What Is the Difference Between a Snooker Table Vs a Pool Table

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The distinction between a snooker table and a pool table goes beyond mere aesthetics. The differences encompass various aspects, from the size and dimensions of the tables to the materials used in their construction.

Understanding these distinctions is crucial for enthusiasts and professionals alike, as they influence the gameplay and overall experience of each game.

Delving into these differences sheds light on the nuances that make snooker and pool two distinct and captivating pastimes, each with its own set of challenges and strategies.

Key Takeaways

  • Snooker tables are larger in size, with a tournament size of 12 ft x 6 ft, while pool tables range from 6 ft x 3 ft to 10 ft x 5 ft.
  • Pool tables have larger pocket sizes, ranging from 4 7/8 inches to 5 1/8 inches, compared to snooker table pocket sizes of 3 3/8 inches to 3 5/8 inches.
  • Snooker tables have a playing surface of 140 x 70 inches, while pool tables have a playing surface of 78 x 39 inches for a 3.5 x 7 ft table.
  • Snooker balls are smaller in diameter, with a diameter of 2 1/16 inches, while pool balls have a diameter of 2 1/4 inches. Snooker uses 22 balls, while pool employs 16 balls.

Table Size and Dimensions

When considering the table size and dimensions of snooker and pool tables, it is essential to recognize the distinct variations in their measurements and playing surfaces.

Pool tables typically range from 6 feet x 3 feet to 10 feet x 5 feet, with common sizes being 7 feet x 3.5 feet and 8 feet x 4 feet. In contrast, snooker tables have a full-size tournament size of 12 feet x 6 feet, with anything smaller than a 10-foot table not recommended for competitive play.

The pocket sizes also differ significantly, with standard corner pockets on pool tables ranging from 4 7/8 inches to 5 1/8 inches, while on snooker tables, they range from 3 3/8 inches to 3 5/8 inches.

Additionally, pool tables have a playing surface of 78 x 39 inches for a 3.5 x 7 ft table, while snooker tables boast a larger playing surface of 140 x 70 inches.

Furthermore, the weight disparity between snooker and pool tables is noteworthy, with snooker tables weighing between 170kg and 1270kg, while pool tables typically weigh between 280kg and 450kg.

These differences in table size and dimensions significantly impact the playing experience for both pool balls and snooker balls.

Ball Size and Number

determining ball size and quantity

The difference in ball size and quantity between snooker and pool contributes significantly to the distinct gameplay experiences offered by each game.

On a snooker table, the smaller, lighter snooker balls with a diameter of 2 1/16 inches are used, while pool tables accommodate larger, heavier pool balls with a diameter of 2 1/4 inches.

Additionally, snooker utilizes a total of 22 balls, including 15 red balls, 6 other colored balls, and a white cue ball. In contrast, pool employs 16 balls, with a mix of solid and striped balls, along with the white cue ball.

These differences in ball size and number impact the strategies, precision, and techniques required in each game, making them unique and appealing to different players.

Pocket Size and Placement

Comparatively, the dimensions and placements of pockets on snooker and pool tables significantly influence the level of challenge and precision required in gameplay. Snooker tables feature smaller pockets compared to pool tables, intensifying the level of difficulty in potting balls. The standard corner pocket size on snooker tables ranges from 3 3/8 inches to 3 5/8 inches, while the standard side pocket size is 4 1/16 inches to 4 5/16 inches. In contrast, pool tables are equipped with larger pockets, with standard corner pocket size ranging from 4 7/8 inches to 5 1/8 inches and standard side pocket size of 5 3/8 inches to 5 5/8 inches wide. The difference in pocket size and placement between snooker and pool tables significantly impacts the gameplay experience, requiring players to adapt their strategy and precision accordingly.

Pocket TypeSnooker Table (inches)Pool Table (inches)
Corner Pocket3 3/8 – 3 5/84 7/8 – 5 1/8
Side Pocket4 1/16 – 4 5/165 3/8 – 5 5/8

Surface Material and Cloth

textile and upholstery options

When comparing snooker and pool tables, a crucial aspect to consider is the surface material and cloth. The type of cloth used, whether it's a combination of wool and nylon or primarily worsted wool, significantly impacts the playing experience.

Additionally, the color options available for the cloth can also influence the visibility of the balls and the overall aesthetic appeal of the table.

Table Cloth Differences

Worsted wool and nylon are the primary materials used for the surface cloth of snooker and pool tables. Snooker tables typically utilize a higher percentage of worsted wool.

The differences in table cloth between snooker and pool tables are crucial in defining the play experience for each game. Snooker tables predominantly use 90% worsted wool and 10% nylon for their cloth, providing a smoother and faster playing surface.

On the other hand, pool tables can have a mix of 75% wool and 25% nylon or pure worsted wool. This offers varying degrees of speed and durability.

The cloth on snooker tables is designed to facilitate precise cue ball control. In contrast, pool table cloth is tailored to accommodate a wider range of cue ball speeds.

These cloth differences significantly affect the behavior of the balls, contributing to the distinct playing styles of snooker and pool.

Surface Material Types

The surface material types for snooker and pool tables, including the cloth used, play a crucial role in defining the playing experience for each game.

Pool tables primarily use slate, natural wood, and cloth made of worsted wool or a wool-nylon mixture. In contrast, snooker tables also utilize slate and natural wood, but the cloth used is typically a mixture of 90% worsted wool and 10% nylon, providing a different playing experience.

Additionally, pool table cloth is often made of worsted wool or a wool-nylon blend, while snooker table cloth is predominantly 90% worsted wool and 10% nylon. The choice of cloth impacts the speed and friction of play.

Pool tables use pockets with a K-66 profile and vulcanized rubber, while snooker tables have smaller pocket sizes, affecting the game's dynamics and strategies.

Cloth Color Options

Typically found in a variety of traditional and tournament-approved colors, the cloth used on pool and snooker tables plays a pivotal role in shaping the gameplay experience and influencing the dynamics of ball movement on the table.

The cloth color options for pool and snooker tables are as follows:

  • Pool tables: Cloth primarily made of a combination of wool and nylon, available in various colors like green, blue, red, and more.
  • Snooker tables: Typically use worsted wool or woolen cloth, available in traditional green color or tournament-approved colors like blue.

The choice of cloth color and material can significantly impact the gameplay experience, the speed of the balls on the table, as well as the ball's spin and response, influencing the players' strategies in both pool and snooker games.

Surface material and cloth options are essential considerations for players when customizing or choosing a table for their preferred game.

Cue Stick Variations

different types of cue sticks

In the world of cue sports, the variations in cue sticks play a crucial role in determining the performance and precision of players on both snooker and pool tables.

In snooker, the cue sticks are typically lighter and have a smaller tip, which allows for more precise control when striking the smaller, lighter cue ball.

On the other hand, pool cues are generally heavier with a larger tip, providing the necessary power to maneuver the larger, heavier cue ball used in pool.

The construction and taper of the cues also differ between snooker and pool, further catering to the specific requirements of each game.

Understanding these differences is essential for players to achieve optimal performance in either snooker or pool, also known as pocket billiards.

Gameplay and Rules

detailed gameplay and rule explanations

When comparing the gameplay and rules of snooker and pool, one significant difference lies in the way points are scored.

In snooker, the point system is more complex, with different values assigned to red and colored balls, while in pool, each ball is worth a specific point value.

Understanding the nuances of the point system is crucial for players to strategize and execute their shots effectively.

Game Rules Comparison

The distinction in game rules between snooker and pool tables encompasses various aspects, including the equipment used, ball sizes, pocket sizes, and cushion profiles, leading to significant differences in gameplay and strategy.

  • Snooker uses 22 balls, including the white cue ball, 15 red balls, and 6 balls of other colors, such as yellow, green, brown, blue, pink, and black. On the other hand, pool uses 16 balls, including the white cue ball and 15 object balls, comprising solid and striped balls.
  • In snooker, the pockets are smaller, which makes potting balls more challenging, while pool tables have larger pockets, making it relatively easier to pocket balls.
  • Snooker tables use a K-66 cushion profile, providing a unique rebound characteristic, whereas pool tables can use either a K-55 or K-66 profile, affecting the gameplay and ball trajectory.
  • The rules of both cue sports differ significantly, dictating the order of ball potting, fouls, and the point system, requiring players to adapt their strategies accordingly.

Table Size Differences

Comparing the table size differences between snooker and pool tables offers insight into the distinct gameplay and rule variations that stem from the physical dimensions of each table.

Snooker tables are typically larger, measuring 12 feet x 6 feet, while pool tables come in various sizes, ranging from 6 feet x 3 feet to 10 feet x 5 feet.

Additionally, snooker tables feature smaller pockets, adding an extra challenge to the game compared to pool tables.

The difference in ball size is also notable, with snooker balls being smaller in diameter at 2 1/16 inches, while pool balls have a slightly larger diameter at 2 1/4 inches.

These size variations contribute to the unique characteristics of each game, influencing cue design, ball movement, and overall gameplay experience.

Cue Ball Distinctions

Differentiating the gameplay and rules between snooker and pool cue balls is essential in understanding the nuanced strategies and techniques employed in each game. The distinctions between snooker and pool cue balls are crucial elements that significantly impact the overall gameplay and rules of the two games.

Here are the key differences:

  • Cue Ball Diameter: Snooker cue balls are 2 1/16 inches, whereas pool cue balls are slightly larger at 2 1/4 inches.
  • Total Balls Used: Snooker utilizes 22 balls, while pool games are played with a total of 16 balls.
  • Game Objectives: In snooker, players aim to pot red balls and colored balls in a specific order for points, whereas in pool, the objective is to pot colored balls and the black ball to win.
  • Pocket Sizes: The pocket sizes on snooker tables are smaller than those on pool tables, presenting a more challenging aspect for snooker players.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Play Snooker on a Regular Pool Table?

Yes, it is possible to play snooker on a regular pool table. However, the differences in table size, pocket size, ball size, and number of balls can impact the game. Adjustments in playing style and rules may be necessary.

Which Is Easier Pool or Snooker?

The complexity of snooker, with a larger table, smaller balls, and more intricate rules, makes it more challenging than pool. Pool, with its larger pockets and fewer balls, is generally considered easier to play for beginners.

Can You Play Snooker and Pool on the Same Table?

While there are hybrid tables designed to accommodate both snooker and pool, it's not recommended to play both games on the same table without significant adjustments. The differences in size, pocket dimensions, and playing surfaces make it impractical for seamless gameplay.

How Much Bigger Is a Snooker Table to a Pool Table?

A full-size snooker table measures 12 feet x 6 feet, while pool tables range from 6 feet x 3 feet to 10 feet x 5 feet. The larger playing surface of a snooker table offers a distinct advantage for the game.


In conclusion, the differences between a snooker table and a pool table are evident in their sizes, ball sizes, pocket sizes, cushion profiles, table markers, and table surfaces.

These differences result in varying levels of challenge and gameplay for each game.

Understanding these distinctions is important for players and enthusiasts to fully appreciate and excel in both snooker and pool.