How To Rack Pool Balls Like a Pro

The first lesson one needs before they can play pool is how to rack. Racking the balls is when you place all the balls on the pool table before starting the game. With regular practice you will learn the art of racking the balls in different styles depending on the pool game or billiards game being played and soon you will be doing it like a pro.

What is a Pool Rack?

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.

There are two universal poo rack configurations and they are: Triangle shaped and Diamond shaped racks. Both pool racks are used when playing pool and billiards as well. The rack you pick will depend with the game that you are playing.

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.

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

How To Rack Snooker
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.


How to Rack Tight

Getting a tight rack is a skill that comes with some racking practice over time. Once you rack the balls for the game of billiards or pool, you can continue and slide the rack carefully in a forward and backward motion as you line up the apex ball over the maker spot on the billiards table.

You will then slide your fingers at the back of the triangle rack then push the balls forward. If racking for the nine ball, you will slide your fingers at the bottom of the diamond rack as you move the balls forward. Once you see the balls are tight with zero gaps in between, remove your fingers carefully. Finally, remove the rack from the table slowly.

Best pool cue rack

We recommend this rack and pool ball triangle from Felson Billiard Supplies as the best triangle rack. It is made of  pure mahogany wood giving it a sturdy wood construction.

We love it because it I simple and classy and it improves the look of your game room. The fact that it maintains its color and texture after many uses earns it the best of the best tag.

If you are looking for a rack that will hold your balls tight for many days then look no more, Buy this rack today!


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.