Pool tables, which type is the best, American pool tables or English? The main difference as you might expect is size. The English pool tables have 2 in balls, which are smaller than the American pool balls, which are 2 ¼ inches. Also the table sizes are different, the English pool tables are typically 6 foot or 7 foot, whereas the American pool tables are 8 foot or 9 foot long. The pockets on American tables are also bigger to allow for the bigger balls.
Basically English pool tables are smaller versions of their American cousins. English pool tables were introduced to British pubs in the 60 ‘ s as a pub game so they had to be smaller to fit into the lounges. The English game has taken off and it even has its own regulatory body the EPA or English Pool Association. There are tournaments in the UK, using the regulation English pool table size of 7 foot and 2 inch balls, which are very popular and there are even professional players around Achtformpool.
The cues are slightly different for the 2 games as well, English pool cues have smaller cue tips typically 8-9 mm, whereas American pool players use pool cues with 12 or 13 mm cue tips. English pool players have also taken to using break off cues to break off with, which typically have larger cue tips of 11 mm.
However the American version of pool is also growing in popularity in the UK due to the growth of pool clubs like Riley’s. There are now some magnificent American tables around built in Europe like the famous K-Steel tables in the riley clubs. There are different types of pool games around, namely 8-ball pool and nine-ball pool.
Eight ball Pool is played with 15 Colours, a colour being a group of seven red balls (or balls numbered 1-7) and a group of seven yellow balls (or balls numbered 9-15). The “Eight-Ball” is a black ball marked with a number “8 To win the game a player has to pot all of his coloured balls either reds or yellows and then pocket the number 8 ball.
Nine-ball pool is played with 9 balls and the balls are racked in a diamond shape, the 1 ball is always at the front of the pack and must be struck first, the number nine ball is always in the centre of the pack. The object of the game being to pocket all the balls in any order until someone pockets the 9 ball. To win in nine-ball you have to pocket the 9 ball at any time in the game legally, either by hitting it in with the cue ball or with another ball in a combination shot.
Be aware there are lots of variations of these billiards games, games like 14.1 continuous etc. For a full explanation of the rules see the Billiards Congress of America website and the English pool association website.
So the answer to American v English pool, which is best, comes down to how much room you have. If you have the room, go for the American version, as that is the best form of the game in my opinion. It’s the same with snooker; the bigger table gives a much better game.