The 8 ball pool game is one of the most popular bar games in the country. A constant centerpiece in most pubs and bars, the 8 ball game is less complicated than other types of pool games, and takes a shorter time to finish – perfect for just chilling out after work with a few beers at hand. For beginners in the game of 8 ball, one of the basic shots that you need to master is the safety shot. Here are the steps to performing a safety shot.
- Hit the object ball. Once the game has started, you need to determine your object ball. The object balls are those that you intend to rail or to pocket. Railing means that you will hit the object ball with your cue ball in such a way that it comes into contact with the rail or the edge of the pool table. Railing is considered a legal shot, which means that there were no fouls or violations that were committed in the shot. Pocketing, on the other hand, means that the object ball is shot into the pockets of the pool table. When done legally, this will usually constitute a point in your favor.
- Calling the safety shot. Once you have determined whether you will rail a ball in hopes that it will strike another object ball into a pocket, or simply directly pocket a ball through your cue, you will need to determine whether you will take a safety shot. To call a safety shot, you need to inform the other player verbally that you are performing a safety shot.
- Drive to the rail or pocket. Once you have vocally given the cue that you are performing a safety shot, proceed to driving the cue ball into the object ball. Whatever outcome happens to the object ball, you will not need to take another turn.
- Advantages of the safety shot. The safety shot is particularly important when playing cue sports that requires you to continuously drive object balls. This can be very dangerous for the game especially if the rules indicate that missed shots will end in a loss of points. With a safety shot, however, you will be able to hit one object ball and force the opponent to take the next turn.
- Strategizing with the safety shot. You can use the safety shot to strategize and improve your game. For instance, if the object balls are arranged in such a way that no object balls can be pocketed, it will be better for you to call a safety shot and simply rail the object ball without improving the positioning of the object balls. This means that your opponent will have to face the same difficult ball arrangement. Care needs to be taken when performing the safety shot as a strategy, however. Some pool games will only allow a limited number of safety shots, especially since it can be used to unnecessarily prolong the game or lead to a stalemate.
Once you have mastered the safety shot, you can move on to other types of shots. The safety shot is one of the most protective legal shots that you can turn to when you need to save your game.