While Billiards, pool, and snooker may be pretty similar to you, it must be noted that they all differ based on:
- The number of pockets
- The number of balls
- Cue stick size
- Table size, and diverse factors
Some people make use of pool and billiards interchangeably. While this is not fully incorrect, the fact is that pool is practically a type of billiards game.
If we have not gotten you all confused, this is a perfect opportunity to learn the difference between Billiards Vs Pool Vs Snooker.
Most people are aware that snooker is way different from pool even though they have no idea what snooker exactly entails. When billiards and pool are used, they are used to refer to the popular eight-ball or nine-ball games.
However, billiards is quite different from pool and snooker. Before we delve into the history of each of the three and bow they are played, we will have an intriguing look at their differences.
The Differences Between Billiards, Pool, And Snooker(Billiards Vs Pool Vs Snooker)
In learning what goes on between Billiards Vs Pool Vs Snooker, it must be noted that billiards are played on a billiards table with no pockets and makes use of three balls. The balls are a red ball, a white ball that has a spot, and another white ball without any spot.
The pool is played on a pool table with six pockets, with nine to fifteen object balls and an extra cue ball used by the players. The number of balls used here is dependent on the type of pool you want to play in.
More so, snooker is played on a snooker table that has six pockets. The snooker tables are bigger than pool tables but their pockets are smaller than that of the pool tables. People play snooker with fifteen pink numberless balls, one cue ball, and six numbered object balls.
Pool, billiards and snooker are all games that involve balls and pockets. Each game has its own set of rules, but they all have a few things in common. In pool, for example, the object is to pocket all of the balls before your opponent does. Billiards is similar, but you also score points by sinking balls into pockets. Snooker is a challenging game that requires great reflexes and accuracy.
Difference Between Billiards and Pool
The difference between these two interchangeably used terms are:
1.Their table size
The pool tables are a minimum of 3.5inches x 7 inches while the billiard tables are larger as they are crafted to a minimum size of five inches by ten inches.
Pool makes use of anywhere from nine to fifteen object pool balls though this is dependent on the type of game you want to play. While billiards make use of only three balls that are way bigger than pool balls.
A pool table cloth makes the balls move slower, while a billiards table cloth makes it move quicker.
4. The cue stick
Pool cues used in the pool game are longer and come with thinner shafts. The billiard cue sticks, are smaller but come with a thicker butt, and the shorter ferrule makes the stick taper to be faster. Do not forget their small tip and wooden pin joint.
History Of Billiards, Pool, And Snooker
One fact to bear in mind is that the 14th century birthed indoor cue sports which is practically a blanket term for the various sports that are played using a cue. It has been stated that cue sports evolved due to the need of European nobles to entertain themselves all year round.
While games like croquet were popular, they were not played during the bad weather. Hence, the first indoor cue sport game was born as a simple tabletop version of other outdoor games.
Since the 14th century, these games have evolved and in some parts of the globe currently, billiards is used in describing the different games like pool and snooker. In some other parts, pool is used in describing billiards and snooker.
Note that, there are lots of different versions that quite fall under the various headings of billiards, pool, and snooker. There is a slight chance that you may have encountered a person who has a different idea as to what the rules of pool entail.
Although the rules may be quite different all over the world, there are some vastly accepted versions of the games.
All About Billiards
Billiards are also referred to as carom billiards and this game is played using only three billiards balls on a table without any pockets. The carom billiards is stated to be the basis from which snooker and Pool were gotten.
Understand that, carom billiards is not prominently known in the US but it is regularly played in Europe. It is popularly played in France since people believe it originated here.
It falls under the cue sports category since it is played using a cue stick and billiard balls on a cloth-covered table with borders or leather. This game is split into three subcategories which are carom billiards, snooker, and Pool or pocket billiards.
Other things to note about billiards are:
1.The billiard tables
The carom billiards games are played generally on 4.7’x9.3’ or 5’x10’ carom billiard tables. It is crafted from one hundred percent worsted wool and the felt used in other tables are normally a mix of nylon and wool.
It makes use of worsted wool because it provides less resistance which makes it easier for the balls to move fast on the surface. This is truly vital because of the point scoring methods and rules.
In the carom billiards tables, there are no pockets and this makes it way different from the snooker table and pool table. Most billiards table come with heated slate for the billiard games.
For those not familiar with this, the slate is referred to as the sheet of rock that most of the high-end tables are crafted with. Note that, the slate is positioned underneath the fabric of the table thus, giving it a smooth yet consistent playing field.
The heated slate is vital to make sure the table plays fast and consistently all through the game. More so, this heated slate is required for a tournament table.
2. The billiard balls
In this game, three balls are used to play. It Entails one yellow ball, one white ball, and one red ball. Although, a white ball that has black or red dots can be used in place of yellow balls.
More so, the balls differ in their weight and size from that of pool balls and snooker balls. Averagely, billiard balls weigh roughly 7.5 pounds and measure up to 2.42 inches in diameter.
In manufacturing these balls, different materials like wood, clay, and ivory have been used. The modern balls are made using phenolic resin.
3.The billiard cues
Understand that, the cues used while playing carom billiards are shorter and lighter than those used in pool balls all over the globe. The ideal cue balls used in playing carom billiard come with a shorter ferrule, thicker butt, and conical taper.
It also comes with a smaller tip than the cues used in pool and snooker. The ideal weight tends to vary as it will be dependent on the type of game. However, carom cues normally weigh between 16.5 and 18.5 pounds.
They are built with a wood-to-wood joint in high-end cues plus a wooden joint pin. The carom billiard cues are practically between fifty-four inches and fifty-six inches in length.
As mentioned earlier, there are diverse games played on the pocketless billiard table all over the globe. The most popular is the three-cushion billiards. To score points in the three-cushion billiards, you will need to use the cue ball to hit the other two balls that are on the table.
Though it may sound easy to you, you will have to make sure the cue ball hits three cushions after it hits the first ball and before it hits the second. If you fail to hit three cushions, you will have to forfeit your turn.
And, when you hit the second object ball without hitting three cushions, you will lose a point. You can only win this game or score the most points when a player gets to a score that was previously agreed upon.
All About Pool
One thing to note about pool games is that it is usually referred to as eight or nine-ball pool. Nevertheless, within this game, you will find several rules though this is dependent on preferences and local customs.
As we have mentioned earlier, pool is a type of billiards game and it is used when referring to pocket billiards. The pocket billiards was the initial term used for this game though pool is a short form for poolrooms.
In the 18th century, gamblers entered poolrooms to bet on horse races as they were considered illegal at the time. The money used in betting were pooled into a big pot.
However, to make the poolrooms less suspicious, the poolrooms frequently had pocket billiards table. And, the gamblers will be found playing casually as they waited on the horse race results. With this, the pool table got its name.
There is another sub-category of pool which includes the eight ball, nine balls, straight pool, and even one pocket pool. Every pool table has six pockets. And, the cloth on the pool tables is much slower than that of a billiard table.
The pool balls have a standard of 2 ¼ inches in diameter. Some other things to note about pool games are:
1.The pool tables
These tables come in diverse sizes. For your commercial use, you will find them in bars and pool halls and the tables there are 3.5 inches x 7 inches. The one I use in my home is the common measurement of 4 inches by 8 inches.
As for the larger tables, they are used for expert tournaments and they measure 4.5inches by 9 inches. Irrespective of the size, all the tables have six pockets, one in every corner, and one midway down each long side of the pool table.
The felt that is popularly used on modern tables is a combination of nylon and wood. If you compare it to the billiards table, you will find out that the fabric used on the pool tables is slightly more resistant and this facilitates the slower ball speed.
The surface underneath the felt on high-end and professional tables is slate although some of the home and bar tables are crafted using pressed wood. Most pool players prefer slate.
2.The pool ball
For most of the games, the eight balls and 9 ball are played using fifteen balls and 9 balls. The cue ball is not included in this. The object balls come in a variety of solid colors and are numbered one through seven.
As for the object balls number nine through fifteen, they are of different striped colors. And, it also includes the black eight ball which the pool game is named. The balls used here are normally 2.25 inches in diameter and 5.5 to six pounds in weight.
For coin-operated tables, the cue balls may be slightly larger than the other balls, however this is not the case for tournament play or standard pool ball sets.
3.The pool cues
The popular pool cues are longer and lighter than those found in billiards. Note that the average size of the order cue is 58 inches long. And, the pool cues differ in weight from eighteen to twenty-one pounds intervals.
The heavier cues are used in breaking at the start of the pool game. While the lighter cues are for accurate shots. Though it is all dependent on the player’s preference.
The eight ball is very popular in the US and is regularly played more than the 9 ball. Eight ball demands to be played using all fifteen balls and the cue ball. The balls are stacked into their shape with the help of a plastic or wooden triangle kept with the table, with the black eight ball in the middl.
Determining who gets to shoot first varies but the first shot is known as the break shot. The two players or teams will shoot the cue ball alternately until one of them sinks the first ball into a pocket
From here on, the players will only aim for their balls and if they successfully sink the target balls, the player gets to shoot again till he misses the shot or gets to win the game by scoring the most points. Sinking a striped ball is considered a foul and he loses his turn.
All About Snooker
Note that, snooker is quite different from billiards and pool in various ways. The balls, rules, tables, and cues are all pretty different. The only thing it has in common with pool is the number of pockets.
To play snooker involves using twenty-one balls that measure 2 1/8 inches and an extra white cue ball. There are fifteen red balls, one yellow ball, one pink, one blue, one black, one brown, and one green.
In this game, the brown, yellow, pink, blue, green, and black are known as the object balls. Note that, it is different from pool and billiards since it has three balls that can be used as the strike to hit all the other balls.
Whereas in the former, you can only hit the white cue ball. The major goal of snooker is to score points more than that of your opponent by pocketing the object balls and red balls.
Once you have pocketed all the red balls, you can start to pocket the other object balls. Other things you need to know are:
1.The snooker tables
They are a lower set and bigger than the pool table. The more common snooker tables I have seen in America are 5 inches x 10 inches and in Europe, they are 6 inches x 12 inches.
Here, the six pockets of the snooker tables are smaller than the pool table since its balls are smaller than the balls used for pool games. The snooker table also makes use of the same cloth type and slate like pool tables.
As stated earlier, you will get to play snooker with twenty-one colored balls and one white cue ball. You will find fifteen red colored balls here and one colored ball each with the colors of yellow, brown, pink, black, blue, and green.
The cues normally used for snooker have lighter weight and smaller tips than that of pool. Most of the snooker cue sticks get to weigh sixteen to eighteen pounds with the most popular being 170 pounds. Their length is the same as those of the pool which is roughly 59 inches.
Like a pool game, a player here must break at the start of the game. After this, the players will take their turns in trying to sink balls in a bid to score some points. They will have to pocket a red ball before they attempt to pocket the colored balls.
The red balls are each worth one point while the other colors have different amounts. The yellow colored ball is worth two points, three points for the green, four for the brown, five points for the blue, seven for the black, and six for the pink.
As you play snooker, the red ball remains in the pocket while the other colored balls get replaced when they sink. Every frame is over whenever the red balls get pocketed and at this point, the players will tally the points that were recorded during the game.
Is pool and billiards the same?
Billiards originally meant any sort of cue sport, such as carom billiards, and snooker ,pool. Pool, on the other hand, refers to a game that is played on a pool table. Billiard tables have always lacked pockets.
Which is harder pool or snooker?
Snooker is more tough than pool since it has more rules.
Can I play pool on a snooker table?
Although playing pool on a snooker table is conceivable, pool should always be played on a pool table and snooker on a snooker table. This is due to the fact that the table and cue balls have different sizes for each game.
In conclusion, billiards, pool, and snooker are all different types of games with different rules and goals. If you’re looking for a fun game to play with friends, pool is a great option. If you’re looking for a more competitive experience, billiards or snooker may be better options. With so many different variations available, there’s sure to be a game that appeals to you.
We have successfully provided you with all you need to know about billiards vs pool vs snooker. These are the major differences in all parts of the world.
While you may get to play on massive twelve-foot tables with a big cue, or an eight-foot table with a small cue, the point is to have fun and practice your skills.
In all, they are three different games played on a cloth-covered table. The size of the table and the number of balls used are the most significant differences.
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