How you break in nine ball is critical to the game. In fact, it may be one of the most important shots of all. The pros spend a lot of time practicing and studying their break shots, but no matter how hard you look at it, there is always an element of luck in any break. There's no definitive way to know for sure what balls will be pocketed on a break and which ones will scatter on the table, but with diligent practice you can improve your odds.
All the general billiard rules apply to the break shot with a couple of rules that are unique to nine ball:
You must first strike the 1 ball before either pocketing a ball or driving four numbered balls into the cushions.
If you pocket the cue ball on the break, it is a foul, and your opponent may take ball-in-hand and place it anywhere on the table.
If an object ball is knocked off the table on the break, it is considered a foul. The object ball is not spotted unless it's the 9 ball. Your opponent takes cue-ball-in-hand and spots it anywhere on the table.