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Billiards vs Pool vs Snooker

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Whether you love to play these games, they all are near-about the same, but with subtle differences. Most people who are new to this arena of cue sports or table games are usually unaware of such differences between these three games: Billiards vs Pool vs Snooker.

They count it as one game with different styles, but it is not the case. Understanding the differences is important if you want to master these games at some point in your life.

Billiards vs Pool vs Snooker

It is agreeable that the end objective of all of these games is to send the balls to pockets. But there is a lot that goes on behind that one end goal.

There are rules, game tactics, regulations, strategies, and much more that vary. So, to help you understand the differences and similarities within these games, we came up with this guide Billiards vs Pool vs Snooker.

Billiards

Billiards is the cue sport that demands the use of only three types of balls for the gameplay. The colors of those balls are red, yellow, and white.

Out of the three, white and yellow balls are accountable as cue balls for both players. Therefore, Billiards is playable between two individual players or two teams.

A yellow cue ball and a red ball on a blue billiards table

There is a process called string that the players will adapt to decide who would start the game. The points of this game are allotted with three case scenarios, namely, pot, in-off, and canon. Knowing the rules and point-securing tactics is the best way of approaching this game.

Pool

Pool is yet another popular cue sport that is favorable not just amongst adults but also among people of all ages. Pool has several game variants, and all of them are interesting and engaging. The number of balls for the game is decided depending on the game variant.

For instance, in the game of 8-ball pool, you will have 15 balls in the game and nine balls in a 9-ball pool. Hence, this is the beauty of this cue sport, which brings variety for players to enjoy the sport.

The most famous game of Pool is 8-ball, and the rules are pretty much simple for the same. Its simplicity allows you to play it by yourself. You just need to pot all of your selected object balls (Whether solid or stripes) and pot the 8-ball in your chosen pocket to win the frame.

Snooker

Snooker is a game of 22 balls, including the cue ball. 15 are red balls and one ball of each blue, pink, green, black, brown, and yellow color. The rule of this game is that the player has to pot a red and another color ball alternatively.

This game is all about scoring the maximum points. Pocketing the red ball will give a player one point, and then the player has to pot another colored ball in a sequence of lower to higher values.

Snooker is playable on a table larger than that of the pool table, with six smaller pockets. There are many snooker games played with different rules and tactics, depending upon the choice of players.

Similarities

  1. Skills in one game are adequate to commence with the other two games.
  2. The apparatus essential for the games are the same, with different dimensions. (cue stick, table, cue ball, object balls)
Two people playing pool

Differences

  1. Pool uses on a 7,8 or 9-foot table and the material varies from slate to wood. Snooker uses a 12*6 table and Billiards uses a 10*5 table.
  2. The size of balls also varies for these games. For example, Pool uses a ball of 2.25 inches; snooker requires balls of 2.06 inches, and for billiards, you need to use balls of 2.43 inches.
  3. A traditional billiards table doesn’t have pockets in it, whereas a pool and a snooker table have six pockets (larger and narrower, respectively) for the games.
  4. Billiards uses only three balls, whereas 22 are used for snooker. For Pool, the count of balls varies, depending upon the game.

Major Distinguishing Factors

The major distinguishing factor in the conflict between billiards, snooker, and pool games is their rules. Even though similar equipment is preferable for all these games, the dimensions do vary. The diverse rules of billiards, snooker, and Pool explain that skills just let you start the game, but the experience will lead you to win!

It means that the skills of using a cue stick to aim the shot and pocket the ball are useful in all the games. However, without having experience regarding the rules and game tactics, you cannot play all three cue sport formats. 

When to Play Billiards?

Billiards is the game of expertise and precision! And it demands knowledge about the game to blend with its scoring rules.

If you are a rookie in cue sports, then it is advisable not to commence with billiards right away. It is better to free your hands by analyzing the skills with other easy games and then trying to learn billiards’ rules.

Hence, in brief, Billiards is the game of experience. The rookies starting off their cue sports passion with Billiards will take a lot of time to master it!

A person playing snooker with red balls

When to Play Pool?

Pool is the cue sport for all ages! Kids, adults, and the elderly love to play this game for the simplicity of its rules.

It is an entire category of games, and the rules of all of them are pretty much simple. Hence, beginners, intermediates, and experts can win their fortune with pool games. You don’t need to be an experienced cue sports player to handle the game rules.

When to Play Snooker?

Snooker is yet another popular variant of cue sports that are played with smaller balls. Again, it is the game of precision and experience.

But beginners can try it out, as it is all about pocketing the right ball at the right turn. So if you know how to aim, hit, and pocket the balls, snooker is for you!

Final Verdict

All the possible differences between these games clarify that each of these three has its own set of audiences. Therefore, calling anyone as best over the other won’t be legit.

But, in terms of ease of gameplay, Pool is the easiest to master. However, mastering Billiards & Snooker will let people know that you are no ordinary cue sports player. So, one by one, try out these 3 games and enjoy them.