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You want to enjoy your evening playing pool with your friends. However, you realize that you do not have the specific cue sticks for pool. All you can lay your hands on is the snooker cue. Since, you are determined, you decide that the game has to continue.
So, will the snooker cue work in this case? Can you use it to play pool? Well, yes you can use a snooker cue to play pool but only if you are just playing casually. However, there are marginal things that you will have to ignore such as overshooting or some slight precision loss. Thus, for professional gaming, for professional gaming, you may want to use the right stick for each game that you want to play
This article looks highlights the different types of cue sticks, pool games for the respective sticks and other pool related questions. Read on for a deeper insight.
Snooker, Pool, And Billiards- What Is the Difference
Before we can dive into the issue of what cue stick to use for what game, it is important that we first understand the games we are talking about. This will help in understanding why a certain stick is the right one and not another one. Below is a deeper insight into the three pool table games namely snooker, billiards, and pool.
Most people believe that these three games are the same. Others think that they are simply slight variations of one game. Shockingly, the three are completely distinct games, each with different playing equipment and rules.
Snooker (at a glance)
- Smaller balls and narrower pockets
- Uses 21 balls
- A longer table than that of billiards and pool
- Many games known as frames make up a match
Billiards (at a glance)
- The traditional table has no pockets
- Only three balls are played the yellow and white cue balls, and the taget ball , which is red in color
- Table is 10 by 5 ft.
Pool (at a glance)
- Also referred to as pocket billiards, describing the cue games in general in America
- Common gameplays include cutthroat, 9-ball, 8-ball, straight pools and many others.
It is worth noting that pool tables are smaller than snooker tables, with snooker having the smallest of balls.
The cloth covering the pool table usually slows down the balls. Additionally, pool cues are long with a thin shaft. On the other hand, billiard cue sticks have a thicker shaft, but they are relatively smaller.
Snooker cue Vs. English Pool Cue
Having gone through the different pool table games, let us now look at the snooker cue and pool cue sticks to understand their differences, which make them specific for each game.
The pool and snooker cue share numerous physical appearances. On the surface, you wouldn’t even notice any difference between them at all. You will only realize the difference if you are keen to look into minor details such as the ferrules material and the size of the tip.
- Snooker Cue
This one comes with a general length of 57-58 inches. Normally it is made of ash wood. The tip has a width of 9 – 10.5mm and coarse leather that aids in precision and control of the balls. The tip connects to the cue using a brass ferrule.
Since it uses the American ash for the wood, it is known to be sufficiently straight, strong and stable. This rates them among the best pool table cues.
- English Pool Cue
As mentioned already, this one is almost the same as the snooker cue. Its length is 57. The tip width ranges from 8-9.5mm. Specifically, this tip gives a perfect shot the balls used. Moreover, just like a snooker cue, this one too has coarse leather at the tip to aid in precision and control.
Other Common Types of Cue Sticks
Apart from the snooker cue and English pool cue described above, there are other types of cues as discussed below.
- American Cues
American cue is another type of cue that you can use for pool. It is between 57 and 58 inches long and is made of maple. The length is considered standard some others may come with a different measurement.
Their tip is larger, given the type of ball being used. Usually the tip is between 12-13 mm to hit the much heavier American balls easily. These cues vary in weight, thus the player gets the chance of choosing basing on personal preferences.
- Ramin Cues
Generally, you will find this in the clubs and bars as opposed to finding one at pool at home. They come with the pool table, and they are relatively cheaper, making them common among players. The tip is not tied to the ferrule, thus, high chances of missing the ball. For casual games, you can use them, but they are not recommended for professional games or competitions.
- Wooden Pool Cue
For the traditional feel of pool, you may want to try a wooden cue stick. Most traditional enjoy the wooden feel in their hands as well as the sound produced when breaking the balls.
The tip constructions for wooden cue sticks vary in terms of hardness. Softer tips spin the balls better, but they wear out fast because of the material used, which is compressed leather.
There are also variations in terms of weight. With the lighter, you will have more control, but not enough power to make high impact ball hits. The heavy ones produce more hitting impacts, but they are best left for experienced players who have mastered the art of control.
The con of wooden cues is a short durability period due to warping. The material used to make it is not as durable as the ones used the other modern sticks. However, they are still more expensive, and thus out of reach for most people. Overall, beginners or intermediary players may not do so well with these cues, thus going for other options.
- Fiberglass Cues
Fiberglass cues are now becoming popular by day, especially for home pool owners. Compared to the wooden ones, they are a bit lightweight thus producing less force when hitting the balls. However, they are ideal for beginners because of the stick control.
Can you use American Cue for English Pool?
Occasionally, you can use an American cue to break the balls on English pool. You would prefer it because of the large tip, which will make the breaking very powerful.
However, you cannot use it for general play, as there will be struggle with precise ball control. This is also due to the large tip, which makes it difficult to hit the exact point that you wish to strike.
Thus, for best precision, do not use American cue for English pool.
How About English Pool Cue or Snooker Cue for American Pool
Generally, the American pool uses larger and heavier balls. Snooker and English Pool cues are lighter, thus not the best cues to use on the heavy American pool balls.
The cues may lead to mushrooming of the balls, or even breaking of the cue stick itself. Thus, for American pool, just use an American cue.
Tips for Selecting a Pool Cue When Playing
Whether, it is a competition, or casual game, you want to show your prowess by winning the game. The cue used plays a major role, and you want to choose the right one. Here are tips to help you choose.
- Check the tip and ensure a firm attachment with the ferrule and no cracks.
- Feel the weight and pick one that you can manage comfortably.
- Ignore a cue whose tip is hardened as it may not hold the ball properly.
- Choose a straight cue.
The Advantages of Using the Right Cue
As already seen, every game is different based on the type of table and balls used. For instance, a snooker ball measure 2 1/16 inches, an English ball 1 7/8 while the American one is 2 ¼.
The ball sizes and weights determine the make of respective cues. Each cue does well for the respective game it is meant for.
There are two outcomes involved when you interchange them. One could be losing ball control and the other one causing damage to the cue.
Can you play snooker on a pool table?
Yes, you can always use your pool table to play snooker. You simply have to make a few adjustments to suit the snooker rules. For instance draw a few lines, locate the D and the dot, and you are good to go.
Are heavier pool cues better?
This question is a matter of preference. Lighter cues give more control while heavier cues give more strike force. Beginners may want to use the lighter cues while experts will use heavier ones to show their prowess.
Which one is easier between pool and snooker?
The intended snooker table is usually larger than the pool table, but its pockets are smaller. Additionally, snooker rules are stricter compared to pool rules. This makes it harder for most people. However, hard or easy is relative depending on the player the master of each game will tell you how easy the game is.
See Also:How to Maintain a Pool Cue Shaft