Having shown you how to get the right stance, how to place your bridge the right distance from the cue ball, and how to grip the cue correctly, Anthony now shows you how to form the six main types of bridges. He covers the open bridge, closed bridge, rail bridge, extended rail bridge, tripod bridge and mechanical bridge. In episode five, Anthony will teach you how to get a consistent stroke.
Hello, I’m master instructor Anthony Beeler and today I wanna talk to you about the correct bridges. There are six different bridges: there’s the open bridge, closed bridge, the rail bridge, extended rail, tripod, and then the rake. And today I’m gonna show you the correct way to form those, so let’s go the table and see what they look like.
The first bridge I wanna talk about is the open bridge, and that’s the most commonly used bridge among professional players. The reason that professionals use it is because it allows for a clean line of aim. There’s no fingers obstructing the shot line. So what that looks like is this. You take your two middle fingers, and you tuck them, and then spread out your index finger and pinky finger. And then take your thumb and form a channel up by the top of your index finger. It will look something like this. And you can adjust the height of your bridge by raising your knuckles up or lowering them down or whatever. You can adjust the bridge height by doing that. This is what it looks like when you’re actually down on the shot. It serves as a nice guide for your cue as you’re shooting the shot.
The second most popular bridge is the closed bridge. It’s just a variation of the open bridge. Here, once again, we’re gonna create our channel just like we did before, but this time we’re taking our index finger, wrapping it around the shaft of the cue, and attaching it to the thumb. These three fingers are just spread out for stability. You also want to rest the palm of your hand against the table for added support. It’ll look something like this.
On shots where the cue ball isn’t located out in the middle of the table, you’ll want to implement a rail bridge. And the way that we do that, is you’ll place the cue on the shot line, take your middle finger and index finger and place the middle figner near the end of the rail and your index finger back towards the other side of the cushion. You’ll take your thumb and it’s going to be wrapped around close to the index finger. And that’s the way that the rail bridge is formed. You can see that it forms a nice, three-pronged channel for the cue to ride through. Here’s one prong, here’s the other, and then it’s also resting against the edge of the thumb for added support.
The next bridge I want to talk about is the extended rail bridge. You’ll use this bridge when the cue ball is frozen to the cushion, or almost frozen to it. And what I recommend for this bridge is you’ll place your cue stick on the shot line, and then just form your bridge around it. And then with the grip hand you’ll angle down to the cue ball slightly so that your cue is as level as possible.
Perhaps the most difficult bridge to form is the tripod bridge. In certain game situations, you may have an obstructing ball where you cannot form either an open or a closed bridge. You’ll have to learn how to bridge over the top of that ball to pocket the ball that you intend to make. And the way that you want to do that is to form a tripod bridge. Three points of pressure, you’ve got a point of pressure here with your middle finger and index finger, and then your fourth finger and then your pinky finger. Just kind of spread those out, form your “v” up in the air, and bridge over the top of the shot.
On some shots, you may not be able to reach the cue ball, like on this one. In this instance you can’t use an open or a closed bridge because the cue ball is too far away. Well, that’s when it’s time to break out the rake, or the mechanical bridge. You’ll place the mechanical bridge on the table, you’ll hold it in place with your left hand. Then you’ll place the shaft of your cue in one of the desired channels, place two fingers on the top, your thumb on the bottom, and your elbow should be pointed out so you can stroke squarely into the shot.
The purpose of the bridge is to guide the cue. Practice forming the different bridges, and also work on using the correct bridge for the correct shot. If you implement these correctly, I think it will enhance your ability to be more accurate on each and every shot.