Many people have tried their hand at a game of pool in a bar or pub. They may not realize the fact that the difference between the two games goes beyond the balls to the tables that are used. If you are interested in learning about how snooker tables and pool tables are different, here is a little basic information to get you started.
On the surface, the equipment used to play snooker and pool is very similar. There is a table with #pockets. In order to score, balls are sunk or pushed into these pockets. To do this, players use a cue, which is used to push a ball into another one and, using angles and geometry, causes the second ball to be directed into the pocket. With pool, there are striped balls and solid balls that are numbered one through fifteen. In snooker, there are six colored, numbered balls and fifteen red balls as well. The order that the balls are sunk or "potted" are different than in pool.
There are a few things about the #snooker table which make the game more challenging. The first is the size of the table. A pool table can range in size from eight to nine feet in length. A snooker table is quite a bit larger. There are two acceptable sizes of snooker table. An American snooker table can be ten feet long and a British table is twelve feet in length. Although you can use a smaller table, in order to get a true feel for the game the table really needs to be quite large. Often, cue extenders are used with snooker cues because of the longer reach that is necessary in snooker.
Many people find snooker to be much more challenging than pool and it is not simply the size of the table that makes this true. One of the things that increase the difficulty of a game of snooker is the fact that the pockets differ between a pool table and a snooker table. With pool and snooker, pockets are located on each of the four corners and in the middle of the long sides. With pool tables, the corner pockets are smaller than the side pockets. This is because it is easier to sink a ball in the corner than it is in the side, so a smaller pocket balances this out. A snooker table has pockets which are the same size in both the corners and sides. They are all much smaller than the pockets on a pool table. This makes it harder to sink a ball all around.
Both snooker and pool tables use rails which guide the balls into the pockets. With a snooker table the edges of the rails are curved. A pool table has rails which have angled edges which can also help to guide the ball into the pocket. As you can see, there are a fair number of differences between the two kinds of tables. You may find that playing snooker is very challenging, even for an experienced pool player.
The final difference between a snooker table and a pool table is the felt that covers the table. Many pool tables are covered with a range of different colored felts and there are no specific guidelines. With snooker, the official color is green and most tables maintain that color scheme. That is not to say that you cannot get a custom table that is covered in a different color of felt, but green is by far the most common. The felt on a snooker table is also different from pool table felt. The fuzz in the felt slows the balls down on a pool table. With a snooker table, the felt is not as fuzzy, which means that the balls will travel faster. It can also mean it is more difficult to control where they go or how fast they travel. This, yet again, is one of the factors that makes snooker so challenging.
If you love the tradition and skill of snooker but do not have the room for a table, it is possible to get kits which can modify a pool table to make it usable as a snooker table. By getting interchangeable rails, you can make an acceptable table for casual play.
Snooker can be an exciting and challenging game. By making sure that you have picked the proper table to play on, you can be sure that you are in good shape if you decide you want to play at home and you will be ready when you have the opportunity to play in a more professional setting such as a snooker hall.