Question: How Many Pool Cues Do You Really Need?

  • Post last modified:February 23, 2023

If you’re just starting out playing pool, you may be fine with one cue, but if you’ve been playing pool for a while, or you’re taking your game seriously, it’s time to invest in high-quality, additional cues.

Having multiple pool cues is extremely useful, especially if you play pool a lot and wanted to take your game to the next level.

So, how many pool cues do you really need? The simple answer is you need at least two to three pool cues! A good idea is to pick up a cue specifically for playing, for breaking, and a pool cue that you can use for jumping.

If you’re the type who likes to pack light, you may opt for a jump/break cue combo instead. If you want to take a step further, getting an extra shaft for your playing cue for emergency purposes is ideal.

Honestly, it’s all personal preference, we’ve seen players who played with just one cue and they were really good at playing. And there are also some who love to bring a handful of cues.

Like most of us who play just for fun, a playing cue and a jump/break cue would be ideal. But if you’re trying to become a pro and wanted to earn money from playing, we would suggest getting a dedicated jump cue alongside your playing and break cue.

But of course, there’s no stopping you to buy more pool cues for your collection. After all, they also look great on our own pool table.

Lastly, if you’re thinking of getting your own pool cues. Here are some of our guides in choosing playing cues, break cues, and jump cues.

What are the Differences between Playing, Break, and Jump Cues?

a dedicated jump cue

Just in case you didn’t know anything about them (which is actually false right?), we’re going to state the differences between these three important cues. Here’s a quick refresher:

Playing cues are your main weapon of choice and these should be the ones you play with consistently.

You can use them as your only cue, can be your break cue and jump cue as well, (if you have a two-piece cue, just remove its butt to shorten it).

These three types of cues can have a one-piece, two-piece, or even three-piece construction.

Their shaft can also be a high-deflection (cheaper) or a low-deflection (more expensive). You can also chalk break and jump cues.

A lot of playing cues come with soft tips as opposed to hard tips found in most break and jump cues.

Break cues are generally heavier and thicker than playing and jump cues, that is because they need that extra weight to transfer the maximum amount of energy to the cue ball for extra bang.

While jump cues are designed to be lightweight and have hard tips, thus making them easier to get lift and the less force you will need to perform a jump.

Can I Use my Playing Cue for Breaking?

Absolutely! Some players prefer to use their playing cue for breaking, mostly because of the familiarity factor.

Although using your playing cue for breaking can have its drawbacks in that it might not have enough power to break the balls cleanly, and it can also be damaged if you break too hard.

These disadvantages are quite common if you have a soft leather tip.

Soft tips transfer energy much slower than hard tips, thus resulting in less powerful breaks. Also, getting a dedicated jump or jump/break cue significantly reduces the wear and tear of your playing cue shaft and tip.

Thus, using your break cue for breaking has its advantages and disadvantages. For more information, please see our “Do I really need a break cue?” blog post.

Cue Cases

So now that you have multiple cues and traveling a lot with them, having a pool cue case is a must!

A cue case can safely store your beloved cues and protects them against minor damages while traveling.

There are a lot of sizes and styles that are available today. The most common case sizes are 1×1, 2×2, and 3×6.

When it comes to styles, the most popular choices among players are hard, soft, and box cases. If you only have one cue as of the moment, a 1×1 hard cue case like the Casemaster is a good choice,

But if you want to future-proof your purchase, you may get a case that can carry multiple pool cues like the Lucasi Brown Leatherette Soft Pool Cue Case or a Lucasi Tournament Pro 4×8 Pool Cue Case.