Pool vs Snooker: Searching for Key Differences between pool and snooker (2024)

Pool vs Snooker: Searching for Key Differences between pool and snooker (1)


The cue game has become a source of interest and competition for enthusiasts around the world. Two popular categories in the cue sports family are pool and snooker. While they may appear similar at first glance, each has distinct differences that set them apart. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key differences between pool and snooker, and shed light on the unique aspects of each game.

Key differences between pool and snooker:

1. Table Size and Material:

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One notable difference between pool and snooker is the size of the game table. Pool tables are generally small, ranging from 7 to 9 feet in length.A snooker table, on the other hand, is much larger, typically between 12 and 13.5 feet wide. In snooker, a bigger table creates a more challenging playing field.

Snooker and pool tables vary in size, which can affect the difficulty and playing style of the game. Here are the standard sizes for snooker and pool tables.

Snooker Table sizes:

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Full-size snooker table: The largest full-sized snooker table is the most commonly used in professional tournaments. It measures 12 feet by 6 feet (3.66 meters by 1.83 meters). This size provides the most solid and authentic snooker experience.

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Three-quarter-size snooker table: This is a smaller version of the full-size table, measuring 9ft by 4.5ft (2.74m by 1.37m). It is still quite large and offers a solid game of snooker while being more suitable for recreational play.

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Half-size snooker table: The dimensions of a half-size snooker table are 6 feet by 3 feet (1.83 m by 0.91 m). It’s significantly smaller than a full size desk and is often used for casual gaming in small spaces or for beginners.

Pool table sizes:

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Regulation 8-Foot Pool Table: This is the most common size for a professional pool. Regulation Pool table is 8 feet long and 4 feet wide (2.44 meters by 1.22 meters).

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7-Foot Pool Table: The 7-foot pool table is slightly smaller and popular for domestic use and recreational sports. It is 7 feet tall and 3.5 feet (2.13 by 1.07 m) wide.

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Bar-sized bar or pub tables: Small nautical tables commonly found in bars and clubs are often 6 feet or even 7 feet tall. These tables are designed for casual and social play.

Small tables or mini pool tables: Small pool tables or mini tables come in a variety of sizes, but are much smaller than a standard pool table. It is often used as a novelty or children’s game.

Material used for snooker and pool table:

High-quality pool and snooker tables are usually made from carefully selected hardwoods that are known for their strength, durability and appearance. The choice of wood can affect the functionality and durability of the table. Here are some of the most common types of wood for pool and snooker tables:

Maple: Hard maple (Acer saccharum) is one of the most popular choices for cue sports tables. It is known for its hard, straight grain and crook resistance. Maple is commonly used for table tops, rails and aprons. It allows for constant play and is also the preferred tree for making cues.

Oak: Oak is another hardwood that is sometimes used for pool and snooker tables. Red oak and white oak are the two main types. While oak is durable, it may not be as durable as maple, making it less suitable for professional tables. But it is sometimes used for frames and legs of mid-range tables.

Mahogany: Mahogany is a fine hardwood known for its rich color and fine grain. It is sometimes used to enhance tables for table rails and the outer covers. Mahogany is a soft wood, so it is often used in conjunction with a hardwood like maple for the paneling materials.

Cherry: Cherry trees are known for their vibrant red-brown color that deepens with age. Sometimes used for table rails, aprons or decorative accents. Cherry is a softwood, often combined with hardwood for tableware.

Walnut: Walnut is prized for its dark, rich color and can be used for tablecloths, legs, or other decorative items. It offers an elegant and traditional look to the cue game table

Poplar: Poplar is occasionally used for the subframe or interior components of pool and snooker tables due to its stability and affordability. While it may not be as visually striking as other hardwoods, it can serve as a solid and economical choice for structural elements.

Other Exotic Hardwoods: In some cases, exotic hardwoods like rosewood, ebony, or teak may be used for special, high-end custom tables. These woods are prized for their unique colors and grain patterns and can be used for decorative inlays or accents.

2. Ball and pocket:

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In pool you usually play with 16 balls, including one cue ball. This ball is divided into solids, stripes and a black 8-ball. The goal is to pocket all the balls you have choosen and then win by pocketing the 8-ball. Pool tables have six pockets.

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Snooker, on the other hand, uses 21 colored balls with a white cue ball. These balls are arranged differently on the table and are meant to be potted in order. The black balls hold the highest point value, while the colored balls decrease in value. The snooker table also has 6 pockets, but they are smaller and less forgiving, making potting the ball a much more difficult task.

The balls used in snooker pools vary in a variety of ways, including size, number and colour. Here are the main differences between the balls used in snooker and pool.


Snooker balls are generally smaller and lighter than pool balls. They measure 2 1/16 inches (52.5mm). Smaller balls require precise targeting and control.

Pool balls are bigger and heavier than snooker balls. The typical ball size for most pool balls are 2 1/4 inches (57mm). Their size makes them easier to hit but due to their weight they may need more power.

Number of balls: .

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Snooker balls: A complete snooker rack consists of 22 balls.There are 15 red balls worth one point each, and seven colored balls: red (2 points), green (3 points), blue (4 points). ), blue (5 points), pink (6 points), and black (7 points). ) The white cue ball is also part of the set.

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Pool balls: There are various pool types, but the most common set contains 16 balls.This set includes 15 numbered object balls (from 1 to 15), cue ball, and a ball with 8 number (black), which is usually the game-winning ball in multiple pools

Color and patterns:

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Snooker balls: Snooker balls have unique colors. Red balls are solid red, while colored balls are usually numbered in a specific color (red, green, blue, blue, pink, black). There are no lines or patterns on the ball.

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Pool balls: Pool balls can vary in shape depending on sports, but are generally categorized into solid and strip balls. Solid balls are colored with numbers, while spotted balls have stripes around them and are numbered. The cue ball is plain white.

Pocket difference:

The main difference between a snooker and a pool pocket is the size and shape:

Snooker pockets: A snooker pocket is smaller and rounder and narrower than a pool pocket. A typical snooker pocket is about 3.625 inches (92 mm) wide at the neck (arch) and about 2.25 inches (57 mm) wide at the opening. Snooker pockets are accurately designed, making it difficult for players to get the ball in. Accurate positioning and accuracy are essential to success.

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Pool pockets: Pool pockets are large, wide and rectangular in shape. Standard pool pocket dimensions can vary depending on the specific pool course played, but are generally wider and more forgiving than a snooker pocket. Pool pockets are designed to be more comfortable, allowing for more pots of balls, especially in games like 8-ball and 9-ball. These differences in pocket size and shape significantly affect the playing and scoring dynamics of snooker and pool. Snooker pockets are smaller and more complex demanding players to be more precise, while pool pockets are larger and more forgiving offering different levels of challenge and strategy.

3. Cue stick:

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Both snooker and pool are cue games that use a cue stick to hit a ball into a pocket on a square table. While the two games have a lot in common, there are some differences in cueing and striking techniques.

Cue Stick: In both snooker and pool, players use cue sticks to strike the cue ball. These cues can vary in material, weight, length and design. Some cues are designed specifically for snooker, while others are designed for pool. Snooker cues are generally longer and have a narrower tip, while a pool cue is shorter and has a slightly wider tip.

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Tip Size: The shape of the cue stick tip can be different for snooker and pool. Snooker cue tips are generally shorter and pointier, allowing for more precise control and spin on the cue ball. Pool cue tips tend to be wider and flatter, creating more contact with the cue ball for powerful casting and control.

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Cue Weight: Cue sticks come in a variety of weights, and players tend to choose cues with weights that suit their play style. In snooker, cues are generally lighter, while pool cues can be much heavier to generate more energy in shots.

Ferrule: The ferrule is the small, usually white part of the cue just above the tip. Snooker cues usually have ivory or materials made of hard material for better control and accuracy. Ferrules in pool cues can be made from a variety of materials, including glass, vitreous, and plastic.

Cue Taper: Taper refers to the progressive tapering of the cue shaft from butt end to tip. Snooker cues tend to have longer and more gradual cones which help with shot accuracy, while pool cues can have shorter and lower cones to give players more control

Balance Point: The balance of a cue refers to the balance point when the center of the cue is placed on the wrist. In snooker, cues usually have a balance point near the end of the bat for better control, while pool cues can have a balance point in the middle or even the tip to stabilize the power

Cue Grips: Some players use different grips on their cue sticks, such as open bridge or closed bridge, depending on the type of shot they are trying to shoot Grip can vary between snooker and pool players depending on their specific preferences and shot needs on.

While there are these differences in cues and cueing strategies between snooker and pool, it is important to note that individual player preferences and style of play can make cue options and strategies vary from game to game. Players can modify their cues to their needs and preferences.

Types of Rests:

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In both pool and snooker, players often encounter situations where they must use a cue rest or bridge in order to comfortably reach the cue ball and shoot an accurate shot. These rests come in a variety of styles to meet the needs of a particular situation in the game . Let’s explore the various common pool and snooker rest:

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Standard rest (or bridge): This is the most basic rest and is widely used in both pool and snooker. It consists of a wooden or plain plastic pole with a V-shaped groove on which the cue rests. The standard rest is versatile and can be used for a variety of shots, especially when the cue ball is out of reach or obstructed.

Spider Rest: Also known as the extended spider or swan rest in snooker. The swan rest has a longer, wider framework. This is used to throw a ball in the direction of your preferred throw, allowing you to maintain a straightforward cueing action. The spider rest is especially helpful when you have to aim a tightly packed ball.

Extended spider Rest: Like the spider rest, the extended spider ball rest provides even greater height and distance. This cue is used for very long range shots or when cueing on multiple balls.

Cross Rest (or X Rest) : The cross rest have cross-shaped bars that allow you to point your hand directly at the ball. This is often used in situations where the cue ball is close to the obstacle ball and you need to avoid touching it.

Swan neck Rest (Snooker Only): The swan neck rest is a specially designed rest for snooker. It has a rounded shaft shaped like a swan's neck, and is used primarily when the cue ball is close to the sides, making it difficult to cue comfortably.

Butt Rest (Pool Only): . A butt rest, also known as a slip-on cue bridge head, can be attached to the butt end of your cue stick in the pool. This allows you to use your cue stick as a makeshift bridge when needed.

These types of cue rests and bridges gives pool and snooker players the tools to adapt to different shot scenarios, ensuring they can maintain accuracy and control in a wide variety of playing situations. It is an essential skill for a serious cue game player.

Cue Chalk:

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Cue chalk is a staple in the world of cue sports, including snooker and pool. This game requires precision, control, and ingenuity, and Cue Chalk plays a key role in developing those skills properly without mistake. Here, we will examine the importance of cue chalk, its composition and how it improves a player’s performance in snooker and pool.

Composition: Cue chalk is usually made of particles of an abrasive material such as corundum or aluminum oxide, mixed with a binder, usually wax or paraffin, to fuse the abrasive at the edge of the cue, to create friction signal between the ball and the tip. This friction miscues and helps the player gain more control over the cue ball.

Prevent miscues: One of the main purposes of the Cue chalk is to prevent miscues. A miscue occurs when the cue tip comes off the cue ball, resulting in a poorly executed shot. Without chalk, the cue edge can become smooth and shiny over time, reducing its grip on the cue ball. Chalking the tip before each shot helps maintain the necessary friction between the cue tip and the cue ball.

Pool gloves (Used by Pool/Billards players):

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Pool gloves are special accessories designed to improve a player’s performance in sports such as pool and billiards. Typically made of a smooth and breathable fabric such as lycra or spandex, these gloves cover the player’s bridge hand (the hand that supports the cue during the shot) Here are some highlights about pool gloves.

Increased smoothness: Pool gloves reduce friction between the cue and player’s bridge hand, ensuring a quick and consistent stroke. This can improve shot accuracy and control.

Stable Bridge: Gloves help maintain a stable and comfortable bridge (hands on table), which is important for accurate shots, especially from long range.

Sweat Reducer: Designed to wick away moisture and reduce sweat, preventing the cue from sticking to the hands and providing a better grip

4. Rules and scoring:

The rules for pool and snooker are very different. In the pool, players are divided into two groups: solid and stripes. Players must pot all the balls on their team before attempting to bag the 8 ball to win. Fouls like potting a cue ball or not playing any ball can give the opponent an advantage.

Snooker, on the other hand, follows a much more rigid points system. Players earn points through potting the red balls and then a color ball, and each color ball has a different point value. The goal is to get the balls out in a certain order, starting with the red ball and then moving on to the color. The player with the most points at the end of the frame wins.

Point values:

Snooker balls: In snooker, each ball has a specific point value, and players aim to score as many points as possible by placing the balls in pots in a specific order. Point values ​​range from 1 (red) to 7 (black).

Pool balls: All numbered balls (1 through 15) in a pool have the same point value, usually proportional to their number. The goal is to bag all the balls (strips or solids) in your team and then bag the 8 balls to win the game.

5. Skills and Approach:

Pool and snooker both require a high level of skill, accuracy and technique, but the nature of the game requires different approaches. Poole emphasizes a mixture of offensive and defensive tactics, with players often playing safe to put opponents in tight spots. This requires precise ball control and an understanding of angles.

Snooker is generally regarded as the more subtle and precise of the two sports. Due to the complexity of the game and the size of the main table, snooker requires exceptional cue-ball control, precise positioning and strategic planning to take many shots beforehand.

Both snooker and pool are cue sports that require a combination of physical and mental skills to perform well. While the skills required in these games are somewhat similar, there are also notable differences. Here’s a breakdown of skills needed for snooker and pool:

Skills required for snooker:

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Aim accuracy: Snooker requires great aim and accuracy for potting of the ball. The size of the ball and the density of the pocket require exceptional precision.

Cue Ball Control: Snooker players must have good cue ball control. This includes not only potting the ball, but also setting up the cue ball for the next shot. Requires fine touch and control over the speed and spin of the cue ball.

Patience and strategy: Snooker is a very tactical game. Players need to plan ahead to take a lot of shots, thinking about placement, scoring, and defensive play. Patience is important because making mistakes can be costly.

Potting Skills: While putting a ball in a pot in snooker may seem easy but it requires a lot of skill that requires constant practice and refinement

Position play: Snooker players must understand the angles and position the cue ball correctly in order to move on to the next ball in the sequence. Position play is critical for creating high scoring breaks.

Defensive play: Snooker often uses a defensive shot strategically to leave an opponent in a "snook". Experienced snooker players can play effective safety shots to gain an advantage.

Concentration: Games of snooker can be long and require intense concentration. Players need to stay focused throughout the game to maintain control of the table

Skills required for pool:

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Aiming and Potting: Accurate aiming in pool is also important, but while bigger balls and wider pockets make putting a ball a little easier compared to snooker, it’s still important to put the right ball in due course of time.

Cue Ball Control: Similar to snooker, pool players must control the cue ball in order to aim for the next shot. Cue ball control includes speed, spin and direction control.

Pattern recognition: In pool, players generally have to run in sequence in order to clear all of their balls and pocket the 8-ball. Recognizing and using these patterns effectively is an important skill.

Bank and Kick Shots: Other balls on a pool table can have even more obstacles which require bank shots (hitting the cue ball off the rail) and kick shots (hitting the ball the wrong way). Pool players must be good at hitting these shots .

Offensive and defensive tactics: The pool game has a mix of offensive and defensive tactics. Based on the current position, players must decide whether to go for the pot or take a defensive shot.

Breaking Skills: Breakshots are important in many pool games because they can determine the start of the game. Break shots with skill can set up opportunities for easy pots.

Game types: The pool includes a variety of games, such as 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball, each with its own set of rules and strategies. Players may need to adapt their skills to different games.

Quick decision making: Pool games are faster than snooker, so players need to make decisions quickly and adapt to changing conditions.


In summary, although both pool and snooker are exhibition sports enjoyed by millions of people worldwide, they offer distinct experiences. Pool is known for its simplicity, speed and emphasis on strategy, while snooker boasts larger tables, more complex rules, a more formal style of play it's a more practical, accuracy-oriented style of play. Ultimately, choosing between the two comes down to personal preference and the type of challenge you seek in your cue game efforts. So, whether you’re sinking a ball on a pool table or bouncing it in a pot on a snooker table, remember that the fun of cueing lies in figuring out what’s best and the thrill of competition

Pool vs Snooker: Searching for Key Differences between pool and snooker (2024)


Pool vs Snooker: Searching for Key Differences between pool and snooker? ›

In brief, there are more balls

A billiard ball is a small, hard ball used in cue sports, such as carom billiards, pool, and snooker. The number, type, diameter, color, and pattern of the balls differ depending upon the specific game being played.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Billiard_ball
on a snooker table than balls on a pool table. On the other hand, pool balls are much larger and heavier. The color also helps you differentiate between two games easily.

What is the difference between snooker and pool? ›

While snooker and pool share some similarities, they are two distinct games played on different tables with different rules and equipment. Snooker is played on a larger table with smaller pockets and smaller balls. The balls used in snooker are also numbered differently and have a different colour scheme.

What's harder, pool or snooker? ›

Which game is harder-9 ball pool or snooker? Snooker by far. It was a short learning curve for Allison Fisher to go from top female snooker player to top female pool player. 8-ball and 9-ball are too easy to play, and any snooker player can pick up the basics and become competent in short order.

What is the difference between snooker pockets and pool pockets? ›

The standard side pocket size on a snooker table is 4 1/16 inches to 4 5/16 inches. The standard corner pocket size on a pool table is 4 7/8 inches to 5 1/8 inches. The standard side pocket size on a pool table is 5 3/8 inches to 5 5/8 inches wide.

Can you use the same cue for pool and snooker? ›

1 Answer. There's a few differences between a snooker cue and a pool one: Weight: Because pool balls are heavier than their snooker cousins pool cues tend to be heavier to match. The weight distribution is also different - pool cues are heavier on the grip where snooker cues have more weight at the tip.

Why is it called a snooker in pool? ›

In 1875, army officer Neville Chamberlain, stationed in India, devised a set of rules that combined black pool and pyramids. The word snooker was a well-established derogatory term used to describe inexperienced or first-year military personnel.

Which is older snooker or pool? ›

Snooker is a pocket billiards game originated by British officers stationed in India during the 19th century, based on earlier pool games such as black pool and life pool.

Is it illegal to snooker in pool? ›

1 Definition: A player is Snookered when it is impossible to play the finest cut possible on both sides of any of that player's own Colour by way of a "straight - line" shot. Snookering an opponent is not a foul. 2 A player cannot be Snookered by a ball of the player's own Colour.

What is the disadvantage of snooker? ›

The disadvantage of playing snooker is that it can be a frustrating game at times because of the amount of practice needed to play it properly.

Are pool balls heavier than snooker balls? ›

Pool balls are slightly larger and heavier than those used in snooker. Where snooker balls are around 52.5mm in diameter, pool balls are around 57mm; snooker balls generally weigh around the 140g mark and pool balls are approximately 160-170g.

What is more popular, pool or snooker? ›

Snooker can be even more popular in the UK than pool games in the US. In the UK is more common to play on a snooker table; pool is constantly played too, but the rules vary, and they're more driven to use red and yellow balls, rather than stripes and spots.

Why are snooker and pool cues different? ›

Because of various factors, pool cues and snooker cues are different. The primary reason why the cues differ is because of the size of the cue ball. A standard pool/billiard cue ball will measure 1 7/8 inches in diameter for an English cue ball while the standard American cue ball measures 2 1/4 inches in diameter.

What is the British version of billiards? ›

English billiards, called simply billiards in the United Kingdom and in many former British colonies, is a cue sport that combines the aspects of carom billiards and pool. Two cue balls (one white and one yellow) and a red object ball are used.

What is a snooker stick called? ›

A cue stick (or simply cue, more specifically billiards cue, pool cue, or snooker cue) is an item of sporting equipment essential to the games of pool, snooker and carom billiards.

Does an expensive snooker cue make a difference? ›

There is a big difference in the manufacture process. Making a Hand-spliced cue is a longer process and often involves extra splicing and includes more exotic woods. The cheapest cues that many suppliers sell are not spliced at all and are in fact painted to look like they are spliced.

Which snooker cue is best? ›

Peradon cues are of the highest quality and Peradon have more experience than anyone and Peradon are the oldest cue makers in the world, so if they don't know how to do it no one does. So if you're looking to buy a quality snooker cue then you can't go wrong choosing a Peradon Cue.

What is the point of snooker? ›

The objective of the game of snooker is to strike the white cue ball with a cue so that it strikes the object balls in turn and causes them to fall into one of the six pockets, called potting .

Can you play pool and snooker? ›

"So a lot of customers ask us, "Can I play snooker on my pool table?", and yes, you can. Of course you can. It's a great idea. Lots of customers would likely get two games out of the same table that they bought from us.

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