Find a cue that has a comfortable weight. Too heavy and your arm will tire and less accurately wield the cue over time. Too light and you will not have the momentum of the cue helping to strike the Cue ball firmly. Many house cues are damaged or warped due to cheap materials and inconsiderate people using them. Examine the tip. Find one that is slightly domed in shape, not too worn down and is firmly attached to the ferrule (the white piece under the tip). Also insure that the ferrule is not loose. If any of these pieces are loose or improperly glued it will serve to absorb some of the energy that you want to transfer to the cue ball and you will not get a nice solid hit when striking the ball.
Chalk the cue tip before every shot. The Blue cube shaped chalk usually sitting around the edge of the table. Don't twist it onto the top of the cue, use more of a painting type motion. Remember, chalk the cue, don't cue the chalk!
Keep proper form. If you're right-handed, hold the thick end of the cue in your right hand. Find the spot where when holding the cue with your right hand palm up, the cue is evenly balanced. Then hold it about an inch behind that spot. There are many ways that people hold the front end of the cue for support. Yes there is a correct way, but in the beginning try to do what is comfortable for you. You will learn why there is a correct way over time. Hint: accuracy. The proper way is to make a circle with your left thumb and index finger. Put the cue through the circle and rest it on the top of your middle finger, behind the knuckle. Spread out your pinky, ring and middle finger tips to create a tripod like support. The ridge of your hand should be on the table and the thumb side of your hand should be lifted a bit higher. Now you have a stable support and the cue cannot go flying up left or right when you stroke the cue.
Get in the proper stance. Your left foot should be forward and your right foot back about 2 feet with your body slightly twisted to the left so it does not interfere with the cue stroke. Dont stand too close to the table, depending on the shot youre taking, lean into it a bit.
Practice your stroke and form without hitting any balls at first. Your stroke should be approximately 4 to 6 inches. Make sure that your right arm is swinging from the elbow down only with the part of your arm from your shoulder to your elbow parallel to the floor. Watch the cue as you stroke and avoid the See Saw effect. This happens when you drop your elbow during the stroke and will cause you to lose accuracy and hit the Cue ball in the wrong spot.
Focus on the proper hit. As a beginner, don't waste time trying to make the ball "follow" or "draw" after hitting the cue ball. Every little extra thing you try to do will adversely effect your accuracy. Just hit the cue in the middle. Before every single shot you should take 2 or 3 practice strokes and then follow through. If you want to get fancy, you can hit the cue slightly above center to make the cue ball follow the ball you just hit or slightly lower than center to make the cue ball stop or actually spin back toward you after hitting the ball. Hitting the cue to the left or ight of center is called " English " and will cause the object balls trajectory to be augmented in one direction or another. Not for beginners, stick to the center of the Cue Ball.
Imagine a ring around the center height of the balls. When you think of the point at which the cue ball and the object ball makes contact in a 2 dimensional way it will be easier for you to figure out the correct angles when trying to sink the ball. Also remember your cue ball will deflect off of the ball you just hit at approximately 90 degrees. Careful not to sink it as well. You want the white ball to stay up.
TipsDon't defeat yourself. This game is 11% skill and 89% mental. It happens all the time, someone makes a string of great shots and then messes up on the last one and loses. Imagine each shot as being equally as important.
Don't bet with strangers, no matter how badly they appear to play pool. These strangers may wait for you to bet it all and then pull out their skills. It is a common betting trick called hustling.
When making those side pocket bank shots.. Imagine another table exactly one table distance next to yours. Aim for the spot where its side pocket would be and it very often turn out to be the correct angle to bank your shot.
Be a considerate player. Dont harrass or distract your opponent. Respect the game.
For an accurate shot, imagine the ball you want to sink into the pocket (8 ball for example) and draw a mental image of the exact line from the pocket to the point on the ball at which it would require to be hit in order to go in that pocket. Remember that point. HERE IS THE REAL TRICK: That point at which you "drew" on the ball and the point at the end of your stick (the fat side) is the exact line you have to hit the ball at in order for it to go in. Focus aiming the end of your pool stick in a straight line towards that point on the ball. Go play.
WarningsBe careful wielding your Cue stick. You can poke someones eyes out.