How To Rack Pool
You are about to learn how to rack pool balls in a typical "Eight Ball" billiards game, with guidelines directly from the Billiard Congress of America. The BCA began in 1948 as a way to organize pool as a sport, with official standardized rules and tournaments for players to compete and gain recognition. The BCA has kept the ball rolling for the game of pool ever since - but before you do - learn how to rack pool balls properly.
To rack pool balls, you will need:
- Pool table
- Complete 15-ball set
- Triangle-shaped rack
- Identifying the balls. In a regular pool game of "Eight Ball", you will use sixteen balls, one white ball, known as the cue ball, used to shoot into the others. The other 15 pool balls will be contained in the rack triangle. The black ball, which is the last one allowed to be shot into a pocket to win, is known as the "8 Ball", and is numbered as such. The other 14 pool balls within the rack are known as "object balls" - seven striped and seven solid balls.
- The correct order. Rack the pool balls with the racking triangle pointed straight up. There will be a total of five rows of balls inside the rack. The number one ball, known as the "apex ball", is positioned directly at the top. The second row of pool balls will now consist of any striped ball, then any solid ball. The Third row will start with a solid ball, then the 8 ball and any striped ball. The forth row should consist of: stripe, solid, stripe, solid. The fifth and last row of the rack will have a solid pool ball, two stripe balls, one solid and one stripe ball.
- Before the break. When standing behind the back rail of the pool table you will notice a set of three parallel markings on the right and left side of the pool table. The rack should be positioned with the top "apex ball" resting in the center of the middle pair of markings. You will also need the pool balls in the rack to be pressed tightly together. You can accomplish this by gently rolling the rack up and down, then slowly lift the bottom of the rack up and off of the pool balls.
The objective for racking pool balls properly is to give equal opportunity to sinking solid or stripe balls on the break. Otherwise, if there were all striped balls on one side of the rack for example, the player who is breaking the racked balls may have an unfair advantage to sink several stripes at one time. So whether it is for fun, or for tournament preparation - practice racking your pool games correctly.