The Difference Between Billiards, Pool, and Snooker

The Difference Between Billiards, Pool, and Snooker

For many players, terms such as billiards, pool, and snooker are used interchangeably to describe a cue game. Even though these games are very similar, there are distinctions in their play.

Each of these cue sports brings different types of enjoyment for players.

Our showroom in San Bernardino has a variety of tables, cues, balls, and accessories for billiards, pool, and snooker. Due to being in the billiards business for 35 years, we have an extensive selection of antique and modern models for every aspect of these games. Visit us off of the 215 freeway, our team would be happy to help you find the right type of game that fits your style.

If you are just beginning to play these classic games, it can be difficult recognizing the differences.

We broke down the characteristics of these three popular cue sports:

Billiards

Carom billiards is the official name of this specific game, while billiards represents the generic term for all three of these cue sports.

Table: Billiards tables are usually ten feet by five feet. Compared to pool and snooker, billiards is unique in the way that the table will not have pockets.

Balls: Billiards is played using three balls with one white, one red and one yellow. The yellow and white balls are used as cue balls for each player.  

Objective:  The main objective of billiards is to score points (known as counts) by bouncing one’s own ball off of the other two balls on the table. Points can be scored through potting, in-offs, and cannons. The game is normally played in a race to reach a certain number of points or as a timed game.

Pool

In today’s society, the term “pool” is used much more than any other game term.

Table: Pool is played on the smallest table of the three games. The average table size for pool is six feet by three feet. This size makes the game typically easier to play when compared to billiards and snooker.

Balls: There are many variations of pool that depict the number of balls being used. The two most common are eight-ball and nine-ball.  

Objective: In 8-ball pool, there are seven solid and seven striped balls and one 8 black ball. In order to win, the player must pot his specific balls (solids or stripes) and then finish with the black 8-ball. In 9-ball pool, only nine balls are on the table. Each player pots the balls in order of number. The person to pot the 9 ball wins.

Snooker

Snooker is known to be one of the more complicated cue sports.

Table: Snooker is played with the biggest table at twelve feet by six feet.

Balls: Snooker uses 22 balls including a white “striker” ball. There are 15 red, along with the object balls: 1 yellow, 1 brown, 1 blue, 1 pink, 1 black, and 1 green. Each colored ball has a designated spot on the table.

Objective: The main objective of snooker is to pocket more balls than your opponent. Once the 15 red balls have been pocketed, the remaining colored balls must be pocketed in a specific order.

It is common for people to refer to billiards, pool, and snooker loosely, but each game brings a different type of competition and enjoyment.

We have brand new billiards tables available in our showroom and online! Our team has designed four new tables under our original collection, Generations. Check them out here.  

If you would like to see these tables and the rest of our collection in person, visit us in our showroom. We are open Monday – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Our team can provide you with everything you need to know about these games.

Not in the area? Give us a call at (909) 885-3604, and we will answer any questions you may have.