The overall quality of your rack is critical. If your rack is loose, the brake will be less tight and precise than you like. As a result, you may wind up with a break that sets up a series of straightforward shots for your opponent.

This is why experienced players and professionals usually insist on a tight rack. The harder it is for the individual to break, the tighter the rack. Essentially, the best defense against breaking is to ensure that the rack is as tight as possible.

Ball Racking for Straight Pool


Straight pool is a game in which players agree on a number of points before the game begins. Each ball sunk in a pocket on the pool table earns one point. Place the triangle rack on the table where the marker is to start a game of straight pool. Place the balls within the rack at random.


The order is irrelevant. Some players, however, like to place one ball on the foot over the marker, with the five balls in the back left corner. After the first fourteen balls are pocketed, the triangular rack is repositioned over the marker on the table.

The fifteenth ball is not re-racked if it is outside the rack. If it is still inside the rack, it is re-racked together with the other fourteen balls. Play and re-rack as necessary until the agreed-upon point total is reached.

Setting Up the Balls for Eight Ball

Most people are familiar with eight-ball pools since the eight ball—the black ball—is the last ball to be pocketed. Place one ball over the market on the pool table using the triangle rack.

In the other two corners of the triangle, place one solid ball and one striped ball. Except for the eight balls, the remaining balls are put at random. The eight ball should be positioned in the third row’s center.

Ball Racking for Nine Ball

The nine-ball pool table has a diamond-shaped rack with only balls numbered one through nine. Begin by putting one ball at the apex—the area above the marker on the pool table. Except for the nine balls, the other balls are all put at random.

The nine balls are placed in the center of the rack, in the third row. The goal of the nine balls is to be the last one to pocket them.

Ball Racking for Ten Ball

Ten ball pool is played with balls numbered one through ten. The goal is to be the last person to pocket the ten-ball. Use the triangular rack to rack the balls. On the pool table, place one ball at the apex over the marker. Fill in the other balls at random, making sure the ten balls is in the middle of the third row.

When setting up the game, place all fifteen balls in the rack to ensure a tight rack for ten balls. After you’ve removed the triangle, carefully remove the balls numbered eleven through fifteen from the table.

How to Maintain a Close or Tight Rack

It takes some practice to learn how to construct a tight rack. After you’ve racked the balls for the style of pool or billiard game you’re playing, carefully push the rack forward and backward while aligning up the apex ball above the pool table marker.

Slide your fingers under the triangle rack’s rear and press the balls forward. Slide your fingers over the bottom sides of the diamond rack while moving the balls forward for nine balls. Remove your fingers carefully after the balls appear tight and there are no gaps between them. Finally, carefully remove the rack from the pool table.

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