied here.

Finally, I would like to note that Jimmy White famously refused to play pool with a pool cue, and always bought his snooker cue to pool tournaments. Think of this what you will.

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