FAQFAQSafeties in Pool and Billiards

... how to plan and execute defensive safety shots in pool.

Dr. Dave's answers to frequently-asked questions (FAQs), mostly from the AZB discussion forum

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For more information, see Chapter 5 (especially Section 5.06) in The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards, Vol. III of the Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots (VEPS), Vol. III of the Video Encyclopedia of Pool Practice (VEPP), and Vol. IV of the Video Encyclopedia of Nine-ball and Ten-ball (VENT).

 


30° rule examples

How can I use the 30° rule to help me plan safety and ball-in-hand shots?

This video from Vol. III of the Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots provides some examples:

For more information, see "VEPS GEMS - Part IV: Safety Play and Strategy" (BD, April, 2010).

 


"big ball" effect

Where should I leave the object ball when hiding the cue ball?

This video from Vol. III of the Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots addresses this question:

For more information, see "VEPS GEMS - Part IV: Safety Play and Strategy" (BD, April, 2010).

 


examples of safety shots

What are some good examples of typical safety shots?

Here are a good collection of example safety shots from the BU Summer School Boot Camp. And here are some video demonstrations:

For more information related to NV I.8, see "VENT – Part VII: Safety Play" (BD, April, 2018).

Many more safety-play examples can be found on Vol. IV of the Video Encyclopedia of Nine-ball and Ten-ball (VENT).

Here is a collection of great safety shots from an AZB thread by SE7EN using via Imgflip GIF Maker:

long hide long CB and OB hide

SVB_long CB and OB hideshort CB hide off cushion

long carom CB hideshort effective hide behind line of balls

after-collision masse hidelong stun CB hide

long delicate separation safeOB bank hide

stun long OB bank hidekick-and-stick off long rail

long natural CB hidelong bank with CB hide

long two-rail CB hideCB roll-up safety

OB two-rail bank hidekick-and-stick safe in corner

long cross-table CB hidethin-cut cross table CB hide

long CB hide off one railtwo-rail cross-table separation safe

stun forward CB hideshort two-rail CB hide

long four-rail CB hideroll forward safe

long thin-hit CB hidethin-hit OB hide

inside CB kill hidelong two-rail up-and-down table CB hide

OB hide in cornerdraw CB hide

thin CB hide across tableOB hide with CB off four rails

long CB hide up tableseparate CB and OB on same side

long stun to rail hideseparate CB and OB off four rails

CB hide off two rails in cornerroll CB off rail behind ball

long roll forward hidedraw off cushion CB hide

delicate roll forward separation saferoll forward off rail separation safe

stun CB behind ballCB stun off two rails

stun off rail for separation safeCB lock up off two rails

CB behind ball on rail off two railsCB ticky hide

long thin hidekick-and-stick safe off side rail

CB hide with distancelong separation safe

jump stop safelong CB off two rails safe

roll forward off rail hidestop behind ball with distance

kick-and-stick off side railhide CB off two rails with distance

 long thin-hit OB hideCB hide with distance off thin hit

draw off rail CB hidelong four-rail CB hide in corner

stun off cushion CB hidestun forward CB lock up

natural angle off two cushions hidethree-rail CB hide across table

long three-rail CB hidenatural angle CB hide over ball

kick-and-stick off side rail separation safetydraw off two rails intocorner

soft roll forward off cushion lock uproll forward off two rails lock up

thin off four railsdraw along end cushion hide

roll forward off side cushion CB hidefour-rail CB hide

thin safe across tablethree-rail CB hide

draw behind balltwo-rail lock-up safe

long thin three-rail CB hideroll up off rail lock-up

four-rail CB hide with distancetwo-rail separation safe

three-rail safe with distanceroll up along cushion lock-up

roll up along cushion lock-up 2elevated stun off cushion lock-up

roll forward off rail over ballOB hide with distance and bridge

CB roll forward off rail lock-uptwo_rails_CB hide up and down table

two-rail CB hide across tablestun forward lock-up

long one-rail CB hidetwo-rail CB hide

three-rail CB lock-upinside three-rail CB hide

thin four rails across tablelong thin OB hide

three-rail double hide


general advice and strategy

What should I consider when planning a safety shot?

Vol. III of the Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots, Vol. III of the Video Encyclopedia of Pool Practice (VEPP), Vol. III of the Video Encyclopedia of Eight Ball (VEEB), and Vol. IV of the Video Encyclopedia of Nine-ball and Ten-ball (VENT) dedicated to safety play and strategy.

Here's a useful safety challenge game and drill from VEPP-III:

For more information, see "VEPP - Part XIII: Safety and Carom Challenge Drills," (BD, April, 2013).

Here's another useful drill for practicing safeties, from Vol. III of the Billiard University (BU) Instructional video series:

When playing safeties, always try to come into the line of the blockers to help increase the effectiveness of the safety and the margin for error with speed. Here is an example from Vol. III of the Video Encyclopedia of Eight Ball (VEEB):

For more information, see: "VEEB - Part V: Coming Into the Line of Blockers" (BD, March, 2016).

It is also important to know what to do after getting ball in hand after a well-executed safety. Here are some examples from Vol. IV of the Video Encyclopedia of Nine-ball and Ten-ball (VENT):

 

For more information, see: "VENT – Part VIII: Ball-In-Hand Options" (BD, May, 2018).

 

from Neil:

 


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