Safeties Around the Rack

Demondrew

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
One of my friends was playing a game of straight pool with me the other day. When we got done I gave him some ideas about safeties around a fourteen and fifteen ball rack.

Here is a video of that session: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9bBuQSLu0E

I'm sure I missed mentioning some of the safeties around an undisturbed rack.

I would like to put together some shot diagrams of the safeties around the rack for the straight pool league I'm running. Most of the players in the league are barbox players wanting to improve their game by playing straight pool.

Please help me help them. Thanks.

Andy
 

stevekur1

The "COMMISH"
Silver Member
very nice post, and great ideas..... love how you pulled out the Crane 2 rail kick at the full rack....

i will put up some safety shots the next time i bring the camera to the pool hall.

Kudos to You
Steve
 

dr9ball

"Lock Doctor"
Silver Member
Thanks for posting DemonDrew, you brought out some very good points that are often overlooked.
 

Ratta

Hearing the balls.....
Silver Member
yay! hats off Demon:)

Very nice lil video! I hope many new or unexperienced players will watch this- it will help them a ton!

lg from overseas,

Ingo
 

akaTrigger

Hi!
Gold Member
Silver Member
Great video! I was just asking some friends at the pool room last weekend about these type of safes (no one could provide answers, lol). I wish I could hear better what you are saying... so I could figure out the english to put on some of the shots.

Thank you again!
 

Demondrew

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I had a new player to the league. He is a great barbox player but had never played 14.1. He had no idea about safeties so after his match I showed him these. The camera just happened to be running after his match.
Thanks for watching.

Andy
 

kaznj

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Nice video. If anyone gets a chance to visit with sjm in New York he does an excellent job of teaching these safeties.

Question for some of you straight pool experts. After the first safeties shown in the video, what is your response. Let's assume you are not playing a pro 100 ball runner. Maybe you are playing someone who can run a rack or 20 balls.
 

sfleinen

14.1 & One Pocket Addict
Gold Member
Silver Member
Now that thar is contributing to the boards!

I had a new player to the league. He is a great barbox player but had never played 14.1. He had no idea about safeties so after his match I showed him these. The camera just happened to be running after his match.
Thanks for watching.

Andy

Andy:

Rep sent -- great video. I echo Steve's sentiments about loving how you pulled off the Crane two-rail kick safe off the side of the rack, on the first demonstrative try!

These are the type of videos we need to see more of around these parts. Great stuff!

-Sean
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Nice video with a few good ideas for rank beginners, but, in truth, the only one of the safeties shown that puts real pressure on a strong opponent is the second ball from the front. The second ball safes from the back of the rack only apply pressure when there is already a loose ball from the rack.

Loosening one ball by hitting a front ball almost never wins a safety battle against a good opponent and the Crane safety is an unusually poor choice in most positions unless your opponent is on two fouls. The problem is that, although a threat or two may develop in the front of the rack, the back row stays pretty much undisturbed (and it did in the demo) and allows a back scratch response that is effective and after which noone has the edge in the safety battle. The only time the Crane safety produces a real problem for opponent is when they are on two fouls, as they cannot take a scratch without major penalty. I knew Irving Crane well and saw him play dozens of times. He rarely used this safety unless his opponent was on two. To be frank, anyone who would play the Crane safety from frozen to the back rail while on no scratches has little understanding of 14.1 percentages. Even if you don't have the two rail backscratch in your arsenal, you can just about take a foul to almost anywhere on the table and you'll shoot your next safe from an easier position 99% of the time.

Also, skimming the back of the rack is a last resort as it will often allow a simple second ball response, which might put you behind in the safety battle. You will very rarely gain by playing it. It is primarily a way of starting a safety battle on even footing.

Strong players are not trying to get a ball to a rail when they backscatch and the demo shows the danger. The objective in a backscratch is not covered.

Finally, the safeties off the corner ball from behind the rack are omitted, and are among the strongest safeties available. The safeties in which a corner ball is skimmed from the front are also not considered. Safety play applicable when the cue ball is in the center of the table but below the head spot is also not considered.

This video barely scratches the surface of the subject of 14.1 safety play with a tight rack, giving little insight into why to choose one safety over another and overstating the extent to which opponent will have a problem after some of the demonstaed safeties are played.

On the brighter side, however, this lesson lasted just a few minutes and, given its length, it's pretty good

To the original poster: You can PM me to learn more about this subject. I'd arrange a phone conversation with you if you are serious about putting some materials together.
 
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Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
the only one of the safeties shown that puts real pressure on a strong opponent is the second ball from the front. The second ball safes from the back are the rack only apply pressure when there is already a loose ball from the rack.

Stu- not sure I understand about second ball safes from the back. Are you talking about skimming the second ball in the back and resting the cue ball on the foot rail not being effective, as you mention later in your post? I would think second ball safes going directly into the back of the rack are good safes, no?

Thanks for some clarification!
 

dmgwalsh

Straight Pool Fanatic
Silver Member
Stu- not sure I understand about second ball safes from the back. Are you talking about skimming the second ball in the back and resting the cue ball on the foot rail not being effective, as you mention later in your post? I would think second ball safes going directly into the back of the rack are good safes, no?

Thanks for some clarification!

Dan: I am a tyro at this, but since I just had a two hour lesson with Stu at Derby, I will take a stab. I think he is talking about the regular second ball safety from behind the rack that pushes one ball out and leaves the cue ball frozen to the second ball. It does not put you ahead in the safety battle because there is a threat on only one side. It is only good when there is a loose ball already, on the other side. It starts the safety battle but is pretty neutral.

The end ball safety from the back of the rack, when you are in a good position to do it, is another animal. Typically balls get loose on both sides and so it is a multiple threat safety.

@demondrew: Andy-I'd suggest you give Stu a call if you are interested. Your safety game will go way up.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Dan: I am a tyro at this, but since I just had a two hour lesson with Stu at Derby, I will take a stab. I think he is talking about the regular second ball safety from behind the rack that pushes one ball out and leaves the cue ball frozen to the second ball. It does not put you ahead in the safety battle because there is a threat on only one side. It is only good when there is a loose ball already, on the other side. It starts the safety battle but is pretty neutral.

Yes, that's what I'm referring to when I mention second ball safes from behind the rack.
 

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think I remember Stu saying the corner safety from the back is a good one, but is often neglected. I know I didn't pick up on everything Stu was teaching at the time because I think my safety knowledge was even poorer than Stu knew, so he assumed I knew some things that I didn't. That's why these forums are so great. (I did, however, pick up on the overall concepts.)

Are we talking about the situation in the diagram below? You are saying cue ball A into the second ball will only move a ball on one side of the rack, while cue ball B, hitting the corner ball, will move balls on both sides? It doesn't look quite right from what I've diagrammed. If I recall you have to be careful that you can hide the cue ball up against the second ball in from the corner on option B.

Have I got this right? If so I'll have to play around with it some more because I didn't pick up on the nuance.

CueTable Help

 

krupa

The Dream Operator
Silver Member
Thanks for the video! I'm a rank amateur and this is a great place to start. I cannot wait to get home and practice these!

-matthew
 
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dmgwalsh

Straight Pool Fanatic
Silver Member
I think I remember Stu saying the corner safety from the back is a good one, but is often neglected. I know I didn't pick up on everything Stu was teaching at the time because I think my safety knowledge was even poorer than Stu knew, so he assumed I knew some things that I didn't. That's why these forums are so great. (I did, however, pick up on the overall concepts.)

Are we talking about the situation in the diagram below? You are saying cue ball A into the second ball will only move a ball on one side of the rack, while cue ball B, hitting the corner ball, will move balls on both sides? It doesn't look quite right from what I've diagrammed. If I recall you have to be careful that you can hide the cue ball up against the second ball in from the corner on option B.

Have I got this right? If so I'll have to play around with it some more because I didn't pick up on the nuance.

CueTable Help



I think that is right. The end ball (B) safety is better. It should send balls out on either side. I'll have to try it again but I think the 2 or 14 might leak out. That way the response of the incoming player becomes much more difficult because he has to guard against an open shot on each side and only has the rack to protect him.

As safety play progresses, one must guard against leaving an end ball safety opportunity, while being ok with leaving a second ball safety opportunity. The response to the second ball safety is easier because one side is open.

Of course, the second ball safety becomes stronger when there is an open ball. I think that was the situation in the World Championship safety battle you guys were talking about earlier in the other thread: http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=244280
I think in that one the player took the wrong second ball safety, sending a second ball out to the side which already had a threat when it would have been better to send a threat to the other side.

(p.s. STu- Was I listening properly?? ;))
 
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sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
I think that is right. The end ball (B) safety is better. It should send balls out on either side. I'll have to try it again but I think the 2 or 14 might leak out. That way the response of the incoming player becomes much more difficult because he has to guard against an open shot on each side and only has the rack to protect him.

As safety play progresses, one must guard against leaving an end ball safety opportunity, while being ok with leaving a second ball safety opportunity. The response to the second ball safety is easier because one side is open.

Of course, the second ball safety becomes stronger when there is an open ball. I think that was the situation in the World Championship safety battle you guys were talking about earlier. I think in that one the player took the wrong second ball safety, sending a second ball out to the side which already had a threat when it would have been better to send a threat to the other side.

(p.s. STu- Was I listening properly?? ;))

Yes, you were listening well.

To play the corner ball safety from behind, you need a straightish path into the corner ball and you'll need to practice it. Make sure the back row of the pack is frozen before you play it or you risk having a ball leak out from the back of the pack. From position B, it's, more or less, a stop shot into the ten ball. As noted, you'll create threats on multiple sides of the rack, which should always be the preference where possible.

The thread to which you refer can be viewed at http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=244280 and it gives a good feel for the value of creating threats on multiple sides of the rack.
 
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Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Dan: I am a tyro at this, but since I just had a two hour lesson with Stu at Derby, I will take a stab. I think he is talking about the regular second ball safety from behind the rack that pushes one ball out and leaves the cue ball frozen to the second ball. It does not put you ahead in the safety battle because there is a threat on only one side. It is only good when there is a loose ball already, on the other side. It starts the safety battle but is pretty neutral.

The end ball safety from the back of the rack, when you are in a good position to do it, is another animal. Typically balls get loose on both sides and so it is a multiple threat safety.

OK, Dennis and Stu. I played around with the second ball and corner ball safeties from behind the rack. I find that I get balls opening up on both sides of the rack either way. In fact, I was unable to get balls to move out on only one side of the rack with the second ball safety no matter what angle I tried. Am I understanding this right? Is this safety dependent on the table? Is the concept of "second ball safes move one side while corner ball safes move both sides" incorrect?

Thanks.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
OK, Dennis and Stu. I played around with the second ball and corner ball safeties from behind the rack. I find that I get balls opening up on both sides of the rack either way. In fact, I was unable to get balls to move out on only one side of the rack with the second ball safety no matter what angle I tried. Am I understanding this right? Is this safety dependent on the table? Is the concept of "second ball safes move one side while corner ball safes move both sides" incorrect?

Thanks.
All safeties are somewhat dependent on the table, or rather on the kiss points in the rack. Part of learning safes against the rack is finding out which are usually OK. I think most players go by experience rather than inspect each rack in detail. If the rack is disturbed I do try to check the kiss points to see if anything too funny might happen, like a ball popping out backwards.
 
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