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How To Rack Up Pool Balls

How To Rack Up Pool Balls

Learn how to rack up a pool table for a game of pub pool, as defined by the World 8 Ball Pool Federation Rules. Get the game off to the correct start by following official pool rules and regulations.

Step 1: You will need

  • A pool table
  • the cue ball
  • 7 red balls
  • 7 yellow balls
  • The eight ball
  • and a rack.

Step 2: The Table

The game of 8-ball pool is played on a regulation UK pool table. It is covered in a green baize with 6 pockets, 1 in each corner and 1 on each side equidistant from either end of the table. There are also a couple of markings on the table that you need to be aware of to play the game effectively, they are. The baulk line and The Spot. The Baulk line is the perpendicular line that crosses the entire width of the table at one end. The cue ball needs to placed behind this line for the break, it can also be put here when you are fouled if you choose to do so. The spot is where the eight ball needs to be placed to position the rack of balls before you start.

Step 3: Setting up the balls

Amazingly most people that play pool only have a vague idea about how the rack should be set up, and some have no idea at all.
The official rules state that the eight-ball should be positioned on the spot with the rest of the balls arranged in a triangular formation around it, with a ball of each colour in the two corners at the base of the triangle with the point of the triangle facing towards the baulk line. As long as you have done this the rest of the balls can be placed anywhere in the rack.
This said, there is a preferred method to do this, place the rack on the table pointing towards the baulk line. Starting from the right hand corner, place a yellow ball then continuing along the base to the left corner, place a red, a yellow, another yellow and a red. Above this red place a yellow ball then going back the other way, a red, a yellow and a red. Above this red place a yellow ball, next to that the eight-ball and next to that a red ball. Above this ball place a yellow ball and then a red next to that, which leaves the final red ball at the apex of the rack. You can of course do this the other way round but the general idea of this is to split up the balls so no one colour can gain an advantage on the break. To position the rack in the correct position, the best method is to remove the eight-ball and position the rack with the spot where the eight-ball should be and then replace it before carefully removing the rack to leave the balls in a perfect triangular formation.