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This is What Causes the 9-Ball to Go Straight In Off of the Break

Updated: Mar 19, 2023

You are playing 9-Ball. You rack the balls with a traditional rack. Its not a perfect rack with no spaces, but it almost never is when using a standard rack. Your opponent breaks, the 9-ball goes straight into the corner pocket as if it was perfectly lined up from the get-go and you lose the game. What causes this to happen and how can you prevent it? That is what I set out to find out.

In the beginning of this, I figured that the best way to understand why this happens is to re-create it. If I get to a point where I can consistently re-create this phenomenon, then I can prove the cause.

I knew that the reason this happened is because of gaps being in the rack, but I had no idea exactly which gaps were responsible. I started off by racking, taking a picture of the rack, and then breaking it. I did this about 100 times, and didn't get very far. There was just too much information and so many reoccurring gaps that I couldn't identify the exact gaps responsible.

It was around this time that I decided to just Google it and see if someone else already figured it out. Low and behold CreeDorofl, a Reddit user had a post about it, but it wasn't exactly correct. I managed to achieve this exact rack with a magic rack, and the 9-ball was moving in the general direction of where it needed to go, but it wasn't going straight towards the corner pocket.

After thinking about it for a bit, I decided to change where I was breaking from. Instead of breaking from the opposite side of where the gaps were, I decided to break from same side. Instead of a majority of the energy from the break going into the 2, it is now going into the 8-ball, which will push the 9-ball in the direction that we want it to travel. After this, the 9-ball started traveling straight towards the corner pocket every time.

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