Watching pool on TV is one thing and playing it in real time on your very own pool table is a different thing. And one of the first things that you have to learn if you wish to play pool at your home, office, or anywhere, on your own, is racking up the 9-ball pool table.
Do you know how to set up a pool table diamond/rack? If the answer is no, then don’t need to worry about it.
By the end of reading this article, you’ll have a clear idea about the standard setup of a 9-ball pool game and the best arrangement for a 9-ball rack such that you get the advantage over your opponent.
But before that, we need to learn how many balls are used in a 9-ball pool so at the time I’m showing you how to get them, you don’t have any ambiguity.
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There are a total of 10 balls used in the 9-ball pool, nine of them are object balls while one of them is a cue ball. There are no colored balls, or categories like stripe and solid.
In fact, each of the players is supposed to hit the lowest numbered ball and win some points over it.
Just like 8-ball pool balls, 9-ball pool balls are also set up in a rack of diamond shape, such that the balls are also in diamond fashion when you put them off the rack after setting them. This diamond rack is 6.75” | 17.15 cm by 10“ | 25.51 cm in dimensions.
So, with that being said, it’s time to learn how to rack 9-ball as per the rules of the game.
Good thing about 9-ball racking is you have the freedom to place any numbered ball anywhere, except for the 9th ball and 1 ball.
The “1” ball is placed at the top of the rack or bottom, often known as apex, while the 9-ball goes in the center.
As you can see in the image above, there are five rows, but the balls in each are different from 8-ball pool setup.
At the top and bottom row, we have only one ball each. While in the second and fourth row, we have two balls each. And in the middle row, i.e. fifth row, we have three balls including 9-ball in the middle.
But before you start putting the balls in the rack, you need to figure out where you keep the rack on a 9-ball pool table.
You can’t place a rack at any random position.
In professional billiards, there’s a standard place for placing this rack on your table. You’ll find a black and white dot at the end of the pool table.
At this spot, you position your rack in such a way that the top of the rack, or in other words itx apex, is covering the dot just like in the figure below.
Once you have found this spot, then your next move is to start filling the balls in it. Make sure that your rack is straight, not bent towards any direction. Furthermore, the distance between its both ends is equal from the ends of the table.
Now, you’ll start putting the balls in it. The first ball will be the “1” ball that you will place at the apex – either from the top or bottom. After that, you have the freedom to place any ball except for the 9-ball anywhere in the rack, because 9-ball goes in the middle.
Also, make sure you are following the right sequence. Number of balls in each row should not be less than or more than as shown in the sequence 9-ball rack template (in the first heading) above.
Make sure that there is no gap between the balls.
In order to determine that all the balls are tightly packed, you can gently push the rack forward or backward so if there’s any gap left, the balls will bump against each other and you’ll learn about it. If not, you are good to go.
But wait a minute. Since there are no restrictions in setting the corner balls in a specific order, don’t you think you can use this rule to leverage your game on the pool table? Of course, there’s a way to rack a 9-ball pool game to your advantage.
So, without further delay, let’s discover the secret!
Some people consider it unethical to rack the balls in some specific sequence so you get an advantage. On the other hand, some believe it’s well within the rules of the game.
People have developed their own ways for racking their 9-ball table to their advantage, so there’s no one secret. You might come across many of them. I’m going to share a sequence that I have learnt.
To spread the balls up and down the table so your opponent find it difficult to hit the object ball, you can use this sequence:
On the internet, and among other players, you’ll find more of such 9-ball racking techniques for your advantage. But the thing is, at the end of the day, your overall skills matter.
No secret can guarantee you win over your opponent in the very first shot. And there’s no assurance that by applying any secret you’ll always end up on the winning side.
How do you rack pool balls?
Pool balls are racked in a triangular or diamond shape rack, depending on the type of pool game you are playing — 8-ball or 9-ball.
What ball goes on the dot in the 9-ball pool?
Any ball, except for the 9-ball, can be placed on the dot.
Knowing how to rack the 9-ball pool game is one of the essential things to learn before you get started. And learning it to do in such a way that you get an advantage while breaking, is also a noteworthy thing. With above mentioned 9- ball rack rules and secrets, now you’d be able to set up your 9-ball pool game in the right way.