Pool tables are found in a variety of sizes, often depending on their intended use. Before you decide to buy a pool table, you should consider how you intend to use the pool table and the size of the room in which it is being placed. We will be discussing full-size pool tables in this article. There are many other sizes, but those are commonly classified as miniature or are otherwise intended for children or younger players. For full-size pool tables, the measurements may vary (learn the differences between pool, billiards, and snooker for more), but the length to width ratio remains the same. A good pool table (see our comparison of the best affordable pool tables) should have a balanced 2:1 size; the length should be twice the width size.
Differences Between American and British Pool Tables
British pool tables are defined by the outside dimensions and not the playing area, meaning a 6ft by 3ft British table is the overall cabinet dimensions and not the playing surface. American pool table sizes relate to the actual playing surface, but not the overall cabinet dimensions. This is an important distinction when planning the correct dimensions to place the pool table in a room and still have enough room to work the cue sticks (see What is the Best Size Pool Table for a Room). In addition to the way pool table dimensions are measured, the ball sizes between the British and American pool tables are also different. The British usually employ 2” balls while the American versions are normally 2 1/4”.
Distinguishing the difference between the British and American pool tables can help you plan the proper amount of space. Additionally, don’t forget to consider the length of the cue sticks to ensure that there is plenty of room to strike the balls. Cues are often found in lengths of 57 inches, 54 inches, and 48 inches. If you are a beginner it is good to stick to the 48″ cues; if you are a bit taller, go for cues 57”, and 54” if you are more advanced but shorter than the average height. The most popular pool table sizes are:
British 6 Foot
The overall cabinet dimension measurements for the British 6-foot pool table are 72” by 36”, the size of the playing area is 63” by 32”, and the minimum room dimension with the 57” cue requires a length of 480cm by a width of 402cm. This pool table size is recommended mostly for beginners and intermediate players because it is easier to learn fast and makes the game more enjoyable for inexperienced players. It is also a suitable pool table size for your house because most room sizes can host it.
British 7 Foot
It is also known as the Bar table because it is commonly found in pubs, casinos, and clubs. The overall cabinet dimension is 84” by 48”, the playing area is 72” by 36”, and the minimum room dimension with a 57” cue should be 503cm by 411cm. However, the 7-foot table pool for the US has an overall dimension of 93” by 54”, the playing dimension is 79” by 39” and requires a minimum room dimension of 525cm x 426cm with 57” cues. Intermediate players often prefer these tables as there is less congestion of the balls and more space for advanced shots.
American 8 foot
It is also called Standard 8ft and is the most popular pool table for homes. The overall cabinet dimension is 96” by 48”, but the playing dimension is 88” by 44”, and the minimum room dimension should be 549cm by 439cm if using the longest 57” cue. Due to its size, you can use 8 or 9 balls, causing it to be considered the “Standard” size for pool tables. A British 8-foot pool table is also approved for tournament play because its dimensional measurements meet the world standard rules of play.
American 9 foot
This is the standard pool table for professional tournaments. This is because it has been approved by the International Olympic Committee and the World Pool-Billiards Association. The playing dimension is 100 inches by 50 inches, and it requires a minimum room size of 580cm by 453cm with 57” cues. This table requires a skilled player who can control shots, understands the table’s angles, and has the skill required to sink those long shots.
Related: Read our article about Air Hockey Table Sizes and Dimensions
Other Pool Table Sizes
Pool tables are commonly found in several other sizes. A tabletop pool table is a good option if you would like a smaller table that you can take to friends or relatives. It doesn’t have legs and is smaller than normal tables, but it is easily portable and adaptable to any environment that has a properly sized table. Kids pool tables are also available for the younger players. These are normally made of much cheaper materials and are considerably smaller than most other models. Additionally, there are some pool tables that are intended for those will little room in their home. These pool tables for small spaces are commonly smaller than even the British 6′ table but larger than a toy pool table or tabletop model. These tables work well in providing both children and adults a method of playing pool if you don’t have room for a full-size model.