Below are some very good 9 ball safety drills... it is a “must to have” in your arsenal.  I guarantee you will win more 9 balls games if you can master these drills

All these can be found in


By Nick Varner
In Diagram 1, it is hard to pocket the 8 ball and go three rails for position on the 9 ball. One option is to play safe on the 8. You need to go rail first on the 8 ball to contact the 8 ball thinly. If you can skim the 8, it should end up along the end rail as shown. Your opponent is left with a near-impossible cut or risky bank shot.


By Tony Robles
For Exercise 1, start with the cue ball on the headstring and a diamond up on the short rail, and place the 7 ball barely a half-inch from the long rail, also on the headstring. The 8 and 9 balls are arranged by the first diamond to form a little pocket against the head rail. Experiment with how much left English is required to send the cue ball off the 7 and the bottom rail and hide it behind the 8 and 9. Hitting the head rail will really help tuck it in there. For the initial position diagrammed, two tips of left English (see inset diagram) should send the cue ball off on a wide enough angle. As you shift the positions of the 8 and 9 balls higher up the rail, you won’t need as much left-hand English.

One hint for executing the shot: It requires a softer hit than you think. My students always hit it at least five times too hard at first.

The point of the exercise is to burn these cue-ball paths into your mind, so you can get used to how the cue ball will behave with various degrees of English. That will help when the 8 and 9 are positioned along the top rail, and you have to think about the angle off the head rail required to reach those farther positions.

By Tony Robles
Exercise 2 is almost the mirror image of the first. Now we’re aiming for a thinner cut — about an eighth-ball hit — with two half-tips of right English, i.e., a full tip. (I make the distinction because “full tip” means something different to some people.) The right English widens the angle enough to achieve the first position at the top of the foot rail. As you move the 8 and 9 balls farther down the rail, you’ll require a steeper angle, and thus less right English.
As indicated in both of the diagrams, you can move the cue ball farther back to add an extra degree of difficulty and further explore the role of speed.

By Mark Wilson
Diagram 2 shows an example of a trio of safety concepts — distance, rails and barriers. Try to make the 1 ball hit the 7 full, this will keep the 1 on the rail while the cue ball heads downtable. The cue ball should naturally go three rails to find a hiding place behind the line of blocking balls in the middle of the table.

By Mark Wilson
As seen in Diagram 3, practice cutting across the 1 ball thick enough to send it to the center area of the opposite end rail, all the while hiding the cue ball behind the blocking balls. This requires practice, so work to develop the confidence of having a “feel” for such shots.