What is a Sneaky Pete Pool Cue?

Photo of author
Written By Justin

Justin is the owner of and sole contributor to Billiard Beast.

If you’ve spent any time at all in a pool hall you’ve probably heard the term Sneaky Pete. The name alone invokes the sense of secrecy and deception. And rightfully so. Sneaky Pete pool cues, also known as sleeper cues, or hustler cues, are the perfect tool for the pool shark in disguise. But what exactly is a Sneaky Pete pool cue?

In short, a Sneaky Pete pool cue is a cue that is designed to look like a traditional house cue while playing like a custom cue. In fact, every aspect of a traditional Sneaky Pete cue is custom except for the looks.

That’s the short answer. If you’d like to know more about Sneaky Pete pool cues, including their origin, keep reading to learn more. We’re going to share with you everything you need to know about Sneaky Pete pool cues as well as the legend of Sneaky Pete himself.

Who Is Sneaky Pete?

Sneaky Pete, whose real name was Peter Anthony Crisafi, was an accomplished pool player. He was born in New York in the year of 1919. Story has it that Sneaky Pete would travel around playing pool for money. He did this because because he was too lazy to work hard and was no good at playing cards.

In order to consistently play at his best, Sneaky Pete stole his favorite house cue from Flambonis in New York. He then had this cue cut in half and modified so he could screw the two pieces together and sneak it into pool halls. Because he was playing with his favorite cue, and not any ol’ house cue, this gave him an advantage over his opponents.

Unfair? Yes. Clever? Absolutely.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much information available on Sneaky Pete himself. However, his legend lives on as Sneaky Pete pool cues are still wildly popular today even though they’re not typically used in the same fashion as Sneaky Pete.

Evolution of Sneaky Pete Pool Cues

As mentioned, Sneaky Pete cues were designed to give the user an unfair advantage over his opponents. By using a cue that he was used to, he had a better chance of winning against those who had to take a random house cue off the rack.

Today, however, Sneaky Pete cues aren’t used in the same fashion. And what once started as a crude 2 piece cue, has now evolved into a category of cues all of its own.

The Sneaky Pete pool cues of decades ago was nothing more than a house cue cut in half and modified in order to be put back together. Today, Sneaky Pete cues are far from modified house cues. The Sneaky Pete cues of today are high performance cues that are traditional in their appearance, but modern in their playability.

Sneaky Pete cues today can be bought in a variety of different woods, components, and designs. Because Sneaky Pete cues aren’t used to deceive opponents anymore, cue makers have taken the liberty to update them to fit the needs of modern pool players.

With that being said, wood to wood joints aren’t a must, exotic woods are often used, and some cue makers have even strayed away from the traditional style of the Sneaky Pete, adding colors to what used to be a wood grain finish. Its now not uncommon to see Sneaky Pete cues that are colorful and made out of woods such as Cocobolo, Zebra, and Rosewood. While some pool purists would rather not see such modern touches on a classic cue, the colors, designs, and enhanced playability is perfect for those who want a new spin on an old classic.

Benefits of Sneaky Pete Pool Cues

In the good ol’ days there were more “benefits” of using a Sneaky Pete cue than there are today. Back then, you could take an unfair advantage over your opponent by using a cue that you were used to while they didn’t have that option. Or, you could fool unsuspecting gamblers into thinking you were a novice because you were playing with a “house cue” and then show your true colors once there was some money on the table.

Think of it this way. If you were a hustler looking to win some quick money, who would you want to play against? Someone with a custom cue or someone playing with a house cue? Probably the person with the house cue, right? The thought is that someone playing with a house cue isn’t likely to be above the novice stage in terms of skill. Likewise, if you were a hustler, would you rather be seen playing with a custom cue, or would you rather try to blend in by playing with a “house cue”?

Old time pool sharks would likely take any advantage over their opponents that they could get. This would include playing with what seemed to be an ordinary house cue when in fact it was far from it.

Today, however, these benefits are non-existent as most players today are familiar with Sneaky Pete cues and can’t be fooled so easily. If you play with a Sneaky Pete pool cue today, chances are you’re doing it because you like the simplistic design of the cue. Other than the ability to play with a classic looking cue, there aren’t any real benefits to playing with a Sneaky Pete cue over any other custom cue on the market.

Examples of Sneaky Pete Cues

Lots of cue makers today have their own spin of the Sneaky Pete. Some have remained truer than others in terms of style and design, while others have updated the look a little bit to fit our era. In this section we’ll take a look at a few Sneaky Pete cues from different cue makers so you can see the difference for yourself.

Lucasi Custom Sneaky Pete

As you can see from the pics, this Lucasi cue is available in a traditional or modern color scheme. If you like the traditional design of a Sneaky Pete cue with just a bit of flair, this may be the cue for you. It features a near seamless wood to wood joint with a Uni-loc pin, a sleek wrapless handle that’s iconic to all Sneaky Pete cues, and an upgraded Tiger Everest tip.

The cue also comes equipped with Lucasi’s Custom Solid Core Low Deflection Shaft. Its available in weights between 18-21oz and comes backed with a lifetime warranty, even against warpage. All in all, this is great Sneaky Pete cue. It is a bit on the pricey side, however, and is geared more towards players past the novice stages. You can check out the traditional design here or click here to view the teal color scheme cue.


  • 58″ Length
  • 18oz-21oz Weight
  • 2 Piece Construction
  • Sleek Wrapless Handle
  • Wood to Wood Joint
  • Uni-Loc Pin
  • 12.75 Lucasi Custom Low Deflection Shaft
  • Upgraded Tiger Everest Tip
  • Pro Taper
  • Lifetime Warranty

Cuetec Recreational Sneaky Pete

Cuetec has been producing awesome cues since 1989. Their Sneaky Pete cues are no exception. This cue, as with all Cuetec cues, comes with their world famous composite coating that helps maintain straightness, prevent warping, and provide protection from dents, dings, and scratches.

The shaft is made from Grade A Plus North American Maple and features a 15 1/2″ Super Slim Taper, which is the longest pro taper of any production cue made today. This cue comes with a premium brown leather tip and features a design that stays true to the traditional Sneaky Pete cue. Definitely check out this Sneaky Pete cue by Cuetec if you favor the traditional design of a Sneaky Pete cue at an affordable price.


  • 58″ Length
  • 18-210z Weight
  • 2 Piece Construction
  • Wrapless Handle
  • 15 1/2″ Super Slim Taper
  • Traditional Sneaky Pete Design
  • Protective Composite Coating
  • Grade A Plus North American Maple Shaft
  • Budget Friendly

Players S-PSPR Sneaky Pete

This Sneaky Pete pool cue by Players is by far more traditional in its design than the other two mentioned above. This cue is a true representation of what an original Sneaky Pete cue was to look like. However, the looks is where the comparison stops. If you want the style and design of a traditional Sneaky Pete with the playability of a modern cue, this may be the cue for you.

It’s equipped with a sleek wrapless handle and a wood to wood joint, topped off with a 13mm LePro leather tip. Its constructed of Rosewood and natural maple, adding to its resemblance of an original Sneaky Pete cue. Players cues are made from Grade A North American Hard Rock Maple and are turned and dried seven times during curing. They are then coated with Nelsonite. This process helps prevent warping and maintains shaft straightness. Click here to check out the Players Sneaky Pete cue for yourself!


  • 58″ Length
  • 18-21oz Weight
  • 2 Piece Construction
  • 15″ Pro Taper
  • High Impact Ferrule
  • Upgraded 13mm LePro Leather Tip
  • Grade A North American Hard Rock Maple Shaft
  • Nelsonite Protective Coating
  • Wood to Wood Joint
  • Lifetime Warranty

Should You Use a Sneaky Pete Pool Cue?

As mentioned throughout this post, Sneaky Pete pool cues today are really just custom cues made to look like a house cue. Call them Sneaky Petes, sleeper cues, or hustler cues, but the fact remains that they are just as custom as any other cue on the market.

Sneaky Pete users of today aren’t typically trying to take advantage of other players in the pool hall. They’re just regular guys or gals, like you and me, who prefer the simplistic looks of a house cue, with the functionality and playability of a modern day custom cue.

So, should you use a Sneaky Pete cue? Absolutely. That is, if you like a cue with a classic, simplistic design. All in all, Sneaky Pete cues are a great choice for a beginners first cue, or an advanced players main cue. Sneaky Petes are made for all skill levels from novice to professional alike. Take a look at one and see and feel for yourself the legend of Sneaky Pete himself.


I hope this article has helped shed some light on the legend of Sneaky Pete and given you some insight as to what a Sneaky Pete cue really is. I hope you’ll take the time to check out some Sneaky Pete cues for yourself. You may be surprised at just how easy a simple, traditional looking cue can become your favorite one to use. I hope you enjoyed this post. Thanks for reading!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In