Summary: Billiards Digest April, 2010
David Alciatore, PhD ("Dr. Dave") ILLUSTRATED PRINCIPLES
"VEPS GEMS - Part IV: Safety Play and Strategy"
Note: Supporting narrated video (NV) demonstrations, high-speed video (HSV) clips, and
technical proofs (TP), and all of my past articles, can be accessed and viewed online at
billiards.colostate.edu. The reference numbers used in the article help you locate the
resources on the website. If you have a slow or inconvenient Internet connection, you
might want to view the resources from a CD-ROM or DVD. Details can be found online
This is the fourth article based on the "The Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots (VEPS)," an
instructional DVD series I recently created with past BD columnist and good friend Tom Ross.
VEPS contains over 750 shot types within 50 main categories and 5 major areas. Many clips in
the series are also designated as "gems," indicating shots or concepts important to know as a
pool player, whether understood explicitly or in a more intuitive way. An outline of the entire
VEPS series, the complete list of shot types in each major area, the gem designations, and video
excerpts from each DVD can be viewed online at: dr-dave-billiards.com/veps. Last month we
looked at some gems from the second DVD: "VEPS II: English and Position Control." This
month, we'll look at selected gems from the third DVD: "VEPS III: Safety Play and Strategy."
Diagrams 1 and 2 illustrate how to use the 30º rule to plan strategic ball-in-hand shots. The
rule predicts that over a wide range of cut angles, between a 1/4-ball and 3/4-ball hit, the cue ball