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Difference Between Pool and Snooker


The difference between pool and snooker stems from the time at which they were created and played. Both were devised in the nineteenth century, Billiards being the first. Snooker was a strategy oriented spin off from billiards and pool became a version of snooker. Both forms separated from their parent sport due to the need for simplicity.

Billiards simply had too many rules, so they toned it down to snooker. It was played with much frequency at off-track horse racing betting places. It was originally called “Pocket billiards”, later informally known as pool, due to the ‘pooling’ of all the gamblers’ money. Both do possess the same motive; use the cue tip of the cue stick to move the cue ball within the confines of the table to put relative balls into respective pockets.


Difference Between Pool and Snooker

Pool Snooker
Games Played
Both tables allow versions of cue games to be played.
The 8-ball and 9-ball remain the most popular pool games played to date. They are the successors of the straight pool and far more popular than 7-ball, which is considered too short. Other versions include:
One Pocket, where balls are supposed to be pocketed into specified pockets.Rotation Pool, or 61, is similar to 9-ball with a little more complexity in potting balls with balls only being pocketed numerically.

Chicago, which is similar to rotation, is more oriented towards betting and gambling.

They have object balls and red balls. You need to pot object balls in order, in a guided compliance with potting red balls. Versions other than the original snooker are rarely played, but do exist –
Life Pool, where there used to be pools of money bet on the game and considered as the original branch off towards the pool side.Six-red snooker includes only 6 red balls.

Sinuca Brasileira contains only one red ball instead of the regular fifteen, and has different rules.Russian Pyramid; variations of the game include the Moscow pyramid and the Petersburg pyramid.

They may seem of the same size from afar, but they are not.
Standard ball size is 2¼”. Coin-op tables require a slightly larger cue ball. The balls vary between America and England. Americans use larger balls (2⅛”), while the British prefer smaller (2 and a sixteenth inch) balls.
Another misconception for someone who hasn’t played both is that both games use the same cues. Someone who has, will immediately know the difference.
They are 57″ to 58″ in length and are either 1 piece or 2 piece.
Tip diameter is 11 to 14 mm.
Holding ends are often covered with a linen wrap.
Length is anywhere between 57″ to 63″.
Tip diameter is around 10 mm, much smaller than a pool cue.
They are widely made of ash and have no covering on their holding ends.
The size of the tables are evidently different, with snooker played on the larger surface.
Regulation tables are 3.5 feet by 7 feet, tournament tables are 4.5 feet to 9 feet.
Table height is generally the same as that of an American table.
Tournament rules require the table to be 6 feet by 12 feet, much larger than the pool table. Common tables do come in a variety of sizes, matched to fit a given space if there is a size restriction.
Table height of a British snooker table is generally 2″ taller than an American table.
Playing Surface
Surfaces are traditionally green, but time changed that for better looking tables.
Pool tables are small and do not go well with extra-smooth surfaces. The pool table surfaces provide a bit more friction than a snooker table. Snooker tables are huge and the game rules require the ball to be controlled as precisely as possible. The surfaces are very smooth to provide the least bit of friction so the balls can travel the distances on the table. The advantage to snooker is that the material used can be wool or nylon threading for a smooth surface. These materials may be super-costly, but they last for a long time (almost 5 years).
Table Pockets
Both tables use different styles of pockets.
Pool tables use cushioned linings that dive into the pockets at a steep angle. The kind of shot required to pocket a ball is made a little tougher this way. Snooker tables use cushions that flow into the pockets in a curved manner. The mouth of the hole is made wider this way, making the exact angle at which you can pocket a ball different from a game of pool.
Additional Accessories
A distinguishing point between both is the use of added equipment for improved shots, mainly in snooker.
Pool does not have any noteworthy accessories different from snooker. Standard equipment includes the chalk for the cue tip. Snooker requires the use of extension arms on the table. This is due to the size of the table and the difficulty of shots. The common accessories used are the spider and the ball marker.
The Mindset

All the rules, all the game styles evolve from the difference in thinking amongst humans. Snooker will always be considered as the game for strategies, a game meant to be played slowly. Pool, on the other hand, is a fast paced and short lived, meant as a break between placing horse bets.

So there you have it. The next time you set out to play either pool or snooker and wonder how the other game is played, now you know the basics to start off. Note that, pool is easier than snooker due to all the mentioned differences, so you should be more patient for it if you ever think of playing snooker.