Rules for Three Classic Pool Games

Pool has so many variations that it can be overwhelming to learn a new game. However, many games are based off the rules of classic games. By knowing classic game rules and brushing up your skills, you will be ready to take on an exciting new game.

Eight-Ball

Eight-ball is the most commonly played pool game in the US. Inside the triangular rack, the eight is placed in the middle and a striped ball is placed in one back corner and a solid ball placed in the other. The rest of the balls can be placed in random order. The cue-ball is used to break the rack apart. If the eight-ball is pocketed at the break, the breaker can choose to either re-rack or re-spot the ball.

Man setting up an 8-ball pool rack
Rack ’em by Dave Walker
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British vs American Pool

British and American Pool appear similar at first glance, but each style offers its own unique qualities to the game. From its European origins, pool has developed into a whole category of games, each with its own accessories and set of rules. Understanding the difference between British and American style pool may lead you to discover a new favorite way to play.

Woman shooting pool
Photography by Joe Loong

British Pool

The most marked difference between British and American pool is the ball size. The British cue ball is 57% smaller than the 2inch object balls, at one inch and 96 g. The main purpose of the size difference is for coin operated tables to separate the cue and object balls, but almost all British pool ball sets contain the small cue ball. British object balls are generally red and yellow, with one black eight ball, although sets containing solids and stripes are also available. Eight-ball is the most popular game to play with British pool tables.  The small ball size requires a thinner, but strong cue. British cues are about 8-9 mm wide, with a brass feral, and are usually made of ash.

As with its other components, British pool tables are sized down. The most common size is 7ft long. Smaller tables are perfect for crowded pubs. The cloth on a British table has a distinct texture that will eventually wear down over time. The texture adds an extra challenge to game play. The pockets on British tables are petite and rounded. This style of pocket makes shooting down a rail more difficult, but shooting into side pockets easier. The cushion on a British pool table is flat, with the cloth creating an angle against the playing surface.

American Pool

American Pool features equal sized object and cue balls. The 2 ¼” and 169g balls give American pool a distinctly different play than British pool. American pool is played with stripes and solids. The games that can be played with an American pool set are endless. American cues are generally constructed of light maple, with a 13-14 mm tip, and a plastic feral. The plastic is necessary for shock absorption and is ideal for striking the larger, heavier cue ball.

The American pool table can vary in size, but tournament size is 9ft long. Home pool tables tend to be about 8ft with other size variations available. The smooth cloth on American pool table allows for speed.  Friction from the acceleration of the cue ball can cause small burn marks, over time, in the cloth. The pockets on an American table are just wide enough to fit two balls side by side. These pockets are sharply angled, the cushions appearing blade-like. Shots along the cushion into corner pockets are easier on American tables. Side pocket shots are more difficult.

Which is better?

To sum up, British and American pool tables differ mostly in appearance. However, these differences make differences in game play experience. If you frequently play pool in pubs or recreational centers, it is likely you’ll be more comfortable playing on a British pool table. If you play pool in bars and pool halls, you will probably enjoy playing on American pool tables more. American pool tables are easier to learn how to play pool on, ideal for families and children.

British tables offer more challenge for those wanting to hone their skills. The American-style pool table is most common, world-wide. For tournament play, you will want to practice on an American table. Stylish designs are available for every décor taste in American style pool tables. Both American and British tables have features that are better suited to different player. It’s a matter of personal preference as to which will be better for you.

If you are looking to purchase a beautiful pool table, GameTablesOnline.com offers the best in style, price, and quality. See our full catalog for billiards accessories, custom table options, and everything you need for your ultimate game room. If you have any questions about our products or services, contact our team, here.

More Pool Resources:

  1. 4 Ways to Rack a Pool Table
  2. What’s the Difference Between Billiards, Pool, and Snooker  
  3. How to Play 8 Ball Like a Pro  
  4. How to Pick a Pool Table for Your Family

7 Pool Table Games Everyone is Playing

Most pool players know the rules for standard games of 8-ball or 9-ball. Trying out games you’ve never played before can help you sharpen your skills. You just might find your new favorite game to play with your friends, too! There are dozens of pool table game variations, try out these seven to challenge yourself and have fun. Baseball Billiards

Man playing pool
7 amazing billiards games. Photography by Adam Nicholson

1. Baseball Billiards

Invented in 1912, Baseball Billiards is a fascinating group game. Each player has nine innings to score as many “runs” as possible. Baseball Billiards requires 21 balls and an oversized rack. The nine ball is referred to as the “pitcher” and is set at the center of the rack. Home plate is the table’s foot spot. The intended pocket and ball must be called on all shots, except for the break. The winner is determined after all players have had all nine of their innings. The highest run tally is the winner. Baseball Billiard tournaments have been known to draw huge crowds.

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The Pool Table Buyers Guide You Won’t Want to Miss

Buying a pool table is an investment. While there are cheap recreational billiards tables out there, most people choose to purchase models designed to last a lifetime. In fact, a high-quality table  becomes a family heirloom, like a grandfather clock or grand piano, so it’s important to consider your options carefully.

Pool table triangle

Photo credit: Fernando Prado under Creative Commons license.

In this pool table buyers guide, you’ll find the key factors to consider when purchasing the perfect high-quality pool table.
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How to Choose the Right Cue Stick

Pool Table Wizard

Graphic by Colleen Cochran

So you’ve perfected your wizardry on the pool table, have you? Just as wizards earn the right to carry their own personal magic wands, so too, you’ve earned the right to your own pool stick. While searching for the perfect cue, keep in mind the words of Harry Potter, “The wand chooses the wizard.”

Spellbinding pool playing appears when there is a strong affinity between the pool player and his or her cue stick. The player learning from the pool cue, the cue responding to its player. While initial attraction will always be the start of the relationship between pool cue and player, here are a few particulars to consider before making a final purchase.
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How to Clean Every Inch of Your Pool Table

Treat your pool table as you would an exquisite baby grand piano. Chances are, it probably cost you nearly as much. Like a piano, you must maintain your pool table, you’ve got to clean it, and you’ve got to play it. Like any other fine piece of furniture, you want it to retain its beauty, its functionality, and you want it to last a lifetime.

Here’s what you do to clean your pool table and keep it in tip-top shape for maximum longevity and playability.

Pool Table Care: Prevention

Care for your pool table starts with prevention of dirt, dings, cracks, sun damage, and any forms of mishandling. Let your guests know the rules. If you are shy about doing so, you might consider placing a sign on the wall with some rules listed.
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Spacing Guide for Your Pool Table

How Much Space Do You Need for a Pool Table

To jump straight to it, here’s how much space you need for each size spool table:

  • 7 foot pool tables = 13′ x 16′
  • 8 foot pool tables = 13′ 6″ x 17′
  • 8.5 foot pool tables = 18′ x 14′
  • 9 foot pool tables = 18′ 6″ x 14′ 6″

You can find all of these sizes by visiting our website here.

Pool Table Size Min Room Size Actual Playing surface
7 foot 16′ x 13′ 39.5″ x 79″
8 foot 17′ x 13′ 6″ 44″ x 88″
8.5 foot 18′ x 14′ 46″ x 92″
9 foot 18′ 6″ x 14′ 6″ 50″ x 100″

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The 5 Best Pool Tables Under $2,000

GameTablesOnline.com has the best selection of pool tables under $2,000 for your home or business. These mid-range tables offer affordability, durability, and great playing experience.

1. 7′ Playcraft Silver Knight Pool Table

The sleek and affordable design of all Playcraft Knight pool tables will help bring pool into the modern home. Its 3/4″ – 3-Piece slate system is honed to 1/1000th of an inch, for a crisp, clean roll every time you play. And with 24 billiard cloths to select from, you’ll be able to customize the Silver Knight to your own preference.

Playcraft Silver Knight Pool Table

7′ Playcraft Silver Knight Pool Table – $1,384.99 with Free Shipping

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How Much Does a Pool Table Cost?

The Pool Table Price Guide

Wondering how much a pool table costs? You’ll find that prices vary greatly, depending usually on the materials used to put it together. But what makes one table $1,000 and another $10,000? When you’re browsing through catalogues or visiting a billiards shop, follow these points so you know how much you can expect to pay when you’re shopping for a pool table.

Pool table 3 ball

Photography by JuaneDC

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How to Assemble a Pool Table

Like changing the felt on a billiards table, assembling a pool table is commonly thought of as work best left to professionals. While a professional may have more experience putting together and leveling tables, the average DIYer can put together a pull table with a little know how. Assembling a pool table is not difficult and the average person should be able to complete the assembly within 2-4 hours time from start to finish.

Tools

Photography by Julien Dumont

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