Racking The Billiard Balls Correctly


The frame that is used to set up the Billiard Balls at the beginning of a game is called a Rack. It is usually made of wood or plastic. It most commonly comes in the shape of a triangle and is sometimes simply called "triangles" by amateur shooters.
Eight Ball, Straight Pool, Bank Pool, Snooker and One-Pocket use the triangle shaped rack. While a diamond shaped rack is specifically made for the game of Nine Ball, most use the triangle shaped rack instead.
There is often great controversy over whether or not there is a proper way to rack the Billiard Balls for an Eight Ball game. The only method for the balls to be placed that is used by all is the placement of the Eight Ball for an 8-Ball game and the Nine Ball for the 9-Ball game. If you are a beginner, it is best to follow these simple methods so you can get the best break possible.
If you are racking the Billiard Balls for an Eight Ball game, set the Rack on the Pool Table and place the One Ball in the top corner away from you. Then place two balls beneath the One Ball, one of the striped balls and one of the solid balls. In the game of Eight Ball, fifteen object balls are used.
The Standardized rules of the game state that:
        The Eight Ball must be in the center of the Rack. For this placement, you would place the 8-ball as the second ball in the three balls wide row.
        1. The One Ball must be placed in the apex position. For this placement, the One Ball will be at the front of the Rack with its center directly over the foot spot of the Pool Table.
        3. You must use one stripe ball and one solid ball in the other two corner spots of the Rack. By using this pattern, you will have an equal chance of sinking a stripe ball or a solid ball on the break.
        5. Except for the Eight Ball, the other Billiard Balls are place at random, but in conformance with the preceding corner ball rule.
        7. To allow for the best break possible, the Billiard Balls should be pressed tightly together and without gaps.
Most often, amateurs Rack Eight Ball in the following way:
The outer edges of the triangle are Racked in the pattern of solid, stripe, solid, stripe, and so on which results in the two corner balls being either both solid or both stripe.
Some amateur players Rack the balls by placing the One Ball at the foot spot, and then placing the other Billiard Balls in numerical order from left to right. This always puts stripes, the 11 ball and 15 ball, in the other two corner places of the Rack.
Nine Ball is only played with 9 Billiard Balls so it has a different method of Racking. The balls are racked in the shape of a diamond. The One Ball must be placed at the upper point of the Rack and the nine ball is to be placed in the center of the Rack.
Most amateurs also place the Billiard Balls for the game of Nine Ball in numerical order except for the 9-Ball. However, the standardized rules of the game call for the other balls, except for the one ball and nine ball, to be placed at random.
Whether you are Racking for Eight Ball or for Nine Ball, it is very important to make it a "tight rack". You want to press the Billiard Balls tightly together to leave the least amount of space between the balls. You will also want to make sure that the middle of the One Ball is exactly over the foot spot, or "dot", of the Pool Table.
The best way to achieve this is by using all of your eight fingers, not including your thumbs, to push on the back row of the balls to force them tightly together. At the same time you will want to roll them so the one ball ends up over the foot spot. Racking the Biliard Balls in this way will allow you to make the best break possible by scattering the balls over the entire Pool Table.

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