There are several basic kinds of hand bridges that are used on the table, depending on where the cue ball is setting and the direction you want to shoot it. Here are some options:
Closed bridge - the index finger is curled over the stick and firmly touches the side of the thumb. The cue slides through the space and over the thumb.
Open bridge - the hand is flattened on the table into a slight tent. The thumb is pressed close to the index finger knuckle. The cue slides over the groove.
Under rail bridge – the cue rides on the rail, with the bridge hand coming underneath the stick. The thumb and index finger are on each side of the shaft, guiding the path. The wrist is underneath the stick and curved to the edge of the pool table.
Over rail bridge – the cue rides on the rail, with the index finder laying over the top of the shaft, with the second finger guiding the path.
Tall bridge – when shooting over a ball, the hand bridge rests on the first three fingers of the bridge hand.
How the fingers are spread and arched are individual preferences. The primary purpose is to ensure that the cue shaft will slide easily back and forth and under good control without slipping to the side. When you are unable to comfortably reach the cue ball, switch to a mechanical bridge.
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