There are a number of key differences between pool and snooker tables which you need to know about if you’re deciding which table to buy, or trying to play a game on a different type of table. In this article, I’ll be comparing pool and snooker tables in-depth, and addressing whether you can play snooker on a pool table and vice versa.
Pool vs Snooker Table Overview
Pool tables are smaller but have larger pockets than snooker tables. Full-size English pool tables are 7 ft, American pool tables are 9 ft and snooker tables are 12 ft in length. Snooker tables also have additional markings which are not found on pool tables and they are slightly lower to the ground.
|American Pool Table||English Pool Table||Snooker Table|
|9ft length||7ft length||12ft length|
|2’8″ height||2’8″ height||2’6″ height|
|4.5-5.125″ pockets||3.2-3.6″ pockets||3.1-3.4″ pockets|
|Straight-edged pockets||Curved pockets||Curved pockets|
|Head-string and foot spot markings||Head-string and foot spot markings||D-line, baulk line, blue spot, pink spot and black spot markings|
The main difference between pool and snooker tables is the size. Pool tables are much smaller than snooker tables.
Width and Length
Full-size snooker tables are 12 ft in length, full-size American pool tables are 9 ft in length and full-size English pool tables are 7 ft in length. The width of a full-size snooker table is roughly 6’7″, an American pool table is roughly 5′ wide and an English pool table is approximately 4′ wide.
You can also get smaller tables for all three types of games to make them more suitable for smaller areas. However, it’s rare that you can find a snooker table smaller than 9ft and the most common sizes are 10 ft and 12ft, making them more difficult to fit in the house.
Here are the most popular table sizes:
Snooker Table Sizes:
- 12 ft
- 10 ft
- 9 ft
English Pool Table Sizes:
- 6 ft
- 5 ft
American Pool Table Sizes:
- 9 ft
- 8 ft
- 7 ft
|Type||Snooker||English Pool||American Pool|
|Full-Size Table||12 ft (12’ x 6’ 7”)||7 ft (7’ x 4’)||9 ft (9’ x 5’)|
|Mid- Size Table||10 ft (10’ x 5’8”)||6 ft (6” x 3’7”)||8 ft (8’ x 4’10” ft)|
|Small-Size Table||9 ft (9 ft x 5’2”)||5 ft (5’ x 2’9”)||7 ft (7’ x 4’)|
How Much Space is Needed?
English pool tables are the easiest to fit in a small area because they usually come in 6ft or 7ft sizes. American pool tables are larger and require more room since they usually come in 7ft, 8ft and 9ft sizes. Snooker tables require the largest area since they are usually either 12ft or 10ft in length, although you can find some 9ft tables as well.
The amount of space you’ll need will also depend on the size of cue you’re using. Full size cues for pool and snooker are 57-58″ in length, but you can get smaller cues such as 52″ and 48″ and even junior-sized 36″ cues. Here’s how much room you’ll need for each table type.
|Table||Space Needed with a 58” Cue||Space Needed with a 48” Cue|
|Snooker 12ft Table||22 x 16 ft||20 x 14 ft|
|Snooker 10ft Table||20 x 15 ft||18 x 13 ft|
|Snooker 9ft Table||19 x 14.5 ft||17 x 12.5 ft|
|American Pool 9ft Table||19 x 14.5 ft||17 x 12.5 ft|
|American Pool 8 ft Table||18 x 14 ft||16 x 12 ft|
|American Pool 7 ft Table||17 x 13.5 ft||15 x 11.5 ft|
|English Pool 7ft Table||17 x 13.5 ft||15 x 11.5 ft|
|English Pool 6 ft Table||16 x 13 ft||14 x 11 ft|
|English Pool 5 ft Table||15 x 12.5 ft||13 x 10.5 ft|
Although snooker tables are wider and longer than both English and American pool tables, they are slightly shorter in height. Most snooker tables are roughly 2’6″ tall compared to pool tables which are usually a couple of inches taller.
Pocket Size and Shape
Snooker and pool tables both have 6 pockets, but the size of them is different. This is related to the size of the balls, and the skills each game focuses on.
- Snooker Balls have a 2 1/16″ diameter and the cue ball is the same size
- English Pool Balls have a 2″ diameter and use a 1 7/8″ cue ball
- American Pool Balls have a 2″ diameter and the cue ball is the same size
Check out my comparison between pool and snooker balls to learn more about all the differences.
American Pool Tables have the largest pockets, followed by English Pool Tables and finally Snooker tables have the smallest pockets.
- Snooker Table Pockets are 3.1-3.4″
- English Pool Table Pockets are 3.2-3.5″ on the corners and 3.5-3.6″ on the sides
- American Pool Table Pockets are 4.5-4.625″ on the corners and 5-5.125″ on the sides
The shape of the pockets is also different. In English pool and snooker, the pockets have a curved edge, compared to American pool where the pockets have a straight edge. This makes shots along the cushion from one end of the table to the other easier for American pool, but shots in the centre easier for English pool and snooker.
Another very noticeable difference between pool and snooker tables is the way that they are marked.
On a pool table you’ll find the following markings:
- Head string
- Foot spot (where the black ball should be placed in the triangle)
On a snooker table you’ll find the following markings:
- D Ring
- Baulk Line
- Blue Spot
- Pink Spot
- Black Spot
Can You Play Snooker on Pool Table?
It is possible to play snooker on a pool table however you will have to mark the table with the snooker markings and purchase the correct set of balls in a size that is appropriate for your table. It is easier to play snooker on an English pool table because the balls are the same size so suit the pockets more than on an American pool table.
Although it is possible to play snooker on a pool table, it’s not optimal if you want to practice for competitions because pool tables are much smaller than standard size snooker tables. However, it’s fine to do if you are just looking to play casually at home.
To convert a pool table into a snooker table you’ll need the following equipment:
- Marker pen to draw the D-ring, Baulk Line, blue spot, pink spot and black spot or spot stickers
- Snooker marking stick (to mark out the D-ring)
- Snooker balls to fit your table (either 2 1/4″ or 2/16″)
Here’s a link to a set of 2 1/4″ Aramith snooker balls on Amazon and a set of 2 1/16″ Aramith snooker balls on Amazon so you can check the current prices.
Can You Play Pool on a Snooker Table?
It is possible to play pool on a snooker table, however snooker tables are much larger than pool tables which will make the game feel quite different to play. If you are going to play pool on a snooker table, choose 2″ English pool balls instead of 2 1/4″ pool balls which will be too large for the pockets.
Check out this article comparing pool and snooker cues.