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While pool and snooker are both cue sports, the tables that you play the game on are completely different. Yes. There is a small amount of overlap between the two, and these differences are so minor that it probably wouldn’t matter that much if you were playing at an amateur level. However, it is still worth knowing these differences so you can be positive that you are buying the right table for your needs.
So, what are the differences between a pool table and a snooker table? The main difference would be the size. Snooker tables are larger tables in general, but pool tables are a little bit higher. There is also a slight difference in the shape of the pockets, making it far more difficult to pot a shot on a snooker table.
If you want a quick overview of the differences, you can consult this chart. However, we do urge you to read on. That way our experts can go through, in even greater depth, the differences between pool tables and a snooker table.
|Length of Table
|At least 10-feet. Can be 12-feet if European-style
|7ft – 9ft
|Height of Table
|Varies. However, they tend to be lower than a pool table
|Start at about 32″ and go up from there.
|Wide pockets (6 of them)
|Narrow pockets (6 of them)
Pool Tables vs Snooker Table. What Are the Main Differences?
Before we dive into the similarities and differences between pool and snooker tables, we do want to point out that we are only discussing US tables in this section. This is especially important for our discussion on snooker tables. If you purchase a European table, it will be a couple of feet longer.
If you look at a pool table and a snooker table, you will see that they both look the same. They are both rectangular. They will both have six pockets. They will both have felt on the surface. The table will even be constructed from the same type of material (either slate or MDF)
There are so many similarities here that you could easily play pool on a snooker table and snooker on a pool table. You probably wouldn’t be able to do it to a high standard, though. We will talk more about this in a short while.
The Length of the Table
The main difference between the two will be the length of the table. We are talking about the regulation-size pool and snooker tables here. We are aware that you can get shorter pool tables than this.
- Pool tables start at 7-feet and go up to 9-feet
- American snooker tables will always be 10-feet in length
While it may not seem like much, the differences in the size can completely shake up the way that you play the game. A longer table, for instance, means that there will need to be more power placed into a shot. A shorter pool table means more controlled shots.
The Height of the Table
Pool tables are a little bit taller than the average snooker table. Since there will only be a couple of inches difference in height, this will not be a problem for most people. The only time it will cause a major problem is if you have children playing at the table. You may want to opt for something a little bit lower in height. However, even then, you can find shorter pool tables if that is what you are after.
The Width of the Table
The width of a pool table will almost always be half the length. So, if you have a 9-foot long table, the width of the table will be 4.5-feet. If you have a 7-foot table, then it will be 3.5-feet. You may find some cheaper pool tables that do not stick to this rule, but if you have a regulation pool table, then this is what the width would be in relation to the length.
If you have a 10-foot snooker table (i.e. the US version) then the width will be 5-feet. If you have a 12-foot table (i.e. the European version) then it will be 6-feet. This means that a snooker table will almost always be wider than a pool table.
This is the ‘main difference’ between pool and snooker tables.
With a pool table, you will have larger pockets. While the corner pockets will be a bit narrower than the side pockets, they are still fairly large. This is because pool balls are hefty in size. If you hit a snooker ball into a pool pocket, it will pretty much stay there. In fact, you barely need any accuracy with snooker balls on a pool table.
On a snooker table, the pockets will all be narrow. All six pockets will be of the same size. The pockets will be so narrow that it can be difficult to get pool balls to fit into them. Unless you are very accurate in your shots, they are not going to go into the pocket.
If you look at the pockets on a snooker table, you will likely notice that they are curved on the inside. This means that if you take a shot, the ball is less likely to stay in the pocket. It will bounce out. The only way you can get a ball to stay in a pocket on a snooker table is if you are fairly accurate with your shot.
Pool table pockets are just wide. Accuracy will still be important but not as important. If you manage to get a ball into the pocket, it probably is not going to be bouncing out.
Of course, this means that each table will lend itself to a slightly different playing style.
Pool tables and snooker tables have different markings on them. Of course, you can convert a pool table to a snooker table rather easily. There are special ‘kits’ that you can purchase that allow you to do this. Once again, if you are not really playing snooker to a high level, this is probably not going to be that much of an issue. You do not need exact markings on the table if you play a frame or two here and there.
Due to the size difference, you may find that snooker tables are a bit less portable than pool tables. There are portable snooker tables on the market, but they can be quite flimsy. They can also be tougher to store due to their greater length.
Generally speaking, snooker tables are designed to be just ‘left in position’.
Can You Play Snooker on a Pool Table?’
Yes. Although, you may need to add extra markings to the pool table if you wish to play ‘properly’. Although, if you just want to do a basic set-up of the balls, then there should be no real issues here.
As we pointed out previously; a pool table is going to be shorter than a snooker table. This means that if you are used to playing on a full-sized snooker table, you may find it a bit difficult to set your shots up. After all, there will be a lot less power behind them.
You will also need to remember that the pockets on a pool table are larger. This means that it is a bit easier to pot the ball than it would be on a snooker table. Therefore, a pool table isn’t really ideal for those that want to develop their snooker skills to a competitive level.
Can You Play Pool on a Snooker Table?
Sort-of. It is a LOT harder to play pool on a snooker table than it is to play snooker on a pool table.
The main issue here will be the size of the pockets. As we said before; snooker tables have smaller pockets. Pool balls are rather large. This means that it is going to be a lot harder to pot the pool balls. In fact, you have to be pretty ‘spot-on’ with your shots. For many, it is not going to be that much of a fun experience due to how many shots you will be missing.
Generally speaking, we wouldn’t recommend that you play pool on a snooker table. Not unless you absolutely need to do so. The size of the pockets changes the game up far too much. Not to mention that the larger balls can make it difficult to get power behind them when the table is a bit larger.
Should You Buy a Pool or Snooker Table for Use at Home?
There are a couple of things you will need to consider here.
Your first consideration should be whether you are going to be playing pool or snooker most. If you are going to only ever play snooker, then it makes zero sense buying a pool table. While you could feasibly play snooker on a pool table, you will not be developing your skills in the right way.
However, if space is a major problem for you, then a pool table is the route to go down, no matter what you end up playing. A pool table is a good couple of feet shorter than a snooker table. This means that you can set it up in a smaller room. It also slots into storage far easier.
See Also: 4 Best Pool Tables For Garage
Is it possible to play snooker on a pool table?
It is possible to play snooker on a pool table. However, it is worth remembering that the game will not play in the same way as if you were on a full-sized snooker table. It is easier to play American snooker on a pool table than it would be to play European snooker. This is because American snooker takes place on a shorter table anyway.
When should you buy a pool table instead of a snooker table?
Pool tables are smaller than their snooker counterparts. If a person has little in the way of space, then the smaller pool table may be the route to go down, even if they intend to be playing snooker a lot of the time.
Will a pool table have snooker markings?
If you purchase a pool table with the intention of playing snooker on it, you will need to add your own markings. This is something that should be simple to do with the use of a proper guide and a permanent marker.