Billiards vs Pool Tables and which is better

Billiard or Pool? Choosing the Perfect Table for Your Game Room

billiards or pool tables which one is better

It’s completely understandable if you use the terms Billiards and pool interchangeably. They have come to mean the same thing in the minds of the general public. To be fair, from how the game is portrayed in the media and pool tables being a familiar fixture in bars and restaurants, you can hardly blame anyone for melding the two together. However there are key differences between a billiards table and a pool table, and knowing the difference is important while you shop for the right one for you.

Here are some things you should know about the differences between billiard tables and pool tables.

What Is a Billiard Table?

A billiard table is designed for the use of the sport of billiards. There are different sizes, ranging from the standard 9-ft by 5-ft to the smaller ones with a 6-ft by 3-ft playing surface. A billiards table does not have pockets. This table is used for carom billiards and snooker, but a proper game of pool cannot be played on a traditional billiards table.

All billiard tables are built to be sturdy and flexible. The table must be able to withstand the pressure of the balls hitting one another and the side rails. Because of the intense contact, you will find most billiard tables are constructed with a solid wood frame.

How Would You Describe a Pool Table?

The distinctive factor on a pool table will be the six pockets, one in each corner with one in the middle on each side. With these pockets, you can play a game of pool.

While pool tables are also often made with a solid wood frame, there are lighter-weight models available for those who may want to place their table in storage at times. 


Differences in Terms of Composition

Billiard tables and pool tables, in their basic structure, are very similar. Beyond pockets, the playing surface is the next biggest difference. Billiards table surfaces are ‘faster’ than that of pool tables. This refers to the speed at which balls will travel on the surface after being struck.

On a billiard table, the playing surface is covered with a green cloth, typically 100% wool, then polished with a layer of sticky resin. 

Meanwhile, on a pool table, the cloth covering is made from more durable materials. The most common are pearl weave and speed cloth. Each cloth is made from polyester fabric that has been covered with resin.


Differences in Terms of Ball Types

A modern billiard ball is made of plastic. Though originally made of ivory, this practice was discontinued in the 1970s. Once molded, the balls are coated with a layer of resin, then polished to avoid chips and divots on their surface. They are also larger than pool balls.

Pool balls, on the other hand, are made from two layers of rubber. These are then covered with a layer of resin. The purpose of the rubber layers is to offer a bit of cushioning when the balls hit the playing surface and are also cheaper to produce than their billiards counterparts.


Final Thoughts

Now that you know the difference between billiard tables and pool tables, you can decide which one is the best for you. If you are looking for a traditional game of billiards, then you will want to purchase a billiard table. If you are looking for a more modern game of pool, then you will want to purchase a pool table.

If you want to buy or rent pool tables in Denver, check out Game Exchange. We are a full-line distributor of new and used games for your home, office, or commercial space. Check out our collection of arcade games, pinball machines, pool tables, and so much more at our game and billiards showroom in central Denver, Colorado!