Safeties 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 BD CCB and AZB discussion forums

maintained for the book: The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards,
the DVD series: The Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots (VEPS) and
The Video Encyclopedia of Pool Practice (VEPP), the Billiard University (BU),
and the monthly Billiards Digest "Illustrated Principles" instructional articles


for more information, see Chapter 5 (especially Section 5.06) in The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards,
Disc III of the Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots (VEPS) , and Disc III of the Video Encyclopedia of Pool Practice (VEPP)


30-degree rule examples

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

This video from Disc 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 Disc 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).


general advice

What should I consider when planning a safety shot?

Disc III of the Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots and Disc III of the Video Encyclopedia of Pool Practice (VEPP) are 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 Disc III of the Billiard University (BU) Instructional DVD series:

from Neil:


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