Snooker VS Pool: Which is Harder


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Trying new games is always an exciting experience.  With the popularity of cue games around town, it isn’t hard to imagine why you’re curious about snooker and pool

Snooker and pool are played in many places, ranging from interactive bars to exclusive country clubs. To improve your chances of scoring a fun win even without much practice, it is a great idea to do your research on both and find the type best suited to your abilities. 

Fear not, we have made your task much easier, as this article is all you need to know about pool and snooker. 

When it comes to cue games such as snooker and pool many people wonder which game is more difficult. Though both games have some similarities, snooker is the more challenging game of the two. This is because snooker has many inflexible rules and specific traits regarding the size and number of balls and pockets, which must be followed by players. Thus pool is easier for those new to cue games. 

There are many differences across various individuals. We all have strengths and weaknesses that are unique to us. Though most people find pool to be a more convenient game to play while de-stressing with friends and family, others may find that they prefer snooker despite its relative difficulty.   

By reading on you will be able to understand both games, while also realizing what we mean when we say that snooker is harder.

Excited? Let’s go explore!

Reasons why Snooker is more difficult to Play than Pool

As mentioned before, snooker is a harder game to nail when compared to pool, despite the fact that both games have certain striking similarities. 

Both games may use green tables and have pockets on the side to catch balls, but it can’t be ignored that they have significant distinguishing differences that affect their difficulty levels. 

As established, snooker is more tiresome to master. The Europeans prefer the more complicated version of the game as they prefer the larger snooker tables measuring 12 by 6 feet, unlike their American counterparts who usually use smaller tables. 

In a game of snooker, players have to maneuver 21 colored balls with the help of one white cue ball, (each ball has a diameter of 52.5 mm, and weighs no more than three grams) into one of the six holes on the table sides. The balls are colored according to how many points they are worth. 

It is important to know that of the 21 balls, there are 15 red balls each worth one point. The other balls have various colors ranging from yellow, green, brown, blue, pink, and black, where the next in the list as one more point than the previous one. The black ball has the highest worth with seven points. 

The colored balls are called the object balls, and they must be hit using a striker, which in snooker can only be the white cue ball.  

Scoring in snooker is complicated as players must follow a particular order of pocketing balls alternating between red balls and object balls. Once all the red balls have been pocketed, only then can players pocket the leftover object balls, keeping in mind a particular order. 

The average pocket size in a snooker table is 3.5 inches, but professional players are known to use pockets as small as 3.25 to 3.35 inches. The smaller the pockets, the harder they are to land balls in. 

Reasons why Pool is easier to play than Snooker

Pool is much easier to play than snooker. It makes use of balls that have diameters spanning 2.25 inches, making them larger than those used in snooker (2.06 inch diameters). 

These balls are easier to maneuver especially into the larger-sized pockets that pool tables are known for. Pool table pockets are usually sized around 4.25 inches to roughly 5.25 inches, which makes inserting balls almost half their size into them pretty easy.

A pool table has a standard size ratio of 2:1. Normally, the length of a table spans from seven to nine feet long. The pool table size allows balls to scatter freely, while also giving players plenty of room to maneuver their balls into the pocket. 

Additionally the game of pool is simpler to play as it allows players to use three different strikers to hit balls across the table, instead of just one white cue ball. 

A great thing about pool is that there are many different pool games that can be played, depending on player preferences. While snooker has specific rules that must be followed, you can play various pool games ranging from ‘eight-ball’, ‘nine-ball’ and even ‘straight pool’.

Pool games thus vary in difficulty and are played by millions around the world. 

Pool Players against Snooker Players: the Question of Skill

Since snooker players generally deal with larger tables with smaller pockets, snooker players require great maneuverability, more precision, and a greater attention to detail. 

As mentioned previously, snooker has a stricter set of rules than pool, especially regarding the different instructions for each of the numerous balls it uses, increasing the game’s difficulty.

Snooker players tend to have spent more time remembering and applying the rules of the game during each session. Recalling intricate rules is a tricky business and isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. 

There are many different types of pool games, while snooker is usually played following a standard set of rules. In order to ensure that they remain in good form for their games, snooker players (in national and international forums) have to practice more frequently than pool players.

For a snooker player to become good at pool games they need to make themselves familiar with the practical game, while also understand slightly different equipment. However, pool players who want to become good at snooker need to work on their technical game skills and improve their precision. 

Equipment needed for Snooker and Pool games

As previously stated, snooker players need 22 balls in total, which consists of 21 colored object balls, and one white cue striker ball. On the other hand, pool players need 9-15 balls, depending on the pool game that is being played. 

Additionally, it is important to remember that balls in snooker are generally smaller, and weigh lesser than those used in pool games. 

Both games require a cue to be played. Players of both games require a similar length of the cues, which typically spans 57 to 58 inches long. However, due to differences in the ball sizes, pool player require cues that have a wider tip diameter (ranging from 12 to 13 millimeters) in order to make a significant impact on their heavier balls. 

Similarly, snooker players have cues that have tips measuring 9 to 10.5 millimeters, as their balls are lighter, smaller, and need more precision to maneuver across the smaller tables.

Cues for snooker games can’t be used for pool games as the narrower tips make it harder to shoot balls with force across larger distances. 

See more: Snooker Cue Vs Pool Cue

Pool and Snooker tables 

Pool and snooker tables are made of similar cloth materials, and generally look similar. It should be known that there are several signs that distinguish between the two tables. The tables of course, differ on the basis of the rules of the games that are played on it. 

Here is a table to illustrate the major differences between the tables used for snooker and pool.

 Snooker TablePool Table
Size (ratio 2:1)Between 10 to 12 feet long Between 7  to 9 feet long
Height2 feet 9.5 inches / 2 feet 10.5 inches2 feet 5.2 inches / 2 feet 7 inches
Pockets6 narrow pockets6 large pockets

You can see that the table size, height, and pockets depend on the games played on them, with snooker tables being built for greater precision. Pool tables are easier to navigate by less experienced players, by having more spacious pockets to shoot balls into. 

Related Questions

Why are Snooker and Pool tables traditionally green?

600 years ago, when cue games such as pool and snooker were introduced as indoor games, green colored tables were used for playing. The color green is similar to the grass outdoors, which served to remind the players of how the original cue games were played outdoors. 

Some pool tables these days are blue as it was harder to see balls against green background when pool/ snooker matches were aired on colored TV. 

Is pool more popular than snooker?

Pool is more popular than snooker because of how the size of pool tables makes them easily accessible in a larger collection of spaces. Similarly, pool has a smaller set of rules, making it more fun; a game less intense as compared to snooker which calls for more attention to various specific details.

Why were such cue games invented?

Indoor cue games such as pool can be traced back to the 18th century when gamblers invented the game of pool to hide their gambling habits from the authorities. The game was designed to be nothing more than a cover story, a mere time-killer during races.

See more: How Long Does Pool Table Felt Last

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