Snooker, Pool & Billiards: What’s the Difference?

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

Billiards and pool are commonly used interchangeably, however the names do not refer to the same game of skill or game of chance. It was initially used to describe only one type of game, carom billiards, but the phrase has since become more broad and is now used to cover a range of table games that are played using balls and a cue stick (also known as a cue stick). Despite the fact that carom billiards and pool are typically played with the same equipment, each game is distinct and hence has its own set of regulations.

Differences in Ball Size One significant variation is the quantity of balls that are utilized.

The other balls utilized were fifteen red balls, as well as one of each of the following colors: yellow, brown, blue, pink, black, green, and orange.

For billiards, on the other hand, just three balls are required: a white ball, a yellow ball, and a red ball, with the white ball and the yellow ball each capable of acting as the striker ball.

The number of balls used in pool varies depending on the variant of the game being played; however, a complete set of balls measures sixteen balls, each measuring 2 1/4 inches in diameter: eight balls of solid color numbered one to eight, seven balls with a stripe of color numbered nine to fifteen, and a solid white ‘cue’ ball; a full set of balls measures sixteen balls, each measuring 2 1/4 inches in diameter.

  1. Differences in Tables Most carom billiards and pool games are played on a seven-foot table (also known as a bar table), an eight-foot table (commonly known as a home or leisure table), or a nine-foot table (also known as a tournament table) (known as a pro or tournament table).
  2. Pocketed tables are used for the game of snooker.
  3. Disparities in the Rules Of course, each game has a detailed set of rules, which may include a variety of variants on the theme.
  4. In snooker, the games are divided into groups called frames.
  5. The red balls are worth one point apiece, whereas the yellow balls are worth two points, the green balls are worth three points, the brown balls are worth four points, the blue balls are worth five points, the pink balls are for six points, and the black balls are worth seven points.
  6. The “on” balls are the balls that have the potential to be pocketed on any given turn.
  7. It is deemed a ‘foul’ if the wrong ball is pocketed and the player does not gain any points for pocketing the ball in this situation.
  8. Before the game begins, players agree that they will need to accumulate a particular amount of points in order to be proclaimed the winner (a typical game is one hundred points, whereas a professional game is usually one hundred fifty points).
  9. A “call-pocket” game, straight pool requires that players state which ball will be placed in which pocket before shooting.

Straight pool is played using a cue ball. The desired ball must make it to the targeted pocket in order for the shot to be successful. Looking for a billiard table? Look no further. Take a look at our selection by clicking here. Previous Previous postNext Next post

What’s the Difference Between Billiards, Pool, & Snooker

Billiards, pool, and snooker all look to be fairly similar, but the three games differ in a variety of ways, including the number of balls used, the number of pockets, the size of the table, the size of the cue stick, and a variety of other criteria. Some individuals use the terms billiards and pool interchangeably when referring to the same game. While not entirely right, this isn’t entirely wrong. Pool is a form of billiards game that is played using cues. Are you still perplexed by what we’ve said?

The following are the differences between billiards, pool, and snooker:

  • Billiards is a game that is played on a table with no pockets and with three balls. There are three balls: one red ball, one white ball with a spot, and one white ball without a spot. Pool is a game that is played on a pool table with six pockets and nine to fifteen object balls, as well as an additional cue ball. The amount of balls required varies depending on the style of pool being played. More on it in a moment. Snooker is a game that is played on a table with six pockets. Pool tables have wider pockets, whereas snooker tables have pockets that are smaller than those of pool tables. Snooker is played with 15 pink numberless balls, 6 numbered object balls, and 1 cue ball
  • It is a game of skill.


There are several types of billiards games that are played on a pool table with pockets and a cue stick. The game was originally known as “Carom billiards.” Billiards is a sort of game, and there are many more that come under this category, which are commonly referred to as “cue sports.” Cue sports, often known as billiards, are any activities in which a cue stick and billiard balls are used on top of a cloth-covered table with leather (or rubber) borders. Cue sports are also known as pool. Billiards is separated into three sub-categories: pocket billiards (also known as “pool”), carom billiards (sometimes known as “snooker”), and snooker.


Pool, as previously established, is a variation on the billiards game. The term “pool” is used to refer to billiards games in which pockets are utilized (pocket billiards). Pocketed billiards was the name given to the game when it first appeared. It is slang for “poolrooms,” which is an abbreviation. Back in the 18th century, gamblers flocked to poolrooms to place wagers on horse races, which was against the law at the time. The money was “pooled” into a huge pot, which was then emptied. To give the impression that poolrooms were less suspicious, pocketed billiard tables were frequently used in poolrooms.

The pool table got its moniker as a result of this incident.

Each pool table has a total of six pockets.

Pool balls have a standard diameter of 2 1/4 inches.

Difference Between Pool and Billiards

  • A pool table should be at least 3.5 feet by 7 feet in size, while a billiards table should be at least 5 feet by 10 feet
  • Table dimensions are important. In terms of object balls, depending on the game you’re playing, you’ll need anywhere from 9 to 15 of them. Billiards is played with three balls that are somewhat bigger than pool balls. Cloth – The balls on a pool table travel more slowly when the table is clothed. The cloth on a billiards table moves quickly
  • Cue Stick – Pool cues are longer and have a thinner shaft than other types of cues. Although billiard cue sticks are smaller in size, they feature a thicker butt and a shorter ferrule, which allows the stick to taper more quickly. In addition, they feature a wooden pin joint and a little tip
  • And


Snooker is played with a total of 21 balls (each measuring 2 1/8″) as well as one additional white cue ball. Each color is represented by one of the following: fifteen red, one yellow, one brown, one blue, one pink, one black, and one green. The object balls in snooker are the colored balls that are yellow, brown, blue, pink, black, and green in color. Snooker differs from billiards and pool in that there are three balls that may be used as a striker to hit other balls, however in the former you can only hit the white cue ball, whilst in the latter you can only hit the black ball.

With snooker, the primary objective is for you to accumulate more points than your opponent by pocketing red and object balls (alternating). Once you have pocketed all of the red balls, you may go on to pocketing the remaining object balls in a precise order.


Among the many various types of games played on a cloth-covered table, billiards, pool, and snooker are three that stand out. The size of the table and the quantity of balls used in the game are the most significant differences between the two games. However, despite the fact that they are closely related and may possibly have developed from one another, they are two separate forms of cue sports. More engrossing reading material:

  1. More Information about Pool Tables
  2. Snooker Rules – How to Play the Game Correctly
  3. Instructions on How to Play 9 Ball Pool – Including a Complete List of Rules

What’s the difference between snooker and pool?

The fact that you’ve arrived at this website suggests that you’re curious in the differences between snooker and pool. Despite the fact that they appear to be similar, the two games are very distinct and difficult to misunderstand once you understand the fundamentals of each.

What is pool?

In most cases, pool is played with one black ball, seven yellow balls, seven red balls, and a white cue ball, however the number of balls used might vary depending on the style of game. Pool is played on a pool table with six pockets on each side.

What is snooker?

Snooker is played with 15 red balls, 6 colored balls, and 1 cue ball – all of which are somewhat bigger in size than pool balls – and is similar to pool. However, while the 6 pockets on a snooker table are smaller than those on a pool table, snooker tables are nonetheless bigger in overall size than pool tables. Already, we can detect several significant variances, the most notable of which being the amount of balls in play. Continue reading to learn more about the many games available.

The difference in rules

Pool is a form of billiards game in which pockets are used to play the balls. There are many other pool versions, however in the United Kingdom, the traditional game (8-ball pool) consists of seven yellow balls, seven red balls, a white ball, and a black ball. The red and yellow balls are arranged in a pooltriangle, with the black ball in the upper right corner of the triangle. The white ball is placed at the other end of the table, and the triangle is taken away from the situation. The first player begins by striking the white ball with their pool cue, with the goal of breaking the triangle of balls at the opposite end of the table.

  1. A player’s turn is over when they fail to pot a ball, pot the white or opponent’s color ball, or when a ball falls off the table during their turn.
  2. Once all of a player’s colored balls have been potted, the player must pot the black ball in order to win the game.
  3. Essentially, you want to strike the white cue ball so that it strikes each of the colored and pink balls in turn, causing them to fall into one of the six pockets on the table.
  4. Yellow, green, brown, blue, pink, and black pool balls, each worth a different amount of points, are all positioned in a certain location on the pool table to maximize scoring opportunities.
  5. A snooker cue is used to hit the white ball in order to pot a red ball, and players take turns using the cue to do so.
  6. They must pot a red ball in between each of the colored balls.

The red balls remain in the pockets after each player’s turn, while the colored balls are returned to their original placements after each player’s turn. The player who has the most points at the conclusion of the game is declared the winner.

The difference in tables

Pool tables in the United Kingdom are typically 7 feet in length, however they are also available in 6 foot and 8 foot sizes (unlike American pool tables, with their standard tournament table size being 9ft). Pool tables in the United Kingdom are made of napped felt, which creates friction and causes the balls to move more slowly. Although snooker tables are often lower-set and larger in size than pool tables, their pockets are typically less in size than those of pool tables. Snooker tables in the United Kingdom are typically 12 feet 6 inches in length, which is double the size of a 6 foot pool table.

The difference in accessories

UK colored pool balls are 2 inches in diameter, however British cue balls are just 1 1/17 inch in diameter. Pool cues range between the United Kingdom and the United States, however UK cues are typically 8-9 mm diameter at the tip. Snooker balls measure 21.6 inches in circumference, which is somewhat smaller than pool cue balls. Smaller balls are required in order to fit into more limited pockets. Snooker cues are approximately the same length as pool cues, with the exception of some that have a slightly smaller tip.

Can you play snooker on a pool table?

Yes, technically speaking. You will, however, need to make some preliminary arrangements first. You will need to very carefully design the snooker ‘D’ form at one end of the table, taking care to be very precise with your drawing. Some players may want to purchase spot stickers and use them to mark out the areas where the colored balls should be placed. You will need to purchase a separate set of snooker balls, as they are significantly different from pool balls in appearance. For additional information, please contact us by phone at 01462 743803 or by email at.

Billiards vs Pool vs Snooker: What’s the Difference?

Even if they don’t know what snooker is, the majority of people are aware that it is quite different from pool and that it should be avoided. When it comes to popular 8 ball or 9 ball games, the phrases billiards and pool are frequently used to refer to the same thing. However, billiards is as distinct from pool as snooker is from pool. All three games differ in terms of table size, ball size, regulations, cue size and breadth, and even the amount of pockets that are employed in each of their variations.

If you read this article to the conclusion, you should have all the information you need on all three cue sports!

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A Little History On Billiards, Pool, and Snooker

Indoor cue sports, which are a general name for a variety of games played with a cue, are thought to have originated in the 14th century. Indoor cue sports are a subset of cue sports. Cue sports, according to legend, developed as a result of the European nobility’s need to keep themselves entertained throughout the year. Croquet and other outdoor games were popular, but they couldn’t be played in inclement weather. As a result, the first indoor cue sports were created as a tabletop version of outside activities, which became known as cue sports.

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The name ‘billiards’ is now often used to refer to a variety of various games, including snooker and pool, in several regions of the world today.

There are numerous distinct variations of pool, billiards, and snooker, all of which come under the many categories of these games.

Even though the rules of the games change significantly from country to country, there are universally acknowledged versions of the games. In this post, we’ll go over the many versions of the game.


This game, which is also known as carom billiards, is distinguished by the fact that it is played with just three balls and on a table with no pockets. The game of carom billiards is considered to have been the inspiration for the games of pool and snooker. Carom billiards is a game that is not often played in the United States, but is popular across Europe. This is especially true in France, where the game is said to have originated.

Billiard Tables

Carom billiards is often played on a table that is 4.7’x9.3′ or 5’x10′ in size. Carom billiard tables are often covered in 100 percent worsted wool, but the ‘felt’ on other tables is typically made of a combination of wool and polyester. Worsted wool provides less resistance than unwashed wool, allowing the balls to glide more quickly across the surface. Because of the rules and point-scoring mechanisms employed in the game, as will be detailed more below, this is critical. It has already been established that there are no pockets on a carom billiards table, which is another significant distinction between the games of snooker and pool.

Slate is a type of rock that is used to construct practically all high-end tables, if you are unfamiliar with the term.

Heat-treated slate is essential for ensuring that the table plays quickly and consistently throughout the game.

Billiard Balls

Carom billiards is a game in which just three balls are utilized. One white ball, one yellow ball, and one red ball are used, however a white ball with red or black dots may be substituted for a yellow ball on occasion. Aside from that, the balls have a different size and weight from snooker and pool balls. Billiard balls are around 7.5 ounces in weight and 2.42 inches in diameter on average. Over the years, a variety of materials, including ivory, clay, and wood, have been utilized to create these balls for various purposes.

Billiard Cues

Cues used in carom billiards are often lighter and shorter in length than the cues used in pool halls across the world, which is a common practice. When compared to other billiard cues, carom billiard cues have a thicker butt, a shorter ferrule, conical taper, and a smaller tip than cues used in snooker and pool. Despite the fact that the ideal weight varies based on the type of game, carom cues are typically between 16.5 and 18.5 ounces in weight on average. Furthermore, a wood-to-wood joint and, in higher-end cues, a wooden joint pin are used in their construction.

Billiard Rules

Various games are played on pocketless billiards tables all across the world, and they are all quite distinct. Three-cushion billiards is the most popular type of billiards nowadays. A point in three-cushion billiards is earned by using a cue ball to make contact with the other two balls on the table at the same time. It appears to be straightforward, doesn’t it? What’s more, your cue ball must strike three cushions after striking the first ball and before hitting the second ball in order to complete the game.

A player’s turn is forfeited if he fails to strike three cushions in a row. If a player strikes the second object ball without also hitting three cushions, he loses a point for that round. When one player achieves a previously agreed-upon score, the game is declared won.


Pool is often used to refer to 8-ball or 9-ball games, which are the most common varieties of pool games played on regular pool tables, according to the dictionary. However, even within these games, there are a range of rules, which are often depending on local customs and preferences. We’ll go through the most common types of pool that are currently being played.

Pool Tables

Pool tables are available in a variety of sizes. Tables for commercial usage, such as those seen in pubs and pool rooms, are typically 3.5’x7′ in size. Tables measuring 4’x8′ are the most typical size for usage in the house. Professional tournaments are held on larger tables, which measure 4.5’x9′ in size. There are 6 pockets on each table no matter what size it is; one in each corner and one in the middle of each long side of each long table. The so-called “felt” that is widely utilized on modern pool tables is actually a blend of wool and nylon fibers.

The slate surface beneath the felt on high-end and professional pool tables is used, although other bar and home pool tables are composed of pressed wood and other types of wood.

Pool Balls

The most popular pool games, 8-ball and 9-ball, are played with a total of 15 balls and 9 balls, respectively, excluding the cue ball, in order to be competitive. In a regular pool table ball set, there are 15 object balls and one cue ball included. All of the object balls with the numbers 1 through 7 are distinct solid colors, but the object balls with the numbers 9 through 15 are all different striped colors, as seen in the diagram. And, of course, there’s the black 8 ball, which is the inspiration for the game’s name.

Coin-operated pool tables may include cue balls that are somewhat bigger than the rest of the balls; nevertheless, tournament play and conventional pool ball sets do not have this problem.

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Pool Cues

Pool cues are often lighter and longer in length than the cues used in billiards games. A contemporary cue is around 58 inches in length on average. Pool cues are available in weights ranging from 18 to 21 ounces, with half-ounce increments in between. Heavy cues are often used for breaking at the start of the game, with lighter cues being used for more precise strokes later in the game. Player preference, on the other hand, can make a difference here.

Pool Rules

Across the United States, 8-ball is quite popular, and it is played in pool halls as well as in homes and bars, maybe even more frequently than 9-ball. 8-Ball demands the use of all 15 balls as well as the cue ball in order to be played. The balls are arranged in a pyramid shape with the black 8-ball in the center, which is held in place by a wooden or plastic triangle that is kept with the table. Although the methods for determining who shoots first differ, the first shot is referred to as the ‘break shot.’ The two players or teams take turns shooting the cue ball at the object balls until one of them sinks (potts) the first ball into a pocket, at which point they switch places.

The decision is made by the player who sinks the ball.

If a player successfully sinks a target ball, he is awarded another opportunity to shoot until he either misses a shot or loses the game.

Occasionally, the roles are reversed, with one player attempting to sink the balls of the other player first.

In any case, the underlying notion remains the same. The player who is the first to pot all of his or her target balls will have the opportunity to try to pot the 8-ball. The game is won by the player who is the first to legally pot the 8-ball.


Snooker differs from pool and billiards in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples. The rules, balls, tables, and cues are all a little different from one game to the next. The only thing that makes this game similar to pool is the amount of pockets in the table.

Snooker Tables

Compared to pool tables, snooker tables are often lower-set and larger in size. Snooker tables are typically 5’10’ in size in the United States and 6’12’ in Europe. Because snooker balls are smaller than pool balls, the six pockets on a snooker table are smaller than the six pockets on a pool table, and vice versa. Snooker tables, like pool tables, employ a fabric type and slate bed that are comparable to those used on pool tables to provide the greatest playing surface.

Snooker Balls

Snooker is played using a set of 21 colored balls and a white cue ball. These balls have a diameter of 2 16 inches, as opposed to the 2 14 inch balls used in pool. In snooker, there are 15 red balls and one of each of the other colors: yellow, green, brown, blue, pink, and black. There are also 15 red balls in pool.

Snooker Cues

Cues frequently used for snooker have a smaller tip and are lighter in weight than cues commonly used for pool. The majority of snooker cues weigh between 16 and 18 ounces, with 17 ounces being the most popular. Snooker cues, on the other hand, are almost the same length as pool cues, at around 59 inches.

Snooker Rules

Similarly to pool, one player is required to break the game at the start of the game. Following that, the players take turns attempting to sink balls into the net in order to earn points. Before attempting to pocket a colored ball, the players must first pocket a red ball in their possession. The red balls are worth one point each, whilst the other colors are worth a variety of varying numbers of points.

  • Yellow receives 2 points, Green receives 3 points, Brown receives 4 points, Blue receives 5 points, Pink receives 6 points, and Black receives 7 points.

During the course of the game, the red balls remain in the pockets, while the other colored balls are replaced when they have been dropped. Each ‘frame’ is completed when all of the red balls have been pocketed, at which point the players total their scores based on the information they have collected throughout the game. A scoring abacus is typically used to keep track of the results in this situation. With each frame, the players compete to accumulate a predetermined number of points, with the frames continuing until one of the players achieves that number first.

In Conclusion

To cover all of the numerous varieties and regulations of games played on billiard, pool, and snooker tables, it would require an essay 10 times the length of this one, which is already very lengthy. However, now that you are aware of the primary distinctions as well as the most popular games played in various regions of the world, you may proceed. It’s possible that the type of game you play is different from the type of game played at the pool club down the street. There are no rules about playing on a large table with a tiny cue or a small table with a large cue.

In any case, as long as you’re having a good time and improving your talents, stay at it. Who knows, maybe the rules you play by may be implemented into competitions in the future. I hope you found this essay useful, and as usual, thank you for taking the time to read it.

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Snooker, Pool & Billiards: What’s the Difference?

All of the many titles for the same game are merely variations on the same theme, don’t they? Despite the fact that many people assume all three of these games are the same, or at the very least small variants of the same game, this is not the case at all. Snooker, pool, and billiards are all unique games in their own right. Thus, not only do they operate under a separate set of regulations, but they also employ wholly different equipment for their games. Using this post, we hope to dispel some of the most frequent misunderstandings regarding these games, as well as present a general summary of each one so that you have a better grasp of how they differ from one another.

What the difference between snooker, billiards and pool?

  • The game has a scoring system that consists of 15 red balls (each worth one point), a yellow ball (2 points), a green ball (3 points), a brown ball (4 points), a blue ball (5 points), a pink ball (6 points), and a black ball (7 points). Matches are made up of a number of games, which are referred to as frames. The table is 12 feet by 6 feet, which is longer than a normal pool or billiards table. Smaller balls and narrower pockets distinguish this version from the previous one.


  • Traditional billiards tables do not have pockets
  • Instead, they have cues. In a traditional game of carom billiards, just three balls are used: a white cue ball, a yellow cue ball, and a red target ball
  • In a modern version, four balls are utilized. Three cushion billiards is a game in which the goal is to hit the two object balls with your cue ball three times, in any sequence, as well as the cushion three times (also known as three cushion billiards) in order to earn points (also known as counts). 10 x 5 feet is the size of a standard carom billiards table.


  • Pockets are not seen on a standard billiards table. Only three balls are used in the basic game of carom billiards: the white cue ball, the yellow cue ball, and the red target ball
  • In other words, it’s a very simple game. With your cue ball, you must hit the two object balls three times (also known as three cushion billiards) in any sequence to earn points (known as counts)
  • The aim is to strike the two object balls three times in any order to earn points (known as counts). 10 x 5 feet is the size of a standard carom billiards table

Snooker vs Pool vs Billiards

In spite of the fact that snooker, pool, and billiards are all considered cue games and have a shared history, they are fundamentally distinct games. Since at least the 14th century, people have enjoyed playing skill games on tables, in which they use sticks to move balls about the table. Nobles became dissatisfied with the fact that they were unable to play popular outside croquet-type lawn games throughout the year and began bringing these games within and playing tiny versions on specially constructed tables.

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As is so often the case, the source of the misunderstanding among current cue games may be traced back to the passage of time and place.

However, when pocket billiards made the journey across the pond to the United States, the game was renamed “pool,” and the public became further perplexed.


The image is courtesy of DerHexer on Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. The goal of snooker is to accumulate the most number of points by the end of each game, which is referred to as a frame. Players get points by collecting balls of varying values and pocketing them. Snooker is played with a single white cue ball and a total of twenty-one colored balls. One point is awarded for each of the fifteen red balls that appear on the field of play.

  • Following the first player’s break, the other players take turns attempting to pocket the balls in order to collect points.
  • If a player falls while attempting to sink a ball, he forfeits his turn.
  • Whenever all of the red balls have been sunk, or when one player has amassed an overwhelmingly large number of points, the frame is ended, preventing the opponent from catching up.
  • The most significant distinction between snooker and the other cue games is the scoring system, which assigns various values to separate balls, as well as the size of the table, which is significantly larger.
  • A full-sized snooker table is 12 feet by 6 feet, although its pockets are significantly shallower than those of a pool table.

Snooker balls, on the other hand, are the smallest of the three varieties of cue games available. To get a much more in-depth understanding of how to play snooker, see the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association’s official rules and regulations.


When most people in the United States hear the word “billiards,” the first thing that comes to mind is a pool table. As previously stated, pool tables in countries other than the United States are commonly referred to as “pocket billiard” tables. In actuality, there is no game known as “pool,” and the prevalent appellation alludes to the popularity of playing pocket billiards for gambling on ‘pools’ of money, rather than the game itself. Instead, there are several other cue games that participants may participate in on a pool table.

Straight pool, Solids and Stripes, Eight Ball, Nine Ball, Cutthroat, Bank Ball, and One Pocket are just a few of the most popular variations of this game type.

Generally speaking, the most typical size for pool tables in the United States is 8 feet by 4 feet for a bar or gameroom, with most tables in other parts of the world being 7 feet by 4 feet.

A return mechanism, which became necessary as pool tables grew more prominent in commercial settings, is used to collect the balls on most snooker tables, whereas nets are used under the pockets on most pool tables (though not all, of course).


The term billiards does not refer to a specific game, but rather to a sort of table that may be used to play a variety of different cue games, similar to the term pool. Three Cushion Billiards is the most popular of these games, and it is played with three cushions. Straight Rail, Skittles, The Champion’s Game, Cushion Carom, and Artistic Billiards are some of the other games that may be played. Aside from the United States, three-cushion billiards is immensely popular around the world, particularly in Asian nations.

  • In order to do this, the purpose of all billiard games differs significantly from the objectives of other cue games.
  • Another distinguishing aspect of a billiards table is that the slate surface is slightly heated, which allows the balls, which are bigger and heavier than snooker or pool balls, to go faster over the table.
  • Three Cushion Billiards, also known as Carom Billiards, is a type of pool game in which only three balls are used for play.
  • Each player selects one of two cue balls to use during the game: either the yellow or white cue ball.
  • Players receive one point for each time they strike their cue ball and hit the cushion three times, with either ball being struck first or second.

More specific regulations for Three Cushion Billiards may be found on the internet. If you like Solids and Stripes, Snooker, or Three Cushion Billiards, get your racks ready because it’s time to get your hands on some balls and start playing!

A Quick Breakdown of the Differences Between Billiards, Pool, & Snooker

When it comes to pool and billiards, what is the difference between the two? Is it the same thing, or are they two different things? Billiards, often known as cue sports, is a sort of ball game that is played on a cloth-covered table using a cue stick that is used to hit a ball. In order to prevent the ball from slipping off the table, bumpers are placed around it. Pool, billiards, and snooker are various variations on the billiards game of snooker or pool. Pool is more popular in the United States than both billiards and snooker combined.

Snooker is more popular in the United Kingdom than billiards and pool.


  • This game, which is also known as Carambole, is played with three balls on a table with no pockets. The table is frequently heated in order to improve the speed of the balls. To play the game, you’ll need three balls: one white ball with a spot on it, one white ball without a mark on it, and one red ball. “3-cushion” carom billiards is the most often played variation of the game. Score points by “caroming” your cue ball off of the three rails, the red object ball, and your opponent’s cue ball, which is the goal of the game.


  • This game is played on a table with six pockets and between nine and fifteen object balls. The table’s length might be 7 feet, 8 feet, or 9 feet depending on the situation. Pool games are classified into several categories. The most often encountered are as follows:
  • The most common cue sports include 8-ball (the most popular cue sport), 9-ball, 10-ball, Bank Pool, One-Pocket, and 14.1 (also known as Straight Pool).


  1. Billiards (also known as pool) is a sort of game that is played on a 12-foot table with six pockets. In this game, 22 balls are used, and the players fight to get the most points in a given game.

Snooker balls do not have numbers on them. They do, however, come in six various hues, each of which corresponds to a distinct point value (Red = 1, Yellow = 2, Green = 3, Brown = 4, Blue = 5, Pink = 6, and Black = 7); nonetheless, they are not interchangeable.

Billiards vs Pool vs Snooker: Know the differences

The phrases “billiards” and “pool” are sometimes used interchangeably as if they were synonymous, however they are not. In order to understand the differences between billiards, pool, and snooker, you should take a seat and read on about the evolution of these terminology, which have been used to describe a fascinating array of games that are played with tables and cue sticks over the years. We’ll go over the fundamentals of all of this important information that every pool table player should be aware of if they’re interested in learning more about the world of billiards and the variations between its many games.

Brief History of billiards and pool

Billiards began as a lawn game, similar to croquet, that was played mostly by royalty and other aristocrats in Northern Europe around the 15th century. Since then, the game has grown to the point that there are now more game variations available in billiards than ever before. After years of being an outdoor game, billiards has made the transition indoors to a hardwood table with a basic border around the perimeter and a green fabric over the table, with the purpose of simulating grass, or so many people believe.

According to previous discussion, tables had flat walls for rails only to prevent the balls from falling off, but when players discovered that balls could bounce off the rails, they began aiming for the river banks, or “banks,” which were the rails—because they resembled river banks—and so when the ball rebounded from a cushion as part of the shot, it was referred to as a “bank shot.” Originally invented in the late 1600s, cue sticks are now widely used.

Because of its huge head, the mace was useful when the ball was close to a rail; hence, players would spin the mace around and strike with its handle; this handle was originally referred to as the “queue” —tail— and later became known as the “cue.” Finally, but certainly not least, the term “pool” refers to a communal bet or ante, but in the nineteenth century, a poolroom was a horse racing betting parlor, and pool tables were built to allow clients to pass the time while waiting between races.

It was as a result of this that the word “pool” became linked with billiards in the public’s perception, and later with billiards in particular.

Carom billiards and pocket billiards

They’re both referred to as cue sports, which means that they’re both included in the general category of games that are played with sticks known as cues, which are used to strike and move pool balls around a pool table that’s surrounded by rubber cushions that are attached to the table’s bounding rails. As previously indicated, the Carom or carambola billiards are commonly simply referred to as “billiards,” and they are played when the table is bordered by cushions, with just three balls being used in total.

Pocket billiards or “pool”

In terms of international competition, this is the most well-known style of play. When playing this style of billiards, the balls are normally sixteen in number: one for the pool cue and fifteen for the object balls. The game is played on a pool table with six pockets constructed into the rails that separate the cushions. Instead, the pockets are strategically placed one at each corner and one in the center of each long rail, creating a pattern that serves as both targets and barriers for the balls.

Carom balls, as previously indicated, may be found on pocket tables and snooker tables, among other things.


Snooker is played on tables that include pockets. While in America, the tables are 10 feet long, in England the tables are twelve feet long and are gigantic. Snooker is played on a table with six pockets and uses 15 pink numberless balls, 6 numbered object balls, and 1 cue ball, whereas Pool is played on a table with six pockets and uses 9 to 15 object balls, as well as a cue ball.

What are the differences between balls, tables, and rules?

The most significant distinction between billiards, pool, and snooker games is the number of balls utilized.

Balls in snooker

In snooker, a total of twenty-two balls with a diameter of 2 1/16 inches are used: a white ball, commonly known as the striker ball, fifteen red balls, and one of each of the following colors: yellow, brown, blue, pink, black, and green.

Balls in billiards

For billiards, on the other hand, you’ll need three balls with a diameter of 2 7/16 inch each: white, yellow, and red. The white and yellow balls serve as the striker balls, while the red and yellow balls serve as the cue balls.

Balls in pool

Although the number of balls used in pool games varies according to how the game is played, the majority of pool games use a full set of sixteen balls that measure 2 1 4 inches in diameter, with eight of them being color-coded from one to eight and the other seven being color-coded from nine to fifteen; there is also a single white cue ball to round out the set of sixteen balls.


The game of carom billiards and pool can be played on a table that is either seven feet long or eight feet long, or even a nine-foot table, which is referred as as a pro table or a tournament table.

Tables for carom billiards do not have pockets, whereas pool tables and snooker tables are equipped with them. English snooker tables, on the other hand, are twelve feet long; in other words, they are gigantic, whereas American snooker tables are ten feet long.


All games have complicated rules, but we may approach them by starting with a simple premise and setting clear goals for ourselves and others.

Rules for Carom billiards

During a game of Carom Billiards, the primary objective is to earn points (referred to as “counts”) by bouncing the cue ball off of the other two balls that are currently on the table.

Rules for snooker

Instead, snooker is a game in which frames are played one after another and the player wins each one by scoring the most points possible by using the cue ball to pocket only the red and colored balls with the ball in his or her pocket. The red balls are worth one point, the yellow balls are for two points, the green balls are worth three points, the brown balls are worth four points, the blue balls are worth five points, the pink balls are worth six points, and the black balls are worth seven points.

When the incorrect ball is pocketed, it is referred to as a “foul,” and the player receives no points for pocketing the ball.

Rules for pool

Pool, or at least straight pool, is a game in which players win points by shooting balls into the pockets of the table. Before the game begins, all players agree that they would work together to get a specified number of points in order to be proclaimed the winner. The ability to pocket any ball on the table grants one point to the person who has pocketed that particular ball. In straight pool, the desired ball must reach the intended pocket in order for the shot to be considered successful.

Billiards equipment

The pool table fabric, also known as pool table felt, is made of a blend of wool and nylon, and is often used for billiard tables. Worsted fabric, on the other hand, is the highest-quality cloth, and you won’t be able to tell the difference since the wool is put through a special process that removes all of the fuzziness from the surface. Essentially, the “fabric” used for this is constructed of quarried slate that has been covered with cloth, generally tightly-woven worsted wool, and is surrounded with vulcanized rubber cushions to provide support.

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Racks, also known as triangles, are a well-known piece of billiards equipment that is used to position billiards balls in their starting positions prior to the start of a pocket billiards game; however, the word rack can also be used as a verb to describe the act of positioning the billiards balls in the desired formation. It is possible to make these triangles out of wood, plastic, or metal. In addition to this, a newer form known as a template rack is also used, which is manufactured from a thin plastic with precise cut-outs to hold the balls in position while they are being played.

  • Eight-ball, straight pool, one-pocket, bank pool, snooker, and more variations are available. Furthermore, diamond-shaped frames are sometimes utilized for the game of nine-ball, as well as for many other games.


There are three types of cue sticks, which are referred to as a billiards cue (also known as a pool cue or a snooker cue), and they are crucial to the games of pool, carom billiards, and snooker. Billiards cues are the most common type of cue stick. Cues are tapered sticks that are around 57-59 inches long and weigh between 16 and 21 ounces. They are used to hit a ball, known as the cue ball, in the game of pool. Cues designed for carom play have a shorter range, however the length of the cue will vary according on the player’s height and arm length in many instances.

Cues are mostly constructed of wood, but they can also be coated or bonded with other materials like as graphite or carbon fiber to improve their performance. Is it billiards or pool that’s the most popular game?

Popularity of billiards

Country’s such as Canada, Australia, the Philippines, Ireland and China have embraced pocket billiards as a popular recreational activity.

Popularity of pool

Pool is the most popular game in the United States, as it is a highly popular game that allows people to socialize in a casual way. As a result, almost every bar in the country has a pool hall, which is specifically designed to play 8-ball pool, as other versions of the game are largely unknown in the country. Nonetheless, when players play 9-ball pool, they have the opportunity to play in a more competitive environment.

Popularity of snooker

Snooker is sometimes considered to be even more popular in the United Kingdom than pool games are in the United States. In the United Kingdom, snooker is more commonly played on a snooker table; pool, on the other hand, is played on a regular basis, albeit the rules vary and the players are more motivated to use red and yellow balls rather than stripes and spots. Snooker first acquired widespread appeal in the 1980s, and it is still frequently shown live on BBC television, attracting a significant and consistent number of spectators in the millions.

Snooker Vs. Pool Vs. Billiards

The following information will be useful to anybody interested in learning more about the differences between snooker, pool, and billiards, whether they are experienced players or just getting started. The majority of people are aware that snooker is distinct from pool; yet, the terms pool and billiards are sometimes used interchangeably. The fact is that the name “billiards” refers to a group of games that are played using a cue, balls, and a pool table as the equipment. This translates into the reality that there are three unique games, each with its own set of rules and equipment: Snooker, Pool, and Billiards.

How to play Snooker

This is regarded as one of the most difficult games to master. They are significantly larger in size, but the pockets are slightly smaller in size. It takes a higher level of expertise on a snooker table to sink balls, as opposed to other sports.

How to set up Snooker table balls

The goal of the game is to accumulate the greatest number of points. Each red ball is worth one point, but each colored ball is worth additional points. When all of the red balls have been pocketed, the player with the highest number of points is declared the winner.

  • Getting the most points possible is the objective of the game. Red balls are for one point, whereas coloured balls are worth more points than red balls in this game. When all of the red balls have been pocketed, the player with the highest number of points is declared the victorious.

The rules of snooker

You may learn more about the rules of snooker by reading this Reddit thread, or you can watch this 5-minute video on how to play snooker.

How to Play pool

Strangely enough, the term “pool” eventually replaced the original phrase “pocket billiards” as the preferred moniker for the game. The term “pool” is simply an abbreviation for “poolrooms.” Its origins may be traced back to the 1800s, when individuals used to wager money on horses, which was considered unlawful at the time.

It was customary for people to gather in a chamber and combine their resources. It was decided that they would play pocket billiards while waiting for the results of the races in order to legitimize their meeting and make it more unobtrusive.

8-Ball Pool

Pool may be played in a variety of ways, but the most common game is 8-ball pool, which is played with eight balls. 8-ball is a type of pool game in which there are 15 balls on the table. To begin the game, the balls are arranged in a triangular formation. There are seven striped balls, seven solid colored balls, and one black eight-ball in this set. The color of each player is chosen by the player who sinks the first color of the rainbow. Prior to sinking the 8-ball, each player must sink all of his or her own balls (stripes or solid) in order for the game to be declared a success.

9-Ball Pool

Another popular pool table game is 9-ball, which is played with nine balls. To begin the game, the balls are arranged in a diamond pattern on the table. Each player’s balls must be sunk in the exact order of the numbers 1 through 9. The winner of the game is the guy who sinks the nine-ball.

Here’s a 4-minute video on how to play 8-ball pool

Carom Billiards is considered to be one of the first forms of billiards to be played, and it is thought that Pool and Snooker were evolved from Carom Billiards. This type of billiards is played on a table with no pockets and only three balls; a white ball, a yellow ball, and a red ball are used in this game. The yellow ball is occasionally swapped by a white ball with black spots on it, which is more difficult to see. The goal of the game is to accumulate the greatest number of points. You get points by knocking both balls out of the game with a single stroke.

This is when things become a little complicated.

The winner of the game is the one who achieves a set score.

Pool tables vs. Snooker tables vs. Carom billiards table

Snooker is the only game in which the table is the biggest of the three. Snooker tables in North America are 5′ by 10′ in size, however in Europe, the game is played on a 6′ x 12′ table. There are two bigger pool table sizes available, despite the fact that the bar size pool table (coin-operated) is just 7′ X 3.5′ in size. The most typical size for pool tables in houses is 8′ x 4′, whereas the most popular size for professional pool tables is 9′ x 4.5′ Billiards is played on a table that is 4.7′ x 9.3′ or 5′ x 10′ in size.

For all three games, the highest-quality tables are constructed with slate beneath them.

It’s also one of the reasons why pool tables are so very large and hefty.

When you consider how the scoring system works, it seems obvious that the ball will travel a larger distance on a table that plays quickly and with the least amount of resistance.

Billiards vs. Snooker vs. Pool ball size

Image source:Snooker Cue
Pool Cue
Cue Tip Between 9mm10.5mm Between 12mm13mm
Cue Weight Between 1820oz Between 19 to 21oz
Cue Size 57-58 inches 57-58 inches
Cue Material Ash Wood Maple Wood or Ash Wood

If you’re seeking for high-quality pool tables, we have what you’re looking for. Visit our store or give us a call if you want to find the greatest collection of slate pool tables that will last for generations.

Difference Between Pool and Snooker

For the uninitiated, they are nothing more than balls on a table. There is a significant difference between pool and snooker, according to those who are honest. Some are plainly apparent, while others are not. The majority of them are spelled out in the regulations. Learn more about them by visiting their website. The distinction between pool and snooker is based on the period in which they were both invented and first played. It was in the nineteenth century when both of these games were invented, with Billiards being the earliest.

Both varieties of the sport were split from their parent sport in order to keep things as simple as possible.

It was a game that was played often at off-track horse racing betting establishments.

Both games have the same goal: to move the cue ball inside the bounds of the table using the cue tip of the cue stick in order to place relevant balls into the appropriate pockets on the table.

Difference Between Pool and Snooker

Pool Snooker
Games PlayedBoth tables allow versions of cue games to be played.
The 8-ball and 9-ball remain the most popular pool games played to date. They are the successors of the straight pool and far more popular than 7-ball, which is considered too short. Other versions include:One Pocket, where balls are supposed to be pocketed into specified pockets. Rotation Pool, or 61, is similar to 9-ball with a little more complexity in potting balls with balls only being pocketed numerically.Chicago, which is similar to rotation, is more oriented towards betting and gambling. They have object balls and red balls. You need to pot object balls in order, in a guided compliance with potting red balls. Versions other than the original snooker are rarely played, but do exist –Life Pool, where there used to be pools of money bet on the game and considered as the original branch off towards the pool side. Six-redsnooker includes only 6 red balls.Sinuca Brasileiracontains only one red ball instead of the regular fifteen, and has different rules. Russian Pyramid; variations of the game include the Moscow pyramid and the Petersburg pyramid.
BallsThey may seem of the same size from afar, but they are not.
Standard ball size is 2¼”. Coin-op tables require a slightly larger cue ball. The balls vary between America and England. Americans use larger balls (2⅛”), while the British prefer smaller (2 and a sixteenth inch) balls.
CuesAnother misconception for someone who hasn’t played both is that both games use the same cues. Someone who has, will immediately know the difference.
They are 57″ to 58″ in length and are either 1 piece or 2 piece. Tip diameter is 11 to 14 mm. Holding ends are often covered with a linen wrap. Length is anywhere between 57″ to 63″. Tip diameter is around 10 mm, much smaller than a pool cue. They are widely made of ash and have no covering on their holding ends.
TableThe size of the tables are evidently different, with snooker played on the larger surface.
Regulation tables are 3.5 feet by 7 feet, tournament tables are 4.5 feet to 9 feet. Table height is generally the same as that of an American table. Tournament rules require the table to be 6 feet by 12 feet, much larger than the pool table. Common tables do come in a variety of sizes, matched to fit a given space if there is a size restriction. Table height of a British snooker table is generally 2″ taller than an American table.
Playing SurfaceSurfaces are traditionally green, but time changed that for better looking tables.
Pool tables are small and do not go well with extra-smooth surfaces. The pool table surfaces provide a bit more friction than a snooker table. Snooker tables are huge and the game rules require the ball to be controlled as precisely as possible. The surfaces are very smooth to provide the least bit of friction so the balls can travel the distances on the table. The advantage to snooker is that the material used can be wool or nylon threading for a smooth surface. These materials may be super-costly, but they last for a long time (almost 5 years).
Table PocketsBoth tables use different styles of pockets.
Pool tables use cushioned linings that dive into the pockets at a steep angle. The kind of shot required to pocket a ball is made a little tougher this way. Snooker tables use cushions that flow into the pockets in a curved manner. The mouth of the hole is made wider this way, making the exact angle at which you can pocket a ball different from a game of pool.
Additional AccessoriesA distinguishing point between both is the use of added equipment for improved shots, mainly in snooker.
Pool does not have any noteworthy accessories different from snooker. Standard equipment includes the chalk for the cue tip. Snooker requires the use of extension arms on the table. This is due to the size of the table and the difficulty of shots. The common accessories used are the spider and the ball marker.

The Mindset

All of the rules, as well as all of the game types, are derived from the differences in human thought. Snooker will always be seen as a game of strategy, and as a game that should be played at a leisurely pace. Swimming pool, on the other hand, is a fast-paced and short-lived activity that is intended to be used as a break between putting horse bets. That’s all there is to it. When you go out to play pool or snooker and find yourself wondering how the other game is played, you’ll be prepared because you now know the fundamentals to get you started.

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