For anyone who has grown up enjoying cue sports, you will know that there is a monumental difference between pool and snooker. However, for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure to play either of these games, you may not know the difference between them. This article aims to explain these differences so that you can prepare for each of them, if or when you decide to give them a go.
It is apparent that we start with the table. Firstly, the table sizes are completely different from one another. The playing surface of a snooker table is 11 feet 8.5 inches by 5 feet 10 inches. If you compare this with the length of a ‘Regulation Standard 8ft’ table (88 inches long and 44 inches wide), you can see that the snooker table is much larger than the pool table.
When you play the game of snooker, you will know you’re playing on an enormous surface, especially when the cue ball (white ball) sits in the middle of the table. That is when you will need to use a second cue called ‘the rest’. This acts as a substitute for your bridge hand, as you will not be able to reach your desired position to strike the ball. Playing on a pool table, you will never have this problem.
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Another difference between these games is the size of the pockets. Not only does snooker have a much larger table, but the size of the pockets is also smaller too. This makes the difficulty of snooker a testing one, and you really need to be able to strike the object ball to produce adequate scores.
With pool, you have a much bigger target to aim for, and with the smaller sized table, there is always a strong chance you can make a pot.
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The Number of Balls
If you have never played these games, but have only seen them, whether it was on the television or in a club, then you would have noticed a different set of balls on the tables. With snooker, there are 21 balls that begin on the table. In contrast, pool can have anywhere between 9 and 16 balls, depending on what type of pool game you’re playing.
In snooker, you have 15 red balls, 1 black, 1 pink, 1 blue, 1 brown, 1 green, and 1 yellow. In addition, there is the cue ball, which is the ball you strike with your cue. In a traditional game of 8-ball pool, there are 7 yellow balls and 7 red balls (for Europeans), alongside a black ball and a cue ball. For those playing on an American pool table, the red and yellow balls will actually be made up of stripes and dots instead.
The biggest difference between each of these games is the rules. With pool, the rules are much simpler. Someone will break (by striking the cue ball at the pack of yellow and reds) and attempt to open them up and possibly pot one of the colors. When the first person pots a ball, he/she will continue to pot the same color balls of what that first one was.
For instance, if a player pot first, and it was a red ball, he/she will only have to pot the rest of the red balls, and the other player will need to pot the yellows. The final aim is to be the first player to pot the black ball. If you clear out all of your color balls, then you have the chance to pot the black and win the game.
In snooker, the rules are entirely different. A player will break, splitting the red balls. From here, it is about being able to pot a red ball, followed by anyone of the colors, and then back to potting a red, then color, and continuing this pattern so that you can build a score that outdoes your opponent.
However, it is important to understand that each color represents a different number score. Each red is 1 point. The yellow, green, and brown are 2. 3, 4 points respectively. The blue is worth 5, pink is 6, and the black is 7. Therefore, it is essential that you try and get yourself into a position to pot the blue, pink, and black after each red. This will give you the chance to build a greater score than your opponent during the frame.