Sports Bar and Pub Pool Survival Guide

No sports bar or pub would be complete without a table for the classic game of pool. Before adding one to your place of business, it’s important to keep table size in mind, ensuring maximum player satisfaction. Taking measurements and laying out plans for your game area will save you time and fuming customer reviews later on.

What’s Available?

The size of a pool table is determined by the area taken up by the area in between the rubber bouncers. Pool tables are typically sold in sizes ranging from 7’-9’, at a 2:1 ratio of length to width. American style games are usually played on larger tables, and British style games on smaller ones.

Professional billiard tournaments are played on 9’ tables, which increase the difficulty and speed of the plays. However, the most popular size among sports bars and pubs are on the lower end; the seven footers. There are two reasons that owners choose this option: price and space. Seven foot tables are usually cheaper than their larger counterparts and free up more space for additional tables or seating.

Seven, Eight, Nine

Though tables are advertised as 7’, 8’, 8.5’, and 9’, the actual dimensions of the playing surfaces are smaller.

Playing field areas by advertised length:

  • 7’ – 39” x 78”
  • 8’ – 44” x 88”
  • 5’ – 46” x 92”
  • 9’ – 50” x 100”

The seven footer models preferred by bar and pub owners have small fields, which allow the players more flexibility and maneuverability with their moves. However, gameplay and style is also affected by the size of the pool cues used by players.

The Lincoln Billiard Pool Table is available in 7' and 8'

The Lincoln Pool Table by Imperial is available in both 7’ and 8’ models!

Cue Up!

Pool or billiard cues come in a variety of materials, but their lengths range from 48”-59”. The longer 57”-59” cues are the most commonly used variations. Extra cue length betters a player’s ability to play tactical moves, but take up more space as a result. If you are short on game space, you can purchase shorter cues, but your customers will get annoyed if the table is too big for them to make accurate plays.

We have a great selection of cues available here.


Having too many obstacles in the playing area will also get pool players angry. You should put your table in an area of your pub or sports bar with the least number of obstacles. Poles, walls, and other obstacles significantly decrease the maneuverability of players and interrupt their concentration. If placed too closed to other bar patrons, you also risk injury from accidental billiard impacts.


After everything else is accounted for, you also need to remember to keep enough space to store your billiard accessories. Cue racks, ball containers, and any other items needed for gameplay can be kept near the table itself, or behind the counter. Putting them behind the counter frees up space and reduces the chances they will be stolen, but the appeal of the game drops if players have to wait too long to get what they need.

The Winslow Cue Rack is convenient for Billiard areas

This Winslow Cue Rack keeps your billiard space neat and tidy.

At the End of the Day

Once you’ve measured the dimensions of the area you’re planning to use, or that you have available, add in all of the factors above to make the right table choice. A good rule of thumb to go by when calculating the space you’ll need is to take the total length of your cues and playing field, then add a little extra space to account for player strokes. The minimum addition should be 6”, which will keep the area from feeling cramped.

If you follow these recommendations, you’ll be well on your way to attracting avid billiard players to your bar or pub. If you would like to purchase a pool table, pool accessories, cues, or cue racks we have a great selection on our website. If you are a commercial owner, contact us and start outfitting your game room with some great products!

Related Content:

  1. How To Measure A Pool Table
  2. The Complete Guide to Pool Table Slate
  3. How to Assemble a Pool Table