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I'm a freelance writer doing a little research for a project and came across this page while searching for information on some of the common "problems" with the house cues found in bars, etc. (Are they generally warped or unbalanced? Are the tips too worn down?) I know it's kind of an odd question and I don't need a great deal of information - just a few points. I'd really appreciate any insights anyone cared to offer. This is all for background only. I need the info to fill in holes in my own understanding. I'm sure there's a world of difference between a custom cue and the average beat-up stick hanging in my neighborhood bar, but I don't know enough to know what those differences are.
Thanks for any help you can provide.
04-09-2002, 02:00 PM
They are usually shaped like a banana though not near as symetrical.
The tips are usually loose, mishapen, askew, hard or all 4. (Trying to see a shot over an askewed tip is impossible).
The shafts have more bangs (not dings) in them than Madonna or Cher if you prefer. They are sticky and dirty 90% of the time making a smooth stroke difficult.
They are not properly balanced and not likely to be the weight you want.
They do not permit consistency.
Would you use a random bat for baseball or a random tennis racket or a random driver for golf?
I think not!
Cara...Retardo's answer shows that he has little experience with many house cues. As someone who travels all over the country, and plays under any and all conditions, I can tell you that conditions of house cues vary as much as table conditions...from perfectly maintained to atrocious. Generally speaking, house cues will feel butt heavy, where a 'custom' cue will be better balanced. Whether a house cue is warped or not, really doesn't matter to a real player (I teach how to turn the cue in your hand, so that the warp is going up and down, rather than side to side). They look exclusively at the tip condition. The conditions that make a tip difficult to unplayable include, but are not limited to: mushy (this is the worst, as the tip has broken down...it needs to be somewhat hard to impart any kind of accurate stroke on the cueball), too worn (this makes it easy to miscue), too flat (round hits round, flat does NOT hit round very well...although a player can still run out with this tip), cracked ferrule (this is common with the 'slip-on' types of tips that come already glued to a 'ferrule' that slide over the end of the cue, and is glued on). A tip being improperly appied (askew is how Retardo described it) is less common, but you do see it occasionally. It really depends on the character of the owner, as to the condition of the housecues. Even in a bar, I have seen house cues that were perfect, just because the owner cared a little. I have also seen poolhalls where the housecues were crap, but imo, that is more rare than common. Most of the upscale poolrooms now rent quality house cues, or even two piece cues, for a small rental fee, to their customers. To summarize...the tip is definitely the MOST important feature of any house cue...and a player will choose a cue off the wall based more on the condition of the tip, than anything else! Hope this helps your research! Email me for any more specific information (firstname.lastname@example.org).
phil in sofla
04-12-2002, 04:18 PM
I agree with anon. In bars, mainly, the tips are very worn, down to the nub, very flat and unsuitable for anything but a center ball hit (applying English using such a tip is a big problem). In pool halls per se, tips are much better, but like those in a bar, because of their constant use, they do have dings, and accummulate dirt, both of which inhibit smooth stroking somewhat (although maybe more a psychological issue than actually harming the stroke).
04-12-2002, 06:09 PM
Scott- She asked about the differences between a custom cue and "the average beat-up stick hanging around a bar" or something similar not the differences between a well maintained HC and a custom. There is no better stick to play with then a brand new dufferin one piece house stick.
I've played in NY NJ CT MD VA FL PA GA just in the last month and saw very few of them if any good house sticks at all. Sure you can hit it lucky and be there when an owner just put out new sticks but it is my experience that they go downhill fast and few owners care because the bangers dont either. I was in MIzeraks in FL a month after he opened and the HC's which were 2-piece MIZ'S were already so bad some people who stole them BROUGHT THEM BACK!!
04-13-2002, 08:18 AM
As the others stated, the tip is the most important criterion for choosing a house cue to use. You often see guys rolling a HC on the table to see if it's straight. I don't do that. I find the one with the best tip. Also if I know I'm going to be playing with a HC I carry a Cue Cube with me. It's a device for shaping and roughing a tip so it will hold chalk. The tips are usually so smooth and glassy they won't hold chalk.
Hope this helps,
hope you actually checked back here to see how folks responded.
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