Pool vs Billiards: What is the difference and how to play

Pool and billiards are two names that are sometimes used interchangeably. It’s easy to know why these two games look to non-professional players to be the same thing. While they have certain commonalities, they also have distinguishing characteristics that differentiate them.

About Billiards

What is billiards?

Billiards is a broad phrase that refers to a diverse range of games. Pool and snooker are examples of this. The pool is often referred to as Pocket Billiards.

As a result, when some individuals say they’re playing billiards, they’re actually referring to Straight Pool. Carom Billiards, on the other hand, is a popular game. This game, sometimes known as French Billiards, is played with just three balls.

Although the actual size of the table will vary depending on the game, most carom billiard tables are 7 feet, 8 feet, or 9 feet in length. The 7-foot table is commonly seen in taverns and recreational establishments, but the 9-foot table is more commonly employed in professional and tournament settings.

How to play billiards

The aim of the game is to score more points than your opponent. You’ll come to an agreement on a total. You must attain the agreed-upon total to win the match. By hitting the cue ball off the other two balls on the table, you may earn points.

Remember that these two more balls are now on the table and that the white and yellow balls are the cue balls. You compete against the other individual or team. You must string to choose who will begin the match, which might be based on an unseen straight (head string) or the number of triumphs (scoring string).

About Pool

What is the pool?

The pool is technically a subcategory of the broader term billiards. It differs from billiards in that it employs pockets on the table as well as a cue stick and cue ball.

Pool games can be played with anything from 6 to 16 balls, though most people are accustomed to using the complete set. Pool tables are frequently the same as billiards tables. They will be either 7 feet, 8 feet, or 9 feet long. Professionals frequently play on 9-foot tables, as they do in billiards. The main difference is that it will contain pockets, usually six.

How to play pool

It is hard to explain how to play pool in a simple manner. There are several pool games to choose from. The way you play pool will be heavily influenced by the game you are playing. The majority of pool games require you to knock balls into pockets.

You will frequently agree on a figure that must be attained in order for the individual to win. A straight ball pool is a style of pool in which you must call the ball you plan to hit before you hit it. As a result, this game is far more sophisticated than other varieties of pools.

Basic differences between billiards and pool

Though cue sticks, tables, and balls are used in billiards, pool, and snooker; there are distinctions between all three games. And this article will explain the differences between pool and billiards.

Billiards, in general, refers to any tabletop game including a cue stick and a ball. The pool is classified as a billiards game since it fits this description. The pool is a specialized billiards game with pockets on the tables, so keep that in mind.


The goal of the billiards game is to score a certain number of points or the most points in a certain amount of time, which is decided at the start of the game.

The purpose of most pool games is to pocket target balls, sometimes from certain groupings of balls, in a specific sequence, or in specific pockets, using the cue ball.


There are three balls in a game of billiards. Pool balls are smaller than the ones used in billiards. It’s normally packaged with two cue balls (one colored or marked) and one red object ball.

Depending on the model you’re playing, the pool employs 9 to 15 balls. It is included in sets of two suits (primarily stripes and solids, but reds and yellows are also seen), each including seven object balls, an eight-ball, and a cue ball.


Baize, a highly woven fabric, is used to cover the table. The billiards cloth is generally green, to reflect the grass where the games were once played. Many hues are now available. The billiards fabric is thin, allowing the balls to go more quickly over the table.

Baize is commonly used to cover the pool table with blends and even 100 percent synthetics. The pool cloth limits mobility, causing the ball to move more slowly.


The game is played using a cue, which evolved from a golf-club-like tool known as the mace by the mid-nineteenth century. Billiard cues today feature leather tips that are normally constructed of wood, are often handcrafted, and may have inlaid or other ornamentation.

Pool cues are similar to carom cues, except they are somewhat longer and have smaller tips than carom cues. Amateur league play has given rise to a market for mass-produced, moderately priced, and appealing cues.

Bottom Line

Billiards and pools, as you can see, are not the same thing. Billiards is a catch-all name for a variety of cue sports. If you’re at a party and are invited to a game of billiards, you’re almost certainly going to be playing pool. It may refer to the pocket-less model if you live in the United Kingdom. If you’re asked to play a game of snooker, anticipate a lengthy explanation of the rules.