Ronnie O’Sullivan’s Surprise Break Off: What it teaches you…

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s Surprise Break Off: What it teaches you…

So, you want to try a new break-off shot, because you’re bored with the conservative break-off and want to surprise your opponent, but not sure what to do?


In the Northern Ireland Open on Tuesday, five-times World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan showed us another alternative way you can break-off to start a frame.

It’s a useful shot to have in your knowledge base in the ways you can break-off from the break-off.

There’s loads of ways you can break off in snooker.

1) There’s the conservative break-off which is the traditional way of starting a frame of snooker.

2) There’s an attacking break-off which is a slight twist on the conservative one, where you strike the middle to second last red and the balls should open up a bit more. That’s an attacking safety.

3) There’s also slipping the cue ball between the blue and hitting the opposite red on the other side of the triangle and that’s not done often in professional snooker. It can be risky.

This is Ronnie’s one. WATCH NOW…

In Nic Barrow’s snookergym training, he goes through the ways to break off plus offers some useful tips for maximising your break-off shot.

The secret to a good break-off is getting that cue ball tight on the baulk cushion and making it as difficult for your opponent as possible.


So, what does Ronnie O’Sullivan’s break-off shot last night tell us in the bigger picture of snooker.

The break-off shot is one of the underrated shots in snooker and should be practiced as much as potting, break building, and safety.

It is in fact, the first safety shot you play on the table so it helps to get it right!

It also can become an interesting mind trick for your opponent.

Why not try mixing up your break-off shots a little and leave your opponent guessing what break-off you might do the next time it’s your turn to start the frame?

There are many ways you can play little mind tricks on your opponent without them even knowing.

The more you play with people, the more you will notice these little “tricks” in frames.

It’s also useful to watch as much TV pro snooker as you can and you can spot little “tricks” professionals are doing.


It does not just apply to the break-off!

Watch Nic’s part two of his break-off secrets below…

PS: Ronnie’s break off in the Northern Ireland Open also appears in John Virgo’s Trickshots DVD where he plays Alex Higgins in an exhibition frame.

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Chris Gaynor

Chris Gaynor is a writer with 10 years' experience writing for the web. He loves snooker, CSI and loves cycling off tiramisu!