– Players lag for the opening break.
– Players alternate breaks.
– The Random Racking Process is used for Nine and Ten-Ball.
– Breaker racks his own and then breaks the balls.
– The opponent has no rack approval rights.
– Object balls must break the center string vertical plane.*
(2 balls in Nine-Ball, 3 balls in Ten-Ball, 4 balls in Eight-Ball)
– The “game-ball” (8, 9, or 10-ball) made on the break is spotted.
– Breaker shoots after a legal break.
These rules are designed to make pool’s most popular games more fun. The winner of the lag is also the breaker in the hill-hill game. Alternating breaks makes pool more interactive. The Random Racking Process takes an extra 2 or 3 seconds. Not only is checking an opponent’s rack prohibited, it is also pointless. Balls pocketed on the break in the foot corner pockets are not counted toward the center string requirement. This also means that the break requires some degree of force. *If the breaker fails to meet the center string requirement on the break in Nine or Ten-Ball, he is then required to “push out” his next shot. Failure and penalties to do so in Eight-Ball are coupled with the rule that states “Four balls must hit a rail (required for all three games)”. A game cannot be won on the break. “Game balls” are spotted at either end (shooter’s choice). The breaker is not required to make a ball on the break in order to keep his turn at the table.
The Random Racking Process for Nine and Ten-Ball is fast and simple. Non-breaker gathers object balls and prepares the balls for final racking by the breaker. Breaker assists in gathering the object balls. Non-breaker places the object balls in the triangle. Without looking down at the rack, non-breaker spins the triangle once or twice (shuffles the balls). Non-breaker now looks down at the rack. Non-breaker gets his hands, knuckles, or fingers behind all the balls and then pushes them into the nine or ten-ball configuration. Then, non-breaker, while only moving 2 balls, swaps the 1-ball into the head-ball position. Then, while only moving 2 balls, swaps the 9 or 10-ball into the middle ball position. Breaker steps in and pushes the balls up to the spot. He racks his own balls. He may not change the ball positions in the rack. He may not touch the front 3 balls or the 9-ball.