7 Reveals About: Difference American British Australian Pool Tables

As billiards enthusiasts, we know that the type of pool table we play on can greatly affect our game. The differences American, British, Australian pool tables can impact everything from the speed of the cue ball to the size of the pockets. In this article, we will explore the key areas of comparison between these different types of pool tables to help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

First, let’s take a look at the size of the tables. American pool tables are typically 9 feet in length and 4.5 feet in width, while British and Australian pool tables are smaller at 8 feet in length and 4 feet in width. This may not seem like a big difference, but it can affect the speed of the balls and the overall feel of the game. It’s important to consider the size of the room where you’ll be playing and your personal preferences when deciding which size pool table to choose.

Another key area of comparison is the type of cloth used on the tables. American pool tables typically feature a faster, slicker cloth that allows for faster ball speed and more spin. British and Australian pool tables, on the other hand, feature a slower, thicker cloth that provides more control over the balls. The type of cloth you choose can greatly affect your game, so it’s important to consider your personal playing style and preferences when making this decision.

Difference American British Australian Pool Tables From Historical Context

As we explore the differences between American, British, and Australian pool tables, it is important to understand the historical context that has shaped each region’s unique approach to the game.

Billiards, the precursor to modern pool, has a rich and fascinating history dating back to 15th-century Europe. Originally an outdoor lawn activity known as “ground billiards,” the game evolved over time into an indoor game played on wooden tables.

In the United Kingdom, where the game was most popularized, billiards became a favorite pastime of the upper class during the 19th century. Master craftsmen like Hamilton Billiards began producing handmade pool tables that were as much works of art as they were functional gaming equipment.

In the United States, the game of pool took on a more democratic character. American tables, such as the Dream Snooker Table, were designed to be more affordable and accessible to the masses. This led to the development of the American pool game, which is played on larger tables with larger pockets and more forgiving cushions than its British counterpart.

Meanwhile, in Australia, the game of pool flourished in the mid-20th century. The Australian pool table is similar in design to the English version, but with a few key differences. For example, Australian tables often have wider pockets and are made to withstand the harsher climate.

Overall, the evolution of billiards has had a profound influence on table design. Each region’s unique approach to the game has shaped the specific features of their pool tables, from the size and shape of the pockets to the composition of the cushions.

Table Size

When it comes to pool tables, size matters. The size of a pool table can affect the playing experience and the amount of space required to accommodate the table. In this section, we will discuss the standard sizes of American, British, and Australian pool tables.

Pool Table TypeStandard SizesTypical Usage
American Pool Tables7, 8, and 9 feetHomes and pool halls
British Pool Tables6 to 7 feetPubs and bars
Australian Pool Tables6, 7, and 8 feetRegional preferences

American Pool Tables

American pool tables are available in three standard sizes: 7, 8, and 9 feet. The 9-foot table is the official size used in professional pool tournaments. However, the 8-foot table is the most common size found in homes and pool halls. The 7-foot table is frequently used in pool halls to maximize the number of tables that can be spaced. Homeowners with limited room space prefer the smaller American pool table size.

British Pool Tables

British pool tables are smaller than American pool tables, with standard sizes ranging from 6 to 7 feet. Compared to American tables, British pool tables require less space. However, the smaller size can affect the playing experience, as the balls and pockets are also smaller. British pool tables are popular in pubs and bars throughout the UK.

Australian Pool Tables

Australian pool tables have similar sizes to British pool tables, but with regional variations. The most common size is 7 feet, which is the standard size used in professional pool tournaments in Australia. However, some regions prefer larger or smaller tables. For example, Queensland and Western Australia prefer 8-foot tables, while Tasmania and Victoria prefer 6-foot tables.

Table Surface and Cloth

When it comes to pool tables, the surface and cloth are two of the most important components that affect the game. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between American, British, and Australian pool tables.

Pool Table TypeCloth MaterialPlaying Surface
American Pool TablesFaster, woolen “felt”Slate
British Pool TablesNapped and slower clothSlate
Australian Pool TablesMix of British/American or regional materialsSlate

Cloth Material

The cloth material used on a pool table can have a significant impact on the game. American pool tables typically use a faster, woolen “felt” material that allows for quicker ball movement. On the other hand, British pool tables use a napped and slower cloth material that creates more friction and reduces ball speed. Australian pool tables can use a mix of British and American styles or unique regional materials.

Playing Surface

The playing surface of a pool table is typically made of slate, which can vary in thickness. Thicker slate can provide a more consistent playing surface, while thinner slate can be more susceptible to warping and unevenness. The thickness of the slate can also impact the bounce and roll speed of the balls.

Pockets and Cushions

When it comes to pool tables, the pockets and cushions are an important aspect to consider. Let’s take a look at the differences in pockets and cushions between American, British, and Australian pool tables.

Pool Table TypePocketsCushion ReboundGame Characteristics
American Pool TablesWider with gentler curvesDifferent rebound characteristics, faster game, emphasis on power shotsEasier to sink balls, faster-paced game
British Pool TablesNarrower with L-shaped rubberDifferent cushion play, slower game, emphasis on strategyMore challenging to sink balls, strategic gameplay
Australian Pool TablesDesign influenced by American and British stylesVaries depending on manufacturer, generally falls between American and British characteristicsCombination of features from both styles

American Pool Tables

American pool tables have wider pockets with gentler curves, making it easier to sink balls. The cushion rebound characteristics are also different from British and Australian tables, resulting in a faster game with more emphasis on power shots.

British Pool Tables

On the other hand, British pool tables have narrower pockets with L-shaped rubber, making it more challenging to sink balls. The cushion play is also different from American tables, with a slower game and more emphasis on strategy.

Australian Pool Tables

Australian pool tables take design influences from both American and British styles, resulting in a unique combination of features. The specific pocket and cushion traits in Australian pool vary depending on the manufacturer, but generally fall somewhere in between the characteristics of American and British tables.

Balls and Cues

Pool Table RegionBall SizeCue Ball SizeCue Characteristics
United States (American Pool)Larger balls, typically 2 1/4 inches in diameterSame size as object ballsCue length, weight, tip size, and material preferences vary
United Kingdom (British Pool)Smaller balls, traditionally 2 inches in diameterSmaller than object balls, measuring 1 – 1/17 inches in diameterCue length, weight, tip size, and material preferences vary
Australia (Australian Pool)Varies, often using British-sized ballsSmaller than object balls, measuring 1 – 1/17 inches in diameterCue length, weight, tip size, and material preferences vary

When it comes to pool tables, the size of the balls and cues can vary depending on the region. In the United States, American pool tables typically use larger balls, usually measuring 2 1/4 inches in diameter, while British pool tables traditionally use smaller balls, measuring 2 inches in diameter. Australian pool tables can vary in size, but often use British-sized balls.

The cue ball is also different in size across regions. In British and Australian pool, the cue ball is smaller than the object balls, measuring 1 – 1/17 inches in diameter. In American pool, the cue ball is the same size as the object balls.

Aside from ball size, there are also differences in cues across regions. Cue length and weight can vary, as well as tip size and material preferences. These differences can affect the way the game is played and the skill level required to play effectively.

Overall, understanding the differences in ball and cue size can help players adjust their game to different pool tables and regions.

Rules and Gameplay

When it comes to playing pool, there are different rules and gameplay depending on the type of pool table you are playing on. In this section, we will cover the difference american, british australian pool tables

American Pool

American pool is the most popular type of pool played in the United States. The most common games played are eight-ball, nine-ball, and straight pool. In eight-ball, the objective is to pocket all of your designated balls (either stripes or solids) and then pocket the eight ball to win. In nine-ball, players must pocket the balls in numerical order, with the nine ball being the last ball to be pocketed. In straight pool, players must reach a predetermined number of points by pocketing any ball on the table.

One key difference in American pool rules is the use of call shots. In American pool, players must call the shot they intend to make before taking the shot. If the ball is not pocketed in the called pocket, it is a foul.

British Pool

British pool, also known as English pool, is popular in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. The most common game played is blackball, which has distinct rules from American pool. In blackball, players must pocket all of their designated balls (either red or yellow) and then pocket the black ball to win.

A unique aspect of British pool is the use of two shots. If a player commits a foul, their opponent receives two shots instead of one. This can often lead to strategic play, as players will try to leave difficult shots for their opponent’s second shot.

Australian Pool

Australian pool is a fusion of British and American pool rules and gameplay. Unique Australian pool games include killer, which is similar to the game of tag, and scotch doubles, where players take turns shooting but share one cue ball.

In Australian pool tournaments, the table size is typically 8′ x 4′, which is the same as British pool tables. However, the balls used are the same size as American pool balls, which are slightly larger than British pool balls.

Cultural Impact on Design

When it comes to pool tables, cultural influences have played a significant role in shaping their design and popularity around the world. Here, we will explore the impact of American, British, and Australian cultures on pool table design.

American Influence

American pool tables have had a significant impact on the international pool scene. The “American-style” pool, with its larger table size and heavier balls, has become the standard for international competitions. This style of pool has also been popularized in movies, TV shows, and sporting events, contributing to its widespread popularity.

British Traditions

In the United Kingdom, pool has been a popular pastime in pubs for decades. British pool tables are typically smaller in size compared to American tables, with a standard size of 6′ x 3′. British pool’s influence on table design can be seen in the ornate, decorative Victorian-era pool tables that were popular in the UK.

Australian Adaptation

Australian pool tables have been influenced by both American and British styles. The standard size for an Australian pool table is 7′ x 3.5′, which is slightly larger than a British table. Australian culture also shapes its pool scene, with a focus on home leisure and knowledgeable advice.

In Conclusion

As we’ve journeyed through the intricate world of cue sports, we’ve seen that the difference American, British, and Australian pool tables is not merely in measurements or cloth texture. It’s a reflection of the diverse cultures that have shaped the game on different shores. American tables, with their larger dimensions and forgiving pockets, speak to a land of wide-open spaces and a spirit of boldness. British tables, with their compact size and napped cloth, reflect a tradition of precision and a penchant for challenge. And Australian tables, often blending these characteristics, represent a fusion of influences in a nation that is both ancient and remarkably young.

Yet, these differences are more than just geographical signatures; they are invitations to explore the subtleties of the game from novel perspectives. To play on an American table is to engage with a sense of adventure, to take risks and to play with a certain bravado. To navigate a British table is to embrace restraint and strategy, a game of chess with cues. And to take to an Australian table is to dance between these two worlds, adapting and melding styles in a unique expression of skill.


Is British pool harder than American pool?

We often get asked if British pool is harder than American pool. The truth is that both types of pool have their own unique challenges. British pool is played on smaller tables and with smaller balls, which can make it more challenging to make shots. American pool, on the other hand, is played on larger tables with bigger pockets, which can make it easier to sink shots. Ultimately, the difficulty of each game depends on the player’s skill level and personal preference.

What size are British pool tables?

British pool tables are typically smaller than American pool tables. The standard size for a British pool table is 6ft x 3ft, although 7ft x 4ft tables are also common. These smaller tables make British pool a great option for home leisure or smaller spaces.

Why are American pool table pockets so big?

American pool tables have larger pockets than British pool tables, which can make it easier to sink shots. The larger pockets are designed to accommodate the larger balls used in American pool. Additionally, American pool is often played with a “call shot” rule, which means that players must call the ball and pocket they intend to sink before taking the shot. The larger pockets make it easier for players to make their intended shots.

What size pool table do professionals use?

Professional pool players typically use 9ft tables, which are the largest size available. These tables provide a larger playing surface and longer shots, which can make the game more challenging. However, many recreational players prefer smaller tables, such as 7ft or 8ft, which are more common in homes and bars.

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