Coaching: Perfecting the snooker break-off shot

By Snooker Jim •  Updated: 05/10/23 •  2 min read

Snooker break-off

You’re about to play a game, and you get the advantage of being able to break. But how do you make a snooker break-off count?

Essentially, because you have no pockets to aim towards for a break, it would be better to play a safety shot, and potentially put your opponent in trouble.

A safe shot would be better if you are not a confident player, or you want to give your opponent something to do in order to pot the ball. In this article, we look at a couple of snooker break-off techniques that you can implement in your game.

The Safety Shot

To do this shot, place the white in the middle of the D somewhere- typically between the yellow and the brown balls. This allows you to get onto the table comfortably and in a normal stance, without needing to lean on the cushion.

Aim for the back row of reds, but don’t put too much power onto it- you don’t want to disturb too many of the balls. The cue ball will then come down to the other end, leaving your opponent with a really difficult shot to keep control of the game.

Many professionals choose to do it as a figure-of-eight safety shot, which sees you use the cushions to hit the reds and bring the cue ball back down to the bottom of the table.

The figure of eight shot

To actually make the shot, aim for the middle of the cue ball, but slightly over to the right. Aim for the back row of reds again, and the cue ball should spin onto the back cushion and come back off the side cushion and behind from where you broke the ball.

The professionals choose this kind of shot because there is a large margin for error in coming back, so if you slightly under-hit it, you probably will be safe.

Looking for more advice? Check out our post on snooker practice drills to improve your break building.

Snooker Jim

Gone from a 6ft table in my dad's garage as a kid to a 9ft table at the office, with the full-size snooker club visits in between. Hoping one day to get the playing technique right.