How To Rack Pool Balls Like a Pro

A Rack is an equipment used in the pool table game to arrange the billiard balls, this marks the starting position of the game. Some racks are made of wood, plastic or metal. However, there are some traditional racks that are made in triangle form.
People have different ways of racking pool balls, depending on the game that is played but the most common one is the equilateral triangle which allows the player to set the balls regarding to the game he wants to play. However, a correct rack ensures the fairness of the game. Below are the methods for racking pool balls for eight ball, nine ball, straight ball, ten ball and snooker ball.


How To Rack Eight balls

In eight ball game 15 balls are used.

  1. Take the triangle rack and place it on the table.
  2. Take the yellow ball which is number one, place it at the apex (top) of the triangle.
  3. Make sure that the black 8 ball is in the middle of the rack, which is the middle of the triangle.
  4. The solid and a striped ball should be at the bottom corners each, any ball can do as long as it is solid and striped.
  5. If you place the number one at the top, and the black 8 ball at the middle, then both the solid and striped at the corners each, you can arrange the rest of the balls randomly.
  6. After you are done you can drag the triangle rack heading to the dot position on the table, make sure the yellow ball which is number one is over the dot position on the table.
  7. Make sure the rack is tight, the balls are tightly packed together. All balls should be close to each other before the split.
  8. If the rack is tightly packed you can take off the rack of the balls. After all that is done your 8 ball game is ready.


In unpaid 8 ball game, there are rules that are followed and the rack variant that is mostly used is as follows:

  • The outside end of the triangle must have a pattern of solid, stripe, solid, stripe, in that manner, amounting the two corner balls to be either both stripes or both solids.
  • At times balls are arranged in numeric manner from up of the triangle to the bottom and also from left to right, for instance, number 1 being on the foot spot , followed by number 2 then number 3 is on the second row and it goes on like that.
Racking pool Balls

How To Rack Nine balls

Triangle rack is mostly used on the 8 ball game, if its 9 ball game it is better for diamond shaped rack, the racking technique is so much different from that of 8 ball or still you can use the triangle rack but ensure you form the diamond shape when arranging the balls.

  • Step 1: in case you are using a diamond shaped rack, place the rack on the table, then place number 1 ball at the top of the rack while number 9 ball on the center. In case you are using triangle rack, just place number 1 ball at the top while number 9 ball at the middle.
  • Step 2: Arrange the balls randomly, arrange them in five rows so that a diamond shape can be formed, the first and last row is supposed to have one ball while the second and the fourth row will have two balls and finally the third row will have three balls and there you will have formed the diamond shape.
  • Step 3: Arrange the rack well so that one ball sits on top of the spot.
    There you have the nine ball game, arrange in a proper way then it will become natural to you, you can even do it when your eyes are closed.

How To Rack in Straight pool

15 balls are arranged in the rack which is in a triangular form.

  • Step 1: Place the rack on the pool table then place randomly all the 15 balls.
  • Step 2: Locate the rack at the right position so that the first ball is on the top of the foot spot.
  • Step 3: Put the empty rack on its location that is on the foot spot still on the table as soon as the 14 balls are on the pool table pockets to check whether the last ball falls within the rack, just in case the final ball does not fall in the rack, you can just rack the 14 balls only, this means the top position will be empty. In case the final ball lands on the rack make sure to include it. Practice this steps until the player gets to the number of points and wins the game.

How To Rack Ten balls

  • Step 1: Place the rack on the pool table and put ball number 1 and 10 in random order, the rack will have four rows.
  • Step 2: Drag the first ball on the first position of the rack and also drag the 10 ball in the middle area of the third row.
  • Step 3: Move the rack over the table, the first ball should sit on the foot spot.


How To Rack Snooker Balls

Snooker is played on large tables. It is played by 15 balls and each has it’s value
Step 1: Put all the reds balls inside the triangle.
Step 2: Move the triangle until it hits the pink spot. The pink ball should be at the nose of the triangle.
Step 3: Make sure there are no gaps between the red balls.
Step 4: Take off the rack away from the balls and drop the pink ball in it’s position. When lifting the rack ensure you don’t tear the cloth, you can always lift the rack up gently.


When arranging the balls in the rack ensure the balls are tightly packed, at times it can be hard packing a nine ball game or ten ball game, there are extra spaces that are left when arranging for this games, it requires you to do it proper and to put the balls in their proper position.