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What’s the Difference Between Billiards, Pool, & Snooker

Billiards, pool, and snooker are all games that vary based on the number of balls, pockets, table size and how big a cue is. Pool is a type of billiards game that is sometimes referred to as billiards or snooker. Here’s a quick description of the differences between these three games.

Differences between Billiards, Pool, & Snooker

Billiards is a game played on a rectangle table with no pockets and using 3 balls (1 red, 1 white ball with a spot, 1 white ball without a spot). Normally, billiard tables have a playing surface of 2.84 meters by 1.42 meters with 5 millimeter allowance. However, they also have a smaller size that fit to play in your house with your kids. Those can be called as mini billiard table, which can be found at https://minibilliardtable.com/.

Table pool has pockets with 9-15 object balls and the cue ball. The number of balls depends on the type of pool you are playing.

Snooker – is played on a table with 6 pockets. Similar to pool, Snooker is typically more difficult to play due to the use of object balls. A Cue Ball is used in snooker. There are 15 pink balls numbered 1-15 and 6 cue billiard balls fixed in their respective numbers (1-6).


Billiards is a group of games that are played on a table with pockets and a cue stick. The game originally was called ‘carom billiards’ but it is now just one game within the category called “cue sports.” Cue sports, or billiards, includes all sports played with a cue stick and balls on top of a cloth covered table with borders made from leather (or rubber). Billiards is divided into three subdivisions: pool, Carom billiards, and snooker.


As mentioned above, “pool” is the correct term to use for games of billiards that use pockets. The term “poolroom,” is a shortened version, which refers to the spaces where we can play billiards.

In the 18th century, gamblers would come to poolrooms to bet on horse races. As the law stated, betting on horse races was not legal. However, money would be pooled into a large pot and then hidden in front of billiard tables. The point of this was so that gambling venues looked less suspicious by creating the illusion that a cash-only game was taking place outside of it.

With pool there are many different types of tables such as 8 ball, 9 ball, straight pool, and one pocket. Pool tables have six pockets with a cloth that is much slower to play than a billiards table. The balls on a pool table are 2 1/4 inch in diameter while billiard balls can be half the size.


The game of snooker is played with 21 balls (measuring 2 1/8”) plus an additional white cue ball. There are 15 red, one yellow, one brown, one blue, one pink, one black, and one green. In snooker, the yellow, brown, blue, pink, black and green are referred to as object balls. Snooker is different from billiards and pool because there are three balls that can be used as a striker to hit other balls whereas you can only hit the white cue ball in the former. As if to make things more complicated, Europeans prefer 6 x 10 snooker tables while Americans prefer smaller 5 x 10 tables.

The goal of snooker is to lead by scoring more points than your opponent. You can score points by pocketing red balls, and after completing that, you can go on and game the remaining object balls in a particular order.


Billiards, pool, and snooker are different types of table games. The main difference is the size of the table and the number of balls used in each game. Even though they are related and have evolved from one another, these are distinct cue sports.

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