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View Full Version : "Slug" 8-ball racks


Billy_Bob
05-10-2006, 09:02 AM
Up to now it has not been very important to me how my opponent racked, but this is changing. I now am at the point where I should be able to break and run sometimes if given a good rack.

Last night I played one person (8-ball), broke and perfect break (no clusters, balls spread around entire table, made at least one ball, cue ball left in central area of table.). Then played another person, broke and again perfect break.

Then I played a 3rd person (money player type), broke with same speed, cue ball comes straight back as with other breaks, but most balls stay at foot of table and many clusters.

This is playing with brand new Super Aramith Pro balls and the best rack which will rack the balls perfectly using any corner.

So this guy did something to give me a loose rack. (I will inspect his racks from now on of course.)

But aside from inspecting each and every rack, what do these people do to give someone a bad rack? How are they racking? What should I watch for to know I should go and inspect the rack?

Gregg
05-10-2006, 09:16 AM
Up to now it has not been very important to me how my opponent racked, but this is changing. I now am at the point where I should be able to break and run sometimes if given a good rack.

Last night I played one person (8-ball), broke and perfect break (no clusters, balls spread around entire table, made at least one ball, cue ball left in central area of table.). Then played another person, broke and again perfect break.

Then I played a 3rd person (money player type), broke with same speed, cue ball comes straight back as with other breaks, but most balls stay at foot of table and many clusters.

This is playing with brand new Super Aramith Pro balls and the best rack which will rack the balls perfectly using any corner.

So this guy did something to give me a loose rack. (I will inspect his racks from now on of course.)

But aside from inspecting each and every rack, what do these people do to give someone a bad rack? How are they racking? What should I watch for to know I should go and inspect the rack?

I think the reality is that some people don't know how to rack; They couldn't give you a tight rack if they were trying. And then some will do this on purpose. The point is that you have to inspect the rack, if it's important to you. I have seen pros check other pros racks, so don't be too hesitant. You would have to be a moron not to realize that an eighth of an inch gap between the head ball and the second balls in the apex would be considered a poor or slug rack, but you see it all the time. Again, some people genuinely don't know any better.

Snapshot9
05-10-2006, 09:17 AM
Breaking and racking are forbidden territory for some players. The secrets of them are picked up over years of trial and error, and subtle whispered hints from mentors or other players throughout the years.

All thngs equal on pocketing and safety play, then breaking and racking mean the difference between winning or losing for a money player. They might give you the basics, but not their 'success' secrets. Besides, many players share the opinion that if they share those secrets, that it come back to bite you in the butt someday.

And you can 'maintain' clusters of balls without giving a loose rack, FWIW.

I have played 44 years, so I have picked up quite a few things. I will tell you 2 things:

1) Racking depends on how someone is breaking. The position of the cueball when breaking, as well as how they hit the head ball, and the english or lack of english used in breaking. (To nullify their break).
2) When a player scratches in the side pocket after breaking (goes striaght into the side), it is usually because your opponent racked the balls
a half a ball in front of the spot.

The other side of the coin is that some players know how to rack for their break shots where a patented ball goes in the same hole almost everytime.
So, remember to inspect racks on your opponents in 'rack your own'
tournaments too. Never take anything for granted, ever.

Indications:
1) You run a 2-5 pack and then you get a slug rack. Your opponet is trying to stop your run.
2) Being in a tight match, goes hill-to-hill, and your break suddenly turns out lousy. Your opponent is trying to get the edge on you in the last game.
3) Your playing in a tournament, and your break works good through
2-3 matches, and then you can not make a ball on your next opponent.
The guy knows how to rack to nullify your break.

It is a silent game that is played among good players, particularly for
money matches, or big tournament play. The only way to really come out on top of it:

1) Have several breaks for each game. And all of them must be able to make at least 1 ball, and get good position with a good spread.
2) Know and recognize how someone racks you, and which break to switch to that will work IN SPITE of the way he racked. (This is assumiing
that they rack in subtle ways usually not noticeable to most players).
3) Recognize and know when to just switch sides for breaking with the same break only reversed.

I play a guy here locally for money. When my side break is working in 9 ball, he immediately adjusts the rack to 'nullify' my break. I wasn't too awfully observant for awhile, then I switched my break to one of my other breaks that would be more favorable because of what he was doing to the rack, and it made 2-3 balls everytime. I would set the cueball close to the long rail for a side break (in 9 ball), wait till he racked, then switch it to the new break position, and break with the other break shot. That perplexed him some, and so he was busy trying to find out how to rack me on the other break shot. It becomes a silent cat and mouse game.

And yes, I call him on any obvious mis-racks that are blatant.

Craig Fales
05-10-2006, 09:18 AM
I'd just rack my own when playing this guy in the future...
________
Medical marijuana card (http://medicalmarijuanacard.info)

Aaron_S
05-10-2006, 09:30 AM
It's possible that the guy you were playing just doesn't know how to rack correctly. I find that a lot of players, even very good ones, are not very attentive rackers. In my experience, this is especially true for those who play predominantly 8-ball. I see a lot of regular players simply slide the rack back and forth a few times, peel off the triangle, and walk away, totally oblivious to the fact that the head ball just rolled off 1/4". Then, there are probably some people who know how to rack, but figure they'll never get all 15 touching anyway, so they don't put forth any effort.

I would tell this guy that his racks stink, and then I would offer to show him how rack the proper way; that should get his attention. Even if he's doing it to you on purpose, you'll probably start getting better racks from him after that. If not, then you just have to start inspecting them.

DaveK
05-10-2006, 09:32 AM
I'd just rack my own when playing this guy in the future...


I'd do that too, but I have a tendancy to slug-rack myself, which really sucks as we play alternate-break, rack-your-own ! Last night in league I drilled a break and 7 of the 9 balls hardly left the rack area :mad:

Dave

Billy_Bob
05-10-2006, 10:28 AM
It's possible that the guy you were playing just doesn't know how to rack correctly...

I assure you this guy knows how to rack! He is a money player and a good one at that. He also knows I can run the table, so he does *not* want to give me a good rack.

Because the balls are new "quality" balls and the triangle is of excellent quality, the lesser skilled players consistently give very good racks. It is hard not to give a good rack.

It takes "skill" to rack with gaps in this situation. I guess I'll need to watch him rack and see what he is doing exactly, then inspect the rack and see where the gaps are.

FYI - On many bar tables with very old balls and cheap plastic triangles, the balls are different sizes due to wear and the triangles will rack differently depending on which corner you use. In these cases, it is almost impossible for anyone to give a perfect rack. I don't expect any good racks in these situations.

Scott Lee
05-10-2006, 10:54 AM
Billy_Bob...You need to read Joe Tucker's books, Racking Secrets. He shows how the gaps work, and how to rack correctly. If you can't find the book, the text and diagrams are included in Charley Bond's book The Great Break Shot, just reviewed in BD.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Pete
05-10-2006, 11:03 AM
Billy_Bob...You need to read Joe Tucker's books, Racking Secrets. He shows how the gaps work, and how to rack correctly. If you can't find the book, the text and diagrams are included in Charley Bond's book The Great Break Shot, just reviewed in BD.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

I have Joe DVDs,

Priceless:D

Pete

PoolSharkAllen
05-10-2006, 11:45 AM
So this guy did something to give me a loose rack. (I will inspect his racks from now on of course.)

But aside from inspecting each and every rack, what do these people do to give someone a bad rack? How are they racking? What should I watch for to know I should go and inspect the rack?

In a more generic situation, let's keep in mind that not all slug racks are the rackers fault. Sometimes the poor condition of the cloth and/or the footspot will cause balls to move. Other times, a low quality rack triangle doesn't allow the racker to tightly group the balls without gaps.

Some other things to check for, in addition to gaps between balls are, whether the rack is aligned correctly and whether the one ball is centered on the foot spot or positioned on the high end or the low end of the foot spot.

Since I don't always check each rack, I at least like to see the racker make a conscientious attempt to provide a tight rack. Is the racker in too much of a hurry? Does the racker examine the rack for gaps? Does the racker stick his fingers into the bottom of the triangle to close any gaps between the balls? If I see that the racker isn't making a conscientious attempt to provide a tight rack, then to me that's a big clue that I may be getting a slug rack and I will inspect the rack and call them on it if necessary.

Aaron_S
05-10-2006, 12:46 PM
I assure you this guy knows how to rack!

In that case, you gotta just inspect them.

As far as slug-racking techniques go, I once heard a "skilled" racker say that putting a bow in the back line of balls was an effective method for softening up a rack. I guess it's supposed to be less noticible, from the breaker's perspective, than gaps in the front of the rack.

I have not personally tried it because I happen to like the way my knees and elbows only bend in one direction. :D

renard
05-10-2006, 01:08 PM
Billy Bob I'm asuming you play on barbox mostly with your referance to different size balls. Before the match begins take a straight edge and determine which balls are bigger/smaller than the rest. Line them up, then roll them with the straight edge. You can see which ones are smaller/larger and pull them out. Point this out to all the other players so everyone makes an effort to put the odd sized balls on the corners.

It worked like a charm in a dump we played in during league.

P.S. Guys I agree with the racking secrets book.

rackmsuckr
05-10-2006, 10:36 PM
If I see someone covering the balls while they are in the rack, with their hands, especially the corner balls, I am pretty sure that they are screwing with the rack.

Another good move I catch is them snugging the back row up, all except the middle ball in the back row.

Another one is if the rack is crooked.