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What is the Difference Between Pool, Billiards, and Snooker?

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Do you want to learn what the difference is between pool and billiards and snooker? This guide is for beginners who are interested in learning more about these games. Pool and billiards are very similar sports, but there are some key differences. The main difference between pool and billiards is the size of the table. Pool tables are typically smaller than billiard tables. The smaller pool table size allows for more maneuverability around the table. Tables for billiards are usually rectangular, while pool tables can be either rectangular or square. Snooker is a game that is played on a larger table with smaller balls. Read on to learn more about the differences between these cue sports and how you can get started playing today.


Although carom billiard tables do not have pockets, if you are shopping for a pool table, you will often see them listed as billiard tables. This is primarily due to the fact that pool and billiards verbiage is often used interchangeably. If you are shopping for a carom table, ensure it is the right kind and without pockets before buying.

Billiard table with green surface and balls in the billiard club.Pool Game.

Equipment Needed to Play Pool, Billiards, and Snooker

The equipment is the first thing you need to know about the difference between billiards, pool, and snooker. All three cue sports are played with a cue stick and cue balls, but that’s where the similarities end. Pool tables use larger balls than both billiards and snooker. Billiard balls are typically white, while pool balls can be either red or yellow, although the cue ball is typically a white ball. Snooker uses the smallest balls of the three games and they are usually red or pink. The cue sticks for all three games vary in size and weight.

Pool Tables & Equipment

When playing pool, you will need:

– A pool table that is either rectangular or square in shape

– Sixteen balls – eight solid colored balls (usually yellow or red) and eight striped balls

-Cue ball (white ball)

– A cue stick

– Chalk

Billiards Tables & Equipment

When playing billiards, you will need:

– A billiard table that is rectangular in shape

– Three balls – two white cue balls and one black object ball

– A cue stick

– Chalk

Snooker Tables & Equipment

When playing snooker, you will need:

– A snooker table

– Twenty-two balls – fifteen red balls, six colored balls, and one white cue ball

– A cue stick

– Chalk

What is Pool?

Most people think of pool as a game that is played on a small, rectangular table with six pockets. Pool is actually short for pocket billiards, and it is a game that can be played on both rectangular and square tables. The main difference between pocket billiards and billiards is the size of the table; pool tables are typically smaller than tables used for billiards. The smaller size allows for more maneuverability around the table, which is why pool is often considered to be a more challenging game.

Despite its name, pocket billiards is not played exactly like traditional billiards. Rather, the object of the game is to use a cue stick to hit balls into one another, causing them to collide and eventually drop into one of the six pockets to win one of the many variations of pool games.

Pool table in center of pub

History of Pool

The game of pool has a long and storied history, dating back to the 15th century. The first recorded mention of pool was in 1470 when it was described as a lawn game played with sticks and balls. It wasn’t until the late 17th century that pocket billiards began to be played indoors on tables specifically designed for the game.

The game of pool became increasingly popular in Europe during the 18th century and eventually made its way to America. The first American pool hall opened in Philadelphia in 1789, and by the early 19th century, there were over 200 pool halls in New York City alone.

Today, pool is enjoyed by people all over the world and is considered to be one of the most popular cue sports. Whether you’re playing on a small table in your home or competing in a professional tournament, pool is a great game to enjoy with friends and family

How to Play Pool

Now that you know a little bit more about the history and different variations of the pool game, it’s time to learn how to play. The basic rules of the pool game are simple: using a cue stick, hit the white cue ball into the other balls on the table until they are all pocketed.

The first step is to choose which of the pool games you want to play. Pool can be played in many different ways, so it’s important to decide which game you want to learn before you start. Once you’ve chosen a game, the next step is to select your equipment. You will need a cue stick and either sixteen balls (for an eight-ball or nine ball game) or twenty-two balls (for snooker).

After you have your equipment, it’s time to start setting up the table. Pool tables come in many different sizes, but the most common size is seven feet by three and a half feet. The first thing you need to do is to chalk your cue stick. Chalk helps keep the cue stick from slipping and provides extra control when hitting the ball. Second, depending on the pool games played, you will arrange the colored balls into the triangle rack to prepare to strike with the cue ball on the break. After you have made a clean break with the cue ball, you will then be ready to start playing your game of choice.

Billiards ballsWhat is Billiards?

Billiards is a cue sport that is played on a large, rectangular table. The table is usually twice as long as it is wide and has zero (carom billiards) to six pockets. The object of a billiards game is to use a cue stick to hit balls into one another, causing them to collide and eventually drop into one of the six pockets.

So, what is the difference between pool and billiards? A billiards game is similar to pool in many ways, but there are some key differences. The main difference between pool and billiards is the size of the table; pool tables are typically smaller than billiard tables. The larger size of billiard tables provides more space for players to maneuver around the table. Another difference between pool and billiards is the type of balls that are used; billiard balls are typically larger than pool balls. Carom billiards tables also don’t include pockets. Instead, they have bumpers to maneuver the balls around the table and score points.

History of Billiards

Billiards is thought to have originated in France in the 15th century, although there are some who believe it may have started even earlier in China. The early versions of the game were played with large, heavy balls that were difficult to control. As the game evolved, lighter balls were introduced and the rules began to be codified. By the 18th century, billiards was a popular pastime among royalty and nobility across Europe.

During the 19th century, billiards became increasingly popular in America. New variations of the game were developed, including pool and snooker. Today, billiards is enjoyed by people all over the world. Whether you’re a casual player or a serious competitor, there’s a place for you in the world of billiards.

How to Play Billiards

Learning how to play the billiards game is relatively simple. The basic rules can be learned in a few minutes, and you’ll be able to start playing immediately.

The first thing you need to do is choose a cue. Cues come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to find one that feels comfortable for you. Once you have your cue, it’s time to learn the basics of stroke production. A good way to practice is by hitting the cue ball against the rail. This will help you get a feel for how hard you need to hit the ball and how much English (spin) you need to put on it.

When you’re ready to start playing, take a look at the table and choose your shot. You’ll need to decide where you want to aim, how hard you need to hit the cue ball, and how much English you need to put on it. Once you’ve made your decision, take your shot!

Billiards is a great game for people of all ages. It’s a fun way to spend time with friends and family, and it can be a challenging way to improve your hand-eye coordination.

Snooker player placing the cue ball for a shot on black, whilst hitting the red ball (Selective focus and motion blur)

What is Snooker?

Snooker is a cue sport that originated in India in the 19th century. It is played on a rectangular table covered with a green cloth, with pockets at each of the four corners and in the middle of each long side.

The game is played using a cue and 22 snooker balls: 15 red balls worth one point each, six balls of different colors worth two to seven points each, and a black ball worth seven points. The aim of the game is to score more points than your opponent by potting all of the balls into the pockets.

Snooker is similar to pool and billiards, but it differs in a few important ways. First, snooker uses smaller tables and has smaller pockets. Second, snooker balls are not racked in a triangle but instead are arranged in a triangle at the start of each game. Third, snooker is played with 22 balls, while pool is played with 16 balls and billiards is played with 15 balls. Finally, the scoring in snooker is different than in pool and billiards. If you’re looking for a challenging cue sport to play, then snooker might be your game.

History of Snooker

The modern game of snooker traces its origins back to the latter half of the 19th century. The game was invented by British Army officer Sir Neville Chamberlain, who first played it in Ooty, India in 1875. The first official rules were drawn up by Chamberlain and another British Army officer, Colonel Wyndham Horsfall, in 1882.

The game began to gain popularity in England in the 1880s and 1890s. By 1900, there were several hundred snooker clubs in the country. The first world championship was held in 1927 and was won by Joe Davis. Davis went on to dominate the sport for many years, winning 15 world championships between 1927 and 1946.

In the 1960s and 1970s, snooker began to gain popularity outside of Britain, particularly in Europe and Asia. In the early 1980s, Canadian player Kirk Stevens introduced the game to China, and quickly became popular there.

Today, snooker is played all over the world, with tournaments being held in many countries. The sport has continued to grow in popularity in recent years, with more people watching it on television and playing it themselves. Snooker is now a truly global game.

How to Play Snooker

Now that you know a little bit about the history of the game, let’s take a look at how to play snooker.

The first thing you need to do is get yourself a cue and some balls. You can either buy these or rent them from a snooker club. There are 15 red balls and one black ball on the table. The red balls are worth one point each, and the black ball is worth seven points. The object of the game is to score more points than your opponent by potting (or sinking) as many balls as possible.

To start a frame, one of the players will break off by striking the white ball with their cue. The player must then pot one of the red balls. Once a red ball has been potted, the player can then pot any other ball on the table. If the player pots a black ball, they receive seven points and get to take another shot. This continues until all of the red balls have been potted, at which point the black ball must be sunk in order for the player to win the frame.

If you are just starting out, it is best to practice against someone who is of a similar skill level. You can also watch professional matches to see how experienced players handle different situations. As you become more familiar with how to play snooker, you’ll be able to develop your own unique style of play.


What is the difference between a pool table and a billiard table?

High quality pool tables are generally smaller and have six pockets. Traditional billiards (carom billiards) tables also don’t include pockets.

Can you play pool on a billiards table?

Yes, but it’s not ideal and it can’t be a billiards table without pockets (carom billiards). The pockets on these tables are smaller than those on standard pool tables, so it can be more difficult to make shots. In addition, the surface of a billiards table is usually smoother than a pool table, which can affect the roll of the ball.

How big of a room do you need to play pool?

You’ll need a room that’s at least 12 feet by 18 feet to accommodate a regulation-size pool table. If you’re planning on playing with smaller tables or just want more space around the table, you can get away with a smaller room. For example, an eight-foot pool table can be played in a room that’s 11 feet

Final Words

So there you have it! The main differences between billiards, pool, and snooker. Pool is the most popular game in America, played on a table with six pockets. Billiards is a more traditional game, played on a larger table with zero to six pockets. Snooker is the most challenging of the three games, played on a large table with six pockets. No matter which game you choose to play, you’re sure to have a good time.