Billiard sports, also known as cue sports, are an assortment of games played on cloth-covered billiards (or pool) tables with a cue stick and billiard balls. Covering a range of play types and styles, cue sports can be categorized in three general types: Pool (pocket games), Snooker (English billiards), and Carom billiards. Pool is a general name for games on six-pocket tables of various lengths (7’, 8’, 9’) that include popular games such as Eight-ball, Nine-ball, and straight pool. Snooker, or English billiards, are games played on larger 12’ snooker tables while Carom billiards refers to a games on Carom tables without pockets.

How do you play pool?

There are many variations of pool with differing play styles and strategies, but the most common games are straight pool, rotation games, and eight-ball. Straight pool games allow players to shoot openly at any ball on the table to earn points. Rotation games (nine-ball) require that players shoot at balls in order from one to nine. Eight-ball is played with each player shooting at either the striped or the solid balls until they have successfully made them all and can then shoot the eight-ball to win.


How do you rack pool?

The two most common racks for pool are the diamond rack used in nine-ball pool and the full triangle rack used for eight-ball pool. Nine-ball pool is racked with the one ball at the apex and the nine ball in the center. Eight-ball pool is racked with the eight ball in the center and the other balls organized at random with a stripe and a solid at each of the back two corner locations.

How many balls are in pool?


Pool is a general term referring to a variety of different pool games, with the most popular games being nine-ball and eight-ball pool. Nine-ball is played with nine balls in a diamond rack labeled one through nine. Eight ball is played with fifteen balls in a full triangle rack.

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Billiards Racks

Billiards racks are pieces of sporting equipment used to place the billiard balls (to ‘rack’ the balls) into their starting locations for a game of pocket billiards. The two most popular variations of billiards racks are the triangle (Eight-ball) and the diamond (Nine-ball). Triangle racks have inner dimensions of 11.25” | 28.58 cm by 10“ | 25.51 cm and diamond racks are 6.75” | 17.15 cm by 10“ | 25.51 cm. Billiard racks are made out of a variety of material choices that commonly include wood, plastic or metal.

In eight-ball billiards, 15 balls are placed in the triangular rack with the eight ball in the center, the one ball at the apex, and a solid and stripe as the other two corners. In nine-ball billiards, balls one through nine are placed in numerical order (left to right) in the diamond shaped rack started from the apex.

Sizes and dimensions of eight ball and nine ball racks used in the game of Billiards | Pool
Billiards racks are pieces of sporting equipment used to place the billiard balls (to ‘rack’ the balls) into their starting locations for a game of pocket billiards. The two most popular variations of billiards racks are the triangle (Eight-ball) and the diamond (Nine-ball).

Sizes and dimensions of eight ball and nine ball racks used in the game of Billiards | Pool
Billiards Racks
Height:
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
Area:

Eight-Ball Rack: 15 ball triangle
Inner Width (Eight-Ball): 11.25” | 28.58 cm
Inner Height (Eight-Ball): 10“ | 25.51 cm
Nine-Ball Rack: 9 ball diamond
Inner Width (Nine-Ball): 6.75” | 17.15 cm
Inner Height (Nine-Ball): 10“ | 25.51 cm
Materials: Wood, plastic, metal

Drawings include:
Eight-ball Rack plan, Nine-ball rack plan

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9 Foot Billiards | Pool Table
Drawing with dimensions of the length and width of a 9' Billiards | Pool Table

9’ Billiards | Pool Tables are large and challenging tables suited for the most skilled billiards players. 9’ Tables have playing surfaces with a length of 100” | 254 cm, width of 50” | 127 cm, and are set at 29 1/4”-31” | 74.3-78.7 cm high. A 9’ Pool Table has an overall size of 114” x 64” | 290 x 163 cm and a height of 32” | 81.3 cm. A clearance space of at least 12’2” x 16’4” | 3.71 x 4.98 m should be provided for a 9’ Billiards | Pool Table.

Front and side elevation drawings of the measurements of a 9' Billiards | Pool Table
9’ Billiards | Pool Tables are large and challenging tables suited for the most skilled billiards players. 9’ Tables have playing surfaces with a length of 100” | 254 cm, width of 50” | 127 cm, and are set at 29 1/4”-31” | 74.3-78.7 cm high.

Front and side elevation drawings of the measurements of a 9' Billiards | Pool Table
9 Foot Billiards | Pool Table
Height:
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
Area:

Surface Length: 100” | 254 cm
Surface Width: 50” | 127 cm
Surface Height: 29 1/4”-31” | 74.3-78.7 cm
Table Length: 114” | 290 cm
Table Width: 64” | 163 cm
Table Height: 32” | 81.3 cm

9’ Billiards | Pool Table Clearances
48” Cue:
12’2” x 16’4” | 3.71 x 4.98 m
52” Cue:
12’10” x 17’ | 3.91 x 5.18 m
58” Cue:
13’10” x 18’ | 4.21 x 5.49 m
Area (52” Clearance):
218 ft2 | 20.3 m2

Drawings include:
9' Billiards | Pool Table plan, side elevation, front elevation, room size clearance

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Billiards | Pool Table Pockets

Billiard | Pool Tables are engineered with six pockets — one in each corner and two centered on the longs sides. Pockets, varying in design from simple drop pockets to elaborate ball returns, differ in shape and dimension between Corner Pockets and Side Pockets. Corner pockets have openings sized the width of two billiard balls (2 1/4” | 5.7 cm) at 4 1/2”-4 5/8” | 11.4-11.7 cm. Side Pockets have mouths 1/2” | 1.27 cm larger than corner pockets for a total opening of 5”-5 1/4” | 12.7-13.3 cm. The perimeter of a pool table is made up of inner cushions with depths of 2” | 5.1 cm attached to outer rails of 5” | 12.7 cm.

Drawing illustrating the sizes and dimensions of side and corner pockets on a standard Billiards | Pool Table
Billiard | Pool Tables are engineered with six pockets — one in each corner and two centered on the longs sides. Pockets, varying in design from simple drop pockets to elaborate ball returns, differ in shape and dimension between Corner Pockets and Side Pockets.

Drawing illustrating the sizes and dimensions of side and corner pockets on a standard Billiards | Pool Table
Billiards | Pool Table Pockets
Height:
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
Area:

Corner Pocket Mouth Size: 4 1/2”-4 5/8” | 11.4-11.7 cm
Side Pocket Mouth Size: 5”-5 1/4” | 12.7-13.3 cm
Cushions: 2” | 5.1 cm
Billiard Balls (Diameter): 2 1/4” | 5.7 cm
Rail Depth: 5” | 12.7 cm

Drawings include:
Corner Pocket plan, Side Pocket plan

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Billiard Balls
Diagram comparing the relative sizes of billiard balls used for various cue sports

Billiard balls come in different sizes and designs that vary by game type. Traditionally, billiard balls were made from elephant ivory, but are commonly made from phenolic resin today. Billiard balls range in diameter from the largest in Russian pyramid and kaisa at 2 11/16” | 68 mm to the smallest in Snooker 2 1/16” | 52.5 mm. Other variations of billiard ball sizes are Carom at 2 7/16” | 61.5 mm, American-style at 2 1/4” | 57 mm, and British-style at 2 3/16” | 56 mm.

Drawing comparing billiard ball dimensions from Russian Kaisa, Carom, American, English, Snooker
Billiard balls come in different sizes and designs that vary by game type. Traditionally, billiard balls were made from elephant ivory, but are commonly made from phenolic resin today. Billiard balls range in diameter from Russian pyramid down to Carom, American-style, British-style, and Snooker.

Drawing comparing billiard ball dimensions from Russian Kaisa, Carom, American, English, Snooker
Billiard Balls
Height:
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
Area:

Diameter (Russian kaisa): 2 11/16” | 68 mm
Diameter (Carom): 2 7/16” | 61.5 mm
Diameter (American): 2 1/4” | 57 mm
Diameter (British): 2 3/16” | 56 mm
Diameter (Snooker): 2 1/16” | 52.5 mm
Material: Phenolic resin

Drawings include:
Billiard Ball sizes: Russian Kaisa, Carom, American, English, Snooker

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8 Foot Billiards | Pool Table
Drawing with dimensions of a standard 8' Billiards | Pool Table

8’ Billiards | Pool Tables are standard tables sized for usage in homes. 8’ Tables have playing surfaces with a length of 88” | 224 cm, width of 44” | 112 cm, and are set at 29 1/4”-31” | 74.3-78.7 cm high. An 8’ Pool Table has an overall size of 103” x 59” | 262 x 150 cm and a height of 32” | 81.3 cm. A clearance space of at least 11’8” x 15’4” | 3.55 x 4.67 m should be provided for a 8’ Billiards | Pool Table.

Front and side profiles with measurements of an 8' Billiards | Pool Table
8’ Billiards | Pool Tables are tables sized for usage in homes. 8’ Tables have playing surfaces with a length of 88” | 224 cm, width of 44” | 112 cm, and are set at 29 1/4”-31” | 74.3-78.7 cm high. An 8’ Pool Table has an overall size of 103” x 59” | 262 x 150 cm and a height of 32” | 81.3 cm.

Front and side profiles with measurements of an 8' Billiards | Pool Table
8 Foot Billiards | Pool Table
Height:
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
Area:

Surface Length: 88” | 224 cm
Surface Width: 44” | 112 cm
Surface Height: 29 1/4”-31” | 74.3-78.7 cm
Table Length: 103” | 262 cm
Table Width: 59” | 150 cm
Table Height: 32” | 81.3 cm

8’ Billiards | Pool Table Clearances
48” Cue:
11’8” x 15’4” | 3.55 x 4.67 m
52” Cue:
12’4” x 16’ | 3.76 x 4.88 m
58” Cue:
13’4” x 17’ | 4.06 x 5.18 m
Area (52” Clearance):
197 ft2 | 18.3 m2

Drawings include:
8' Billiards | Pool Table plan, side elevation, front elevation, room size clearance

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