Billiards chalk is one of the most important accessories in billiards. Billiards players apply chalk to the tip of the cue stick between every shot. This is done in order to increase the friction coefficient of the cue tip, which, in turn, prevents the slippage between the ball and the cue tip. As billiards chalk forms a good coating to avoid miscues, it offers players a secure feeling when attempting critical shots. Billiards chalk can provide the right friction, spin and grip – factors that contribute to a satisfactory playing experience.
During the late 1800s, carbonate of lime, better known as blackboard chalk, was used on the cue tips. The problem with blackboard chalk was that it made stains on the billiard fabric. Therefore some proprietary compounds having a silicate base are used for manufacturing billiards chalk nowadays. These ingredients include silica, aloxite, and color pigments. Carbonate of lime is not used anymore. These ingredients are mixed in the right proportion and converted to round or square cakes using a hydraulic press that can apply a pressure of 15 tons. After this process, the cakes are placed on racks to dry. Compared to softer pieces, harder chalks function better.
Billiards chalk is usually green in color. Now this is available in a variety of colors including brown, charcoal, purple, plum, navy, copper, and in colors to match the pool table felt. Only a thin sheet of chalk should remain on the cue tip when applied.
There are many popular brands of billiards chalk available on the market. The features of this chalk differ greatly from brand to brand. A problem with low-quality chalk is that it can have an adverse effect on both cue tips and hands, if used continuously. High humidity might damage the billiards chalk and make it less effective.