Difference Between Billiards and Pool Table

Written by Game Tables & Boards

Pool Hall with Billiards Tables

Enjoying a game that waters the appetite for friendly competition without being physically drained with friends and loved ones is the best way to relax after a grueling and stressful day at work.

There are many sorts of game tables and types of game play, therefore I will try and explain the difference between Billiards and Pool Table. In addition I will also cover the game of Snooker, since it also shares many similarities with Billiards and Pool.

Most people who enjoy games that involves shooting small balls into a hole on a rectangular table for the purpose of relaxation do not even know the difference between a billiards, pool and snooker table. This usually leads to discussions about the rules of the game they’re playing, not knowing about the ins and outs of it.

After reading this article, every rumor will be dispelled and every ignorance will become a thing of the past and you will be able to make a concise and decisive decision in choosing the table of your choice.

Or why not try out all of them? You might even discover a new hobby!

Either way you’re in for a relaxing and fun time with any of these games.


Any Similarity?

Billiards, snooker and pool tables are all cue sports that involves using a cue stick to hit (“shoot”) playing balls over the table. This is the main reason for the confusion a lot of people have concerning the three games that makes them think they are all the same however they are all different and those differences is the reason for writing this article.

Details of a Billiard (Carom Billiards) Table

Are billiards and pool the same thing? They may seem to have a lot in common, but one of the main differences between billiards and pool table, is that one has pockets and the other does not.

  • Playing surface dimensions are 2.84 meters by 1.42 meters (9.32 feet by 4.65 feet) with a 5 millimeter allowance.
  • In the United Stated a billiard table can be 3 meters by 1.5 meters (10 feet by 5 feet).
  • The bright green fabric used for a billiard table’s surface is made of 100 per cent worsted wool.
  • In the case of Carom Billiards, there are no pockets used.

Details of a Pool Table (or Pocket Billiards Table)

  • Multiple sizes (rectangular table with a 2:1 ratio)
    • 2.7 m (9 ft) by 1.35 m (4.5 ft)
    • 2.6 m (8.5 ft) by 1.3 m (4.25 ft)
    • 2.4 m (8 ft) by 1.2 m (4 ft)
    • 2.1 m (7 ft) by 1.05 m (3.5 ft)
  • Mainly 2 type of cloths
    • English wool cloth. Same as a snooker table cloth, plays more slowly.
    • Speed cloth or worsted cloth. Designed for tables that are 8 feet and larger. Designed for playing faster.


Details of a Snooker Table

  • The playing surface is usually 3 m (10 ft) by 1.5 m (5 ft)
  • Color of the cloth is usually green
  • Cloth is also called “baize”
  • Table’s surface is made of 100 per cent wool (Strachan cloth) and is used in in official snooker tournaments.


Read more details about “Billiards, Pool and Snooker” on Wikipedia



Learn How to Play English Billiards, Pool and Snooker

How to Play English Billiards

Of all the different kinds of billiards, English billiards is the most popular of them all. You play Billiards with three types of balls which are: yellow, white and red. Yellow and white balls are the sign balls for the two players. One for each. Scoring focus is done by preparing, in-offs (sign ball is pruned) and guns (Cue ball hits both different balls before stopping). The player who is able to first score the expected points wins.


How to Play Pool

Unlike Billiards and Snooker, you play a game of pool on a small table. The resulting effect of this is that it’s much easier to play pool than the other two. Several varieties of pool table exist. Of all the variants of pool game, the most common are eight ball pool and nine-ball pool.

As for the 8-ball pool, it involves the utilization of seven solid and seven striped balls and an 8/black ball. Winning the pool game involves that the player must pot his type (i.e. solids or stripes) and then eventually the black.

As for the 9-ball pool, only nine balls are on the table. Each player has to pot the balls in order and this is done by beginning from the ball numbered 1. The player that pot the nine balls first wins.


How to Play Snooker

The points carried by the balls are not the same. Every red ball carries just 1-point, yellow balls 2, green balls 3, brown balls 4, blue balls 5, pink balls 6 and black balls 7. It is only the six colored balls that are put back on the table but not the reds. By the time the Reds are over, the other colors are then potted based on the ascending order of the value of their point.

Snooker has two phases; the phase when there are red balls on the table and when there are no red balls.

At the phase when there are red balls on the table, the player must first pot a red followed by a color. When the color is potted, the color ball is taken back in its spot and then a red has to be potted. This continues untill there are no more reds. After this, the colors are potted based on the order of points. At this stage they will not be taken back and this is when the game ends.




I believe you have enjoyed the journey of exploiting the difference between the three games so far. These games are being played and enjoyed across the globe by different people. Next time you hear a discussion about the difference between billiards, pool and snooker table, you’ll be able to chime in and share the knowledge!

So, to summarize:

  • English Billiards is the most popular type of Billiards
  • No pockets are used for Carom Billiards
  • Pool tables can come in different sizes, but are usually smaller then Billiards and Snooker.
  • Due to the difference in sizes, pool tables can also use different types of fabric
  • Pool is the easiest game to learn and play
  • Snooker has the steepest learning and difficulty curve


If you ask me, my favorite is pool table, because of its simplicity and the fact it eradicates the tendency of the game to become boring due to longevity unlike billiards and snooker tables. When in the mood for a quick game, I can always enjoy a fun round of pool with friends and family.


Image Credit: wayfair.comlibertygames.co.uk / homeleisuredirect.com

Last modified:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *