Bullseye Billiards

Using Sidespin: Swerve

This is the second of a 3-part series on using sidespin. When you shoot with sidespin, there are three elements that can affect your line of aim: squirt, swerve, and throw. These effects are more noticeable at longer distances and with faster stroke speeds. Due to the inconsistencies of using sidespin, only use sidespin when absolutely necessary!

Sidespin will cause the cue ball to curve on the table. The diagram below shows right spin causing the cue ball to swerve to the right — as seen from above.

Swerve can be increased with draw and an elevated cue stick. Make sure your cue stick is as level as possible to reduce the amount of swerve. Swerve changes the direction of the cue ball in the opposite direction of squirt and can often counteract the cue ball deflection for large distance shots.

There is no guaranteed system for compensating your aim for swerve, so the best method is to PRACTICE! Use the shots in Bullseye Billiards to systematically understand how swerve works for various tip contacts, stroke speeds, and your equipment.

For more information on swerve and aim compensation, visit Dr. Dave's Billiard Resources page.