in reply to Rackin' up a game of Eight Ball
"pool this evening (8-ball, specifically)"That would be the American version of the game :)
There is of course another version of this game which is played in many countries, where there is no such thing as "stripes and solids". The balls are coloured red and yellow.
There is a standard method of racking the balls, commonly referred to as the "J" formation (note how the yellow balls form a letter "J").
This rack formation can also be applied to the numbered ball version of the game - and often is, I think.
Update: Here's an ascii-art representation of a standard rack setup for World Eight-Ball Pool...
Note that the yellows and reds are interchangeable. That is, the "J" may be formed by either the reds or the yellows.R Y R R B Y Y R Y R R Y Y R Y