# How to Arrange Racks on a Pool Table: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

So, do you want to play pool? Setting up the billiard ball rack the right way will help you play the game right and allow you to feel in control as the game begins. While assembling shelves is simple, there are a few rules and tricks to getting them right. Read on for information on how to properly stack a pool ball rack.

## Step

### Method 1 of 2: Assemble a Standard 8. Ball Game Rack

#### Step 1. Take the shelf and place it on the table

Sometimes referred to as a triangle, a shelf is a triangular frame used to stack balls tightly together.

#### Step 2. Start with ball 1 (yellow) at the front of the rack

This is also referred to as the "apex" portion of the shelf.

#### Step 3. Make sure the 8 ball is in the center of the rack

The center of the shelf is the middle of the third row (see picture).

#### Step 4. Make sure the balls in the bottom corner are a stripe ball and a solid ball

It doesn't matter which one, as long as you place one stripe and one solid.

#### Step 5. Place another ball at random

Make sure ball 1 is at the apex, ball 8 is in the center of the rack and both stripe and solid balls are in the bottom corner, then line up the other balls randomly. It's okay if solid meets solid, and stripe meets stripe.

• One of variant of this step in amateur games is to distinguish the edges of the shelves so that the pattern is stripe, solid, stripe, solid, and so on. This will result in both corner balls being equal, i.e. both stripe or both solid.
• Variant Another part of this step in amateur games is to sort the balls downward, from left to right according to their number. This will result in ball 1 being at the apex, 11 and 15 being in the bottom corner and ball 5 being in the position where ball 8 would normally be.

#### Step 6. Align the apex (first ball) with the diamonds on the sides of the pool table

The center of the first ball should be in the center of the table, at a quarter of its length. On some types of tables, this place is marked with a small dot.

#### Step 7. Make sure the balls are tightly packed together

A tight shelf makes it much better at breaks.

### Method 2 of 2: Assemble a Standard 9. Ball Game Rack

#### Step 1. If possible, get a diamond-shaped shelf for 9 balls

Because the racking technique in the 9 ball is different from the 8 ball, a different rack is preferred. The shape of a diamond is 1-2-3-2-1. A traditional triangular shelf can be used to arrange a rack of a 9 ball game, but it will result in a looser shelf.

#### Step 2. In all 9 ball variants, ball 1 is kept at the apex and ball 9 is at the centre

Ball 1 is always at the front of the rack and ball 9 is always right in the center.

#### Step 3. Place another ball randomly around balls 1 and 9

As in the game of 8 ball, the traditional rule states that the other balls are placed at random.

• One of variant 9 ball amateur is that the billiard balls are placed sequentially, downwards and from left to right, except for the 9 ball which remains in the center. If done correctly, ball 1 will be at the apex and ball 8 will be at the bottom.

## Tips

• Many still like to use ball 1 as the first ball, but this is not required.
• If you're having trouble keeping the balls tightly packed, try moving the balls to the desired point and then stopping quickly, so they stick together at the same time. Trying to move the triangle slowly doesn't always give you the results you want.
• Another racking arrangement that people use is to place a solid ball in one back corner and a stripe ball in the other, so the player taking the break has an equal chance of getting one of them.