Game plan for Safety Play

After deciding to play a safe, a lot of players have no idea of what to do next. Listed below are some of the criteria I use for executing a safety and hints for good safety play.


  1. Snooker or hide opponent so he cannot shoot directly at the object ball.
  2. Do not put the object ball near a pocket.
  3. If the situation dictates that you cannot hide or snooker the opponent. Leave him a bank shot; preferably long one or a short bank with a bad angle.
  4. On certain safeties leaving a long straight in shot will work.
  5. Leave the cue ball on the rail or cushion, this will cut down the area on the cue ball he can hit.
  6. Another good safety is to leave your opponent over a ball (jacked up), where he is forced to elevate the butt of the cue.


  1. Travel of the cue ball or the object ball should be kept to a minimum. If both balls are travelling long distances they are harder to control. I usually pick one or the other, if I choose a cue ball safety I will hit object ball thin (little movement) then try to place the cue ball in a safe position. If I choose an object ball safe I will stop or stun the cue ball (little movement)? shooting the object ball to a safe position.
  2. When shooting a soft safety where both balls are close together and will not travel far, use a very short stroke. Using a long stroke will make it difficult to stop the cue stick. Try this, using a long stroke, hit the cue ball and make it travel around?1 or 2 inches, very hard if not impossible to do. Now try the same shot with a very short stroke.

I cannot count the number of times I witnessed games being won with good safety. Defence is just as much a part of playing high-level pool as is running out. Armed with these criteria and hints I hope your safety play will improve.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *