Spherically symmetric shock waves have been produced via Nd3+ laser induced break-down in helium, nitrogen and air at pressures ranging from 760 Torr to 2300 Torr. The measurements are performed at different absorbed laser energies (E0 = 0.05 J to 2 J) at the center of the experimental spherical glass cell where the breakdown of the gas takes place. The temporal evolution of the shock wave followed by a double-pulse, doublewavelength holographic technique is described hydrodynamically well by the point strong explosion theory. The ambient gas counterpressure plays a negligible role in determining the shock wave motion even at low laser energy absorption (E0 ≤, 0.5 J), whereas it has an appreciable effect on the gas density jump at the shock wave itself. The experimental data on temporal evolution of the density jump of the gas and the corresponding theoretical profiles obtained adopting a non-self-similar solution at the same laser absorbed energy are found to be in good mutual agreement.