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View Full Version : Fair Racks...A Myth?



Stretch
11-23-2004, 10:25 AM
I was always taught that to rack "properly" you get them all tight, the way you do it is roll them all up to the spot, stop abruptly, lock them in by giveing the back row balls a little forward spin with the flatened thumbs (my own touch) then lift the rack off with a forward and upward motion. If when you feel a ball sticking, or falling off when your lifting the rack off, you just give it a shake, adjust and repeat. It's not rocket science but MAAAAAAN some of these league racks are scary. And then when you say something about it, it's like what? somethings wrong with that? A lotta times wheather they mean to or not they just don't know how to make a good rack. Unbelievably knowone ever showed them how! I'm not to anal about it in league 8 ball unless i figure the guy knows better. Sometimes if there's a small problem with the head ball i'll just break off the second row. If it's a dead rack....i can play dead rack games too, ya now? 9 ball is a little different, the rack is..or can be everything. More battles have raged over the friggin rack than anything.

I have a simple rule, i give the best rack i can every time whether it's Joe Shmoe, or Earl Strickland. But sometimes i wonder, am i the only one?

Hey all you BCA instructors out there. I keep hereing all these wild and wonderfull stroke mechanics, aiming systems, sport psychology, how about this. FIRST TEACH EVERYONE HOW RACK. Ahem sorry, had to vent. St.~~old school, you racked before you even picked up a cue~~

Tom_In_Cincy
11-23-2004, 10:38 AM
I probably have more experience racking than any other part of my game.

Almost 40 years of playing, and the only time I didn't rack in a tournament was it was a 'loser break' format.

It is your right to check the rack. If the racker can't give a decent rack, maybe it's because they really don't know how.

"Rack your own", is a popular alternative in this part of the country. I see a lot of bad "breaks" because of players that cannot give themselves a good rack. The players that can give good racks, are at an advantage.

Maybe I could put up a sign, "Learn to Rack to your advantage, $5" and see if I get any takers.. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

bomber
11-23-2004, 11:04 AM
i am with the above statement....rack your own....only stipulation is that the nine must be in the middle and the one in first position....i would rather rack my own balls in all games especially in ONE POCKET....

wolfdancer
11-23-2004, 11:45 AM
Stretch, after playing pool all these years, and with the "loser breaks" format, I consider myself something of a rackologist.
The accepted method to give good rack, is to beat the offending balls, those trying to disassociate themselves from the pack...sorta like Gw's cabinet...where was I ?...to beat the loose balls into submission, with the cueball.
This sort of works...but I found an easier method...
Instead of blaming it on the cloth...the problem may be the balls. The ones that want to roll off into the sunset, may just be out of balance. I just rotate them until I find the balance point....the other problem is the spot...which has more dimples then a golf ball, thanks to the jackhammer effect of method #1.....save for a new spot, the only way around this is to rack slightly off center...sometimes you have to move the rack a diamond or so, either way
On the other hand, you've just lost a game you wanted to win, against a player you can't stand, Re:any opponent....what better way to get rid of your agression then to take it out on the balls as you rackem?

Deeman2
11-23-2004, 12:01 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Stretch, after playing pool all these years, and with the "loser breaks" format, I consider myself something of a rackologist.
The accepted method to give good rack, is to beat the offending balls, those trying to disassociate themselves from the pack...sorta like Gw's cabinet...where was I ?...to beat the loose balls into submission, with the cueball.
This sort of works...but I found an easier method...
Instead of blaming it on the cloth...the problem may be the balls. The ones that want to roll off into the sunset, may just be out of balance. I just rotate them until I find the balance point....the othe problem is the spot...which has more dimples then a golf ball, thanks to the jackhammer effect of method #1.....
On the other hand, you've just lost a game you wanted to win, against a player you can't stand, Re:any opponent....what better way to get rid of your agression then to take it out on the balls as you rackem? <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Gentlemen,

I had the pleasure of a short pre-release review of ceebee's new book on breaking. I only had time to thumb through it. My first response was, "I gotta get me one of these!!! (Will Smith in Independence Day). I have over 200 pool books collected over fourty years. In each case, my thought is that if I learn even one new item from a book I have spent my money well. That has been the case in about 30% of my purchases.

I still haven't spent any money on ceebee's book but learned a half dozen things I did not know in the few minutes I looked through it. I cannot remember being so anxious to get my hands on a particular book. I had had reservations on a full book on the break shot but there's so much more. Your question on racking is covered in such detail that I thought I was reading something about rocket science.

In fairness, I'll do a full review when Charlie sends me a copy but from everything I saw, you could not pay too much for this book. It details what every losse ball does and potential paths, etc. Some of the material is not original but credited in the book. However, I believe I'll be putting this one out on the shelf, not in my storage boxes.
</font color>

Deeman

Stretch
11-23-2004, 12:13 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman2:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Stretch, after playing pool all these years, and with the "loser breaks" format, I consider myself something of a rackologist.
The accepted method to give good rack, is to beat the offending balls, those trying to disassociate themselves from the pack...sorta like Gw's cabinet...where was I ?...to beat the loose balls into submission, with the cueball.
This sort of works...but I found an easier method...
Instead of blaming it on the cloth...the problem may be the balls. The ones that want to roll off into the sunset, may just be out of balance. I just rotate them until I find the balance point....the othe problem is the spot...which has more dimples then a golf ball, thanks to the jackhammer effect of method #1.....
On the other hand, you've just lost a game you wanted to win, against a player you can't stand, Re:any opponent....what better way to get rid of your agression then to take it out on the balls as you rackem? <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Gentlemen,

I had the pleasure of a short pre-release review of ceebee's new book on breaking. I only had time to thumb through it. My first response was, "I gotta get me one of these!!! (Will Smith in Independence Day). I have over 200 pool books collected over fourty years. In each case, my thought is that if I learn even one new item from a book I have spent my money well. That has been the case in about 30% of my purchases.

I still haven't spent any money on ceebee's book but learned a half dozen things I did not know in the few minutes I looked through it. I cannot remember being so anxious to get my hands on a particular book. I had had reservations on a full book on the break shot but there's so much more. Your question on racking is covered in such detail that I thought I was reading something about rocket science.

In fairness, I'll do a full review when Charlie sends me a copy but from everything I saw, you could not pay too much for this book. It details what every losse ball does and potential paths, etc. Some of the material is not original but credited in the book. However, I believe I'll be putting this one out on the shelf, not in my storage boxes.
</font color>

Deeman <hr /></blockquote>

WOW!! I'm sold! St.

Cane
11-23-2004, 12:16 PM
I see a lot of bad racks in League Play, but in Tournaments and Match Play, I'll check a rack and challenge it if it isn't right.

Personally, I just can't rack bad!!! My first paying job was as a rack boy in a pool room in NW Arkansas. The house charged a dime a rack to play pool and the rack boys got 2 cents for each rack (all of which I usually spent playing pool the next day before I started work). As a 13 year old, I got a plethora of a$$ chewings from players and the owner early on and learned quickly how to rack well... my eyes have waivered, my hands aren't as steady now as they once were, but I still rack as well for an opponent as I do for myself.

Making a good rack is easy if one pays attention. Making a bad rack is easy if one pays attention. Many times in leagues or "bar play" I see players that will get the balls together well, then push up the corner balls, pushing the center balls loose. I don't mess with them in that situation... I just change my break to accomodate their rack and go on. If I think they're intentionally racking me bad, then I'll do a soft break, just enough to get a legal break, then we can play "Scrape 'em off the stack". Usually, these guys that depend on a bad rack can't play a one pocket or straight pool type of game, so you'll come out ahead of them in the long run.

Later,
Bob

Wally_in_Cincy
11-23-2004, 12:37 PM
I usually don't check the rack unless the guy gives me an obvious dud. Then I will check them all.

What I hate even worse is someone who can't execute a good 8-ball break. You end up with a big cluster-f*** around the foot spot. Like Cane was saying, a decent player can also play that type of game, but it's not nearly as much fun.

I hate losing the lag just for that reason.

SPetty
11-23-2004, 01:34 PM
Another bad racking thing that happens is that you give them a good rack, then they give you a bad break, and accuse you of giving them a bad rack!

wolfdancer
11-23-2004, 02:19 PM
I've had my own collection in the past, Marvin (Chen?), George Knudsell, Joe Davis, to name a few. I'd like to see the Joe Davis book, back in print. He was world Snooker champion from !927-to 1946...no tournaments held during the war years however. Before that he was a world class Billiards player.
I also thought, like you, that if I got one "tip" out of each book, it was $$ well spent.
But, a whole book on breaking??? Now I don't want to "get your goat" so to speak...well, maybe if he included several chapters on racking.

Rod
11-23-2004, 02:50 PM
Stretch,

I am firmly convinced over 95% of the pool playing population does not know how to rack. Even if they do they still may not understand why things happen.

I'll rack my own, no problem here. When I get a crappy rack especially from a good player I might go ballastic. The others that play in bars, it's to be expected. Your search for a good racker will take some time considering there are so few.

But wait there's more, because most rack so poorly the rack area has a wear pattern. That makes it difficult even for someone who cares to give a good tight rack. Noticed I said who cares.

There are numerous factors but the equipment can be blamed at times. Loose rack, worn out balls, diviot in the head spot etc. The pool room owners get the big bird for that one.

No one need take offense, only if the shoe fits, wear it.

Rod

SPetty
11-23-2004, 03:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> But, a whole book on breaking??? Now I don't want to "get your goat" so to speak...well, maybe if he included several chapters on racking. <hr /></blockquote>Actually, I think one of the selling points for this book about the break is that the book contains updated information from Joe Tucker about his racking secrets. Or something like that. I believe all the info from Joe's Racking Secrets book is in this book, plus updates. I think. Don't hold me to it. But I think that's right.

Deeman2
11-23-2004, 03:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> But, a whole book on breaking??? Now I don't want to "get your goat" so to speak...well, maybe if he included several chapters on racking. <hr /></blockquote>Actually, I think one of the selling points for this book about the break is that the book contains updated information from Joe Tucker about his racking secrets. Or something like that. I believe all the info from Joe's Racking Secrets book is in this book, plus updates. I think. Don't hold me to it. But I think that's right. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> As ever and always, you are correct my friend...plus much, much more.. </font color>

Deeman

ceebee
11-23-2004, 03:39 PM
hey there wolfdancer... "The GREAT Break Shot" book is about 200 pages in length, 25 of that is about Pro's, Products and Pool Schools. The balance is about the fundamentals of the break shot for just about every game of pocket billiards except Snooker. 14.1 has 5 different breaks &amp; breakouts studied, One Pocket has 5 or 6 different breaks studied. 8 Ball, 9 ball &amp; 10 Ball have about 15. There's a segment on fundamentals, proper practice and a chapter on selecting a good Break Cue.

Also.... Joe Tucker's "NEW &amp; IMPROVED" &amp; improved "Racking Secrets" has been incorporated into my new book as well

The book has been dubbed a true success by several players, time will tell the whole story. The book will be out in app'x 3 weeks

wolfdancer
11-23-2004, 04:35 PM
When breaking,Just like in the "Kama Sutra", I've tried several different positions, with limited success. My overall results weren't improved much.
I've seen players that can't play, but have a great break.
If the book can somehow, help me develope a decent break stroke...I'll be first in line to buy it....might buy it anyway, just in case there is one tip, that would help, on the rare occasion when I accidently hit the cueball somewhere near where I am aiming to.
I'm also tempted to buy your Breakrac device, but Ditech won't give me a loan for billiard equipment.
good luck with the book, jjd

ceebee
11-23-2004, 05:37 PM
Wolfdancer... be a little kinder to yourself. If you think the Pros all have great break shots, look again.

Take a sheet of paper, draw a pool table top on it and record the location of the cue ball, after impact, on each of the games in a professional match.

Use this criteria; R for Rodney, S for making a ball on the Break, F for no ball pocketed and "0" for a scratch. Write RS or RF (with the scratch symbol if appropriate) at the location of the Cue Ball after the Break, for Rodney's break shots,

For Rodney's opponent, Santos, write SS or SF.

See if you can some kind of consistancy in their break shots...

wolfdancer
11-23-2004, 05:48 PM
Thanks for the suggestion....I've got a hundred or so accu-stats tapes that I look at from time to time...never thought of paying attention to the break.
When Paul "Doc" Brienza was playing, I thought he had the best, the most efficient break stroke, that I had seen. I still haven't seen a better one.

Barbara
11-23-2004, 06:47 PM
Well I hope that Joe T got some monies for his knowledge in this book. Please tell me some good news... I have been harrassing him to come out with another edition of his "Racking Secrets" book.

Barbara~~~just harrassed JT over at AZBilliards... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Billy_Bob
11-24-2004, 10:27 AM
I'll say two things...

1. After reading Joe Tuckers book, I started inspecting the rack each time, but I was just looking/learning - never asked for a re-rack. Everyone else saw me doing this. Suddenly I started breaking better (was not breaking any differently)! I think some people were giving me bad racks, but when they saw me inspecting the racks each time, they stopped doing this. I stand in the center of the table and watch that they are not "tilting the rack" while racking. Then when they are done racking, I walk down, lean over the table, and look at all the balls. I then walk back and place my ball at random at center or to side for breaking. (I don't always break from a particular spot and no one can predict where I will break from.)

2. Many ball racks are not capable of giving a good rack due to their cheap design. Some ball racks will rack differently when using different corners of the same rack! So it may not be the fault of the person racking...

ceebee
11-24-2004, 12:12 PM
When I began to assemble this new book, I talked with Joe Tucker about including some of his material. Joe informed me that he would NOT be re-printing his book, but he would be glad to join with me, to be included into my book as chapter 7, "NEW &amp; IMPROVED Racking Secrets" by Joe Tucker

Yes, Joe Tucker will receive some proceeds from the sale of this book.

Chris Cass
11-24-2004, 02:07 PM
Hi Billy,

Reading and using Joe T' book really helps in knowing where you must hit the rack. I agree, it does make your opponent take extra care when racking. The best thing is when they ask, if it's ok? I always tell them yes and only on a few occasions have I had to tell them to re-rack.

Using Joe' knowledge helps a great deal in breaking. Not that every rack is going to come out with a great spread or making a lot of balls. You do however, get the action out of the racks. That's what we need the most. imho I also noticed. I make balls more on total percentages, since I apply this knowledge.

Regards,

C.C.~~there's only few bad racks. that also depends on the game too.

onepocketfanatic
11-26-2004, 01:03 AM
I always give the best rack possible no matter what the wager or game. A friend of mine (we play on an 8 ball Vegas league for fun) told me to "make sure the rack is tight...and perfectly straight in 8 ball and you will see people not making a ball on the break. Darned if he was not right. Good and tight, and make sure the rack is perfectly straight....darned if it doesn't work most of the time (we pay $1 for break and runs or rack and runs so we have a vested interest in them not making a ball...the sweetest dollars made after hearing all the crying from team members... makes it worth a lot more than a buck when they have to pay up)!