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How To Rack a Snooker Game?

Snooker might be your favourite game. You might binge the whole night watching it on TV.

But have you given some attention to trivial details like racking of the balls on the snooker table?

Many amateurs when starting to play snooker don’t know the correct order to rack snooker balls, and some not even how many balls are there in a set of snooker.

So, if you have one of such questions in your mind, today, I’m going to answer them here. By the end of this article, you’ll know all about the arrangement of snooker balls on the table during the start of the play and how we organize them.

But first, let’s see how many balls we have on the snooker table.

Total Number of Balls on a Snooker Table

There are a total of 22 balls that are used on the snooker table. Talking about international and standard snooker gameplay. Fifteen of those are red, while six of them are colored balls including yellow, green, brown, yellow, blue, pink, and black — one each.

And of course, there is a cue ball of white color which players use to hit the other balls.

To arrange the red balls on the table before the start of the play, we use a triangle shape rack. While the colored balls are spotted to their positions with hands.

The Correct Order to Setup Balls on a Snooker Table

To set up the snooker table before the start of the play:

  • We put all the red balls in a triangular fashion, packed against each other in a triangular object called a rack.
  • Then comes the black ball’s turn, which is placed on a spot 32.5 cm from the top cushion.
  • Pink ball is placed ahead of the red ball triangle, but it doesn’t touch any of the red balls.
  • The blue ball goes in the middle, right adjacent to the side pockets.
  • While at the line, a green ball is placed just at the point where the “D” meets the line on the left.
  • The brown ball sits in the middle of that line.
  • The yellow ball is placed where the D meets the line on its right.

If you are still unable to imagine the correct order to rack snooker balls, let’s have a look at the illustration below.

However, you’ve got to be careful while setting up your table. If you do it the wrong way, you can end up damaging your table cloth or might not be able to set up the whole thing in a neat manner.

Precautions to Take While Racking Red Balls On A Snooker Game

Normally, colored balls are placed on their respective spots without any such trouble. But racking is often the thing to watch out for. Many people are doing it the wrong way. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are racking the red balls:

  • Don’t drop the balls after placing the triangular rack on the table.
  • Instead form a triangle with balls with your forearms, and then put the rack over them.
  • If you drop the balls in a triangular rack, you may end up creating dimples on your precious table cloth.
  • If your triangle is a little too behind the pink ball, gently lift the back of the triangle a little off the cloth and push it forward. If you drag it with hands without lifting it, once again it can damage the cloth.
  • Even if there’s a little gap between the reds, it’s ok. There is no such rule that all reds shouldn’t even have a tiniest of space between them.
  • The thing is, once they are racked properly, don’t fidget with their arrangements.

The same is true for other forms of billiards. Whether you are playing snooker or pool, dropping the balls in the rack isn’t a good practice and always leaves dimples on your table.

So whether these are red balls or colored balls, make sure you organize them with your forearms and then put the triangular rack over them. And only then move them around on the table wherever you are supposed to place them.

What Causes a Re-Rack in Snooker

Racking can occur multiple times in a snooker game. It’s not just something concerned with the start of the game. But often, the whole game has to be re-racked, so it’s important that one must know how to rack or re rack the snooker table.

Beside the start of the game, re-racking takes place when the referee feels the game has reached a stalemate situation. And there’s no chance for any of the two players to win the game.

In such instances, the game is restarted and the table is re-racked.


If you are a pool or snooker enthusiast, you can’t get away from learning to rack. Racking is one of the important parts of the billiard game. Be they colored balls or red ones, you’ve got to learn it. Hopefully, after reading the above mentioned steps and precautions, now you know how you can arrange/rack snooker balls and what are the mistakes to avoid to prevent any damage to your cloth.

About Maryam Shaw

Hello Everyone! I am Maryam, the reason behind creating this website is to help people with the detailed information and reviews about sports products