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How to Level a Pool Table: A Simple Guide

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Playing pool with friends is a joy most of the time. Unfortunately, playing pool on a table that isn’t completely level can be an exercise in frustration. If the pool table is not properly level, the balls will not roll in a predictable trajectory required for precision plays. The force of gravity pulling them to the low spot of the table will cause many games to go awry and must be dealt with quickly. In the following article, we will cover the best methods for leveling a pool table and making sure it is actually properly leveled.

detail of spirit level on color backgroundFinding the Problem

The most important part of the task will be determining what part of the table, or possibly the floor, is uneven and how this can best be dealt with. If you have recently moved your pool table, it is a good idea to check the angle more frequently. If you disassembled the table or just moved it all in one piece, as time goes on different parts of the room or table may “settle” which throws off the roll of the balls slightly. Here are three effective methods of detecting a tilt.

Carpenter’s Level

A level is a perfect tool for the task. The small bubble will stay in the middle of the tube so long as the surface on which it rests is level. The bubble will move to one side if that point is raised even slightly. Use the level across the entire table along the midline, perpendicular to the midline along the edges, over each table leg around the corners. The bubble should remain dead center at all times.

Rolling Ball

A perfectly level table will allow the pool cue to run in a straight line across the surface of the table. With your eyes as close to the surface of the table as possible, observe the motion of the pool ball as it rolls. Does it suddenly swoop to the left or right? Observe the motion of the ball by rolling to all areas of the table to detect minor discrepancies.

Mirror and Marble

If there is even the slightest pull that could affect the outcome of a pool game, it will be easily detected with a mirror and a marble. Place a small glass mirror, preferably with no casing, on the pool table and place the marble on the surface of the mirror. Move this instrument across the pool table surface systematically from one end to the other. If the pool table is uneven, the ball will move although the mirror is motionless.

Leveling the Pool Table

If you have determined that the pool table is tilted in one way or another, it will need to be adjusted and this is sometimes more complex than one would expect. Be sure to read all of the pointers mentioned below before you begin leveling your pool table.

Consult your Owner’s Manual

Many modern pool tables and even antique pool tables have built-in features that adjust the table. If you have the owner’s manual, you can save a lot of time and energy by getting first-hand direction. Next, you can examine the legs and table itself.

Some legs will have adjustable feet that can be moved up and down a few notches to precisely adjust the height of the leg. Other pool table legs will have metal plates that can be turned to the right or left for adjustment purposes. If the table has legs that screw into position, the height can be adjusted by turning the legs of the table. If none of these features are available, we will have to use other methods of adjusting the height of the pool table.

studio shot of billiards ball number 8 on gray backgroundTighten the Screws

One of the most common reasons the pool table will become tilted is because the structure itself is settling into position or reacting to its use. Before you begin leveling the pool table take time to tighten all the screws and bolts found below the table. All the while, keep an eye on the level, the motion of the pool ball, and the marble on the mirror.

Adjust the Legs

Once the screws and bolts of the table have been tightened, you can begin making adjustments to the legs of the table. If you have a table with adjustable legs, drop all legs down to their lowest features before you begin. This will allow you to begin raising the height incrementally in each leg to reach an acceptable level. If your table doesn’t have adjustable legs, simply move on to the next part.


The precise level of the pool table can be adjusted further with the use of shims, which are thin wooden strips of wood or wedges that can be inserted between the foot of the table and the floor to add a little more height.

Final Notes

Leveling a pool table is a time-consuming and precise task. Take your time and use caution while working on making your pool table as level as possible. In the end, the results are easily worth it. A well-tuned pool table is a joy for friends and family to play on for many years. Ensuring your pool table is in tip-top shape at all times is easy as long as you are consistent with maintenance. Softening bumpers, keeping the table clean, or leveling the table is necessary to ensure that you enjoy your table for as long as possible.