The snooker cue is just a piece of wood; there are no magical cues out there that will improve your game, at least not at the time of writing. The truth is you get a cue and get used to it and practice with it as often as you can, so you know how to get that cue working for you. Any cue will do providing it has the basic requirements. Make sure it has a good tip and a metal ferrule at the top of the shaft to protect the tip, that’s it, after that it does not matter if it is a single piece cue or a 3/4 split etc. A cue costing World snooker championship £40 or up will fit the bill nicely. Having said that, if you want a smart looking expensive cue, be my guest, but it won’t perform any better than a £40 cue, it will just look a lot better. People still buy Rolex watches even though a Casio will tell the time just as well.
It’s worth noting some great snooker champions have used quite basic equipment, like John Spencer who had a nail in his cue to add extra weight, still became world champion with it and Stephen Hendry, the winner of most snooker titles, won them with a standard machine made cue.
The most important part of the cue is the tip, this is the business end where contact is made with the cue ball, and yet it is probably neglected by most club players. Make sure it is perfectly dome shaped with no flat spots or nicks in it. Replace it if not a good shape, with a tip from one of the leading makers like Brunswick or Tweeten. Experiment with different makes to see what suits you best; there are multi layered types now made from pig skin that have had good reports. Changing a tip is easy; you need a Stanley knife and some sandpaper, that’s all. You can also get tip clamps to get that perfect fit if you like, and I find superglue gel works the best to glue the tip on with.
After the tip, just make sure your cue is straight by placing the cue by your eye and rotating the cue in your fingers to check it is straight, the rolling it on the table routine is unreliable as the cut away on the butt can give misleading results. The other thing to consider, especially for snooker, is it is probably best to get a 3/4 cue so you can attach the extensions to make a long cue instead of relying on the long tackle that comes with the table and it is also a good idea to get a cue that can take a smart extender as that can come in really handy on occasions.