"Regulation" Pool Tables

Make The Heart And Soul Of Your Game Correct

The grand game. Photo (c) MicroMachines 2007

A billiard table, billiards table, or pool table is a bounded table on which billiards-type games are played. In the modern era, all billiards tables provide a flat surface usually made of quarried slate, that is covered with cloth (usually of a tightly-woven worsted wool called baize), and surrounded by vulcanized rubber cushions, with the whole elevated above the floor. More specific terms are used for specific sports, such as snooker table and pool table, and different-sized billiard balls are used on these table types. 

A pocket billiards table (as the sport's governing body prefers to call it), has six pockets—one at each corner of the table (corner pockets) and one at the midpoint of each of the longer sides (side pockets or middle pockets).

An American table tends to be 4' x 9' and the English pool tables are really mini-tables, even diminutive 6-footers! The minis tend to crowd the balls together excessively into little clusters that create frustration when you attempt to pry them apart. Of course, the pockets on American tables are larger to yield wiggle room for the bigger object balls.

Pool Table Size

The table is the blood and body of good pool. The best shooter, equipped with the world's best stick, would fare poorly on a table with broken pockets or on one too small to present a challenge.

Pool tables are typically rectangular with a 2:1 ratio play surface, length to width (in a variety of sizes). The best sized-table to play on is nine by four-and-a-half feet.

"Regulation-Sized" Pool Tables

Beware of rip-offs due to the deregulated nature of pool competition worldwide. Table ads that guarantee "regulation size" mean nothing in particular, except that they have a 2:1 ratio.