View Full Version : Index Finger to Middle Finger vs. Thumb Loop

12-08-2002, 05:54 PM
Corey Deuel and others put the tip of their index finger on top of their middle finger to form the loop. This seems to be a relatively new style that is popular now. Park Slope Billiards owner A.C. recently took some lessons from Phil Capelle's buddy Friedman(?)and was told to use this way. The old school was to bring the tips of the index finger and thumb together.

I've tried the index finger to middle finger, but I have some trouble with it, although that might be because I have some tendon damage on my index finger, and I think I could get it if I practiced it more.

Once I get it in there, it feels good. It provides a very solid support but is not tight. I think the repeatability of that position is somewhat greater than the tip to thumb also; as the tip to thumb seems to be able to move around some depending on how you hold your table support fingers.

Whats up with this index finger tip to middle finger loop?

12-08-2002, 06:11 PM
Taiwanese world Champ Fong says that its more stable,but i find that i need to have my hand turned inward more then a thumb loop, takes some getting use to.
i dont shoot to well right handed with it.i have to practice it more, but i shoot just fine left handed with that setup.
I dont think it matters much most past champs and some damn good players i know use a thumb loop with no problem.

12-08-2002, 06:38 PM
i've always used the index finger loop. by alway, i mean starting in about the late 1950's. don't know why, really, nobody showed it to me. i've tried getting the thumb into the act a few times over the years on the advice of "experts" but it's not nearly as stable. either "spidered-up" or with the heel down on the table, i seem to have a lot more options on getting a good shooting platform with the thumb free.

i will admit that my fingers are fairly long and, especially now after many years of finger picking guitar, strong.

i don't have the index finger on the top of the middle finger, it's a little off to the side.

i am not sure i've ever run into anyone else with the same bridge in playing.


12-09-2002, 12:02 AM
I used that type of bridge a few years back. It takes some getting use to. I still prefer similar with the index finger just off center of the top of the middle finger and pinch a little skin between it and my thumb. It doesn't really matter there both solid.

12-09-2002, 01:59 AM
"This seems to be a relatively new style that is popular now"

It might seem to be new, but it really isn't. Ray Martin used this type of bridge, as did some of the other old style players. It is really a function of the way your fingers are built.

If you have long, thin and flexible fingers, then putting the index finger up onto the second finger helps to tighten the loop and add some extra rigidity to the bridge.

My fingers are long and flexible, and I make a closed bridge like Corey (and Bustamente etc.) and I did it naturally, without being shown.

If you have short, thick and somewhat less flexible fingers (as many players do) then the index tip to thumb tip bridge makes more sense.

I wouldn't recommend trying to force your fingers to do something that they are not suited for!

You make the best with what you have.


12-09-2002, 09:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nAz:</font><hr> Taiwanese world Champ Fong says that its more stable<hr /></blockquote>Are you talking about Fong Pang Chow(?) or whatever it is, or the Fong that plays at Platinum on Tuesdays that beat Corey Deuel at Mohegan Sun?

12-09-2002, 10:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TonyM:</font><hr>Ray Martin used this type of bridge, as did some of the other old style players.<hr /></blockquote>I didn't realize that, Tony. As a matter of fact, before I posted this I pulled out 99 Critical Shots and looked at the pictures in the first chapter of the way Ray shows to make the closed bridge, and he shows the thumb to index finger way.

Maybe he considers the index on middle finger a little more advanced or only suitable for those that have the fingers for it. Or maybe thats the way he did it when it wrote that book twenty-five years ago.(?)

12-09-2002, 10:07 AM
sorry Tom i meant Hsiao-lang Fang (plattinum)

Mike H
12-09-2002, 03:50 PM
I happen to like that bridge, although I had to modify it to be tight yet comfortable (my index finger is off to the inside of my middle finger, and is also placed one knuckle closer to the fingertip). It seems more stable once you're used to it. I know a few guys who've been to Todd Fleitman and swapped bridges after trying his way. If he's teaching it, it's worth taking stock in.....he spent time learning from Reyes, and is a 300 ball runner himself from what I understand.

12-10-2002, 12:43 AM
The book is deceiving. If you look at the pictures on page 9, you see the thumb and index finger method demonstrated.

But, if you look at the bottom picture on page 10, you'll see something different!

And check out the picture on page 23. It's clearly the index finger on top of the second finger bridge.


12-10-2002, 02:31 AM
Hi. I got a question about the bridges. I myself use also the thumb and index finger combo but lately I saw the World Pool Championships on TV. THey were in Cardiff I think or something like that. Anyway there were players from all over the world and I was suprised that almost all Europeans used the open bridge. No index no thumb. I havent seen alot of pool on TV so I dont know if open bridge is more popular than the closed one but I sure got the feeling watching the 9-ball champs. Oh and in Estonia I think Im one of the only players that use the closed bridge. Strange huh /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif
When I play someone new in my local pool-hall people always look strange at me...first because of the cue and then cuz of the glove and then cuz of the closed bridge. Yeah I know whut ur thinking now..and ur right..pool in Estonia isnt very popular yet /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif but no worries Im pushing the limit every day /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

ok later


12-10-2002, 09:15 AM
Hi Tom,

I've been using that bridge for many years. I think it became popular when some of the Filipino's came over and was using that style(might just be my personal experience). Around here, it has been popular for awhile. I'm surprised Amil never thought about going with that bridge before as alot of players on the TriState tour use it too.