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For most amateur players this question would be mind-boggling. Why? A lot of people do not know that there is a major difference between these 2. I have done all the digging. I am dishing out all the info on the billiard vs pool saga below.

Snooker vs Pool vs Billiards| Everything you need to know about all 3

Before I dive into giving you all the tea on billiards and pool. We can not talk about this topic without throwing in snooker.

Now you are probably thinking, Is she serious? But trust me it all comes together. Just like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The juicy billiards 411 is below.



Similar to croquet billiards was developed out of lawn games in the 15th century 

Fun Fact: The word “billiard” came from the French word Billart. Which means “mace or wooden stick.” The mace was an object that was used before the modern-day cue stick. When gameplay was moved indoors, green tables were used to act as grass.

In the beginning, the balls in billiards were driven by a mace with a large tip. Instead of a cue stick and through something just like a croquet wick.

Historically a gentleman’s game, Billiards was later upgraded again in the 19th century. The game evolved and expanded over time. It then included pocketed tables and shot-calling for points. This gave it a lot of demand in America in the 1920s.

How it’s Played

Known as Carambole or carom billiards. The word Billiard can refer to any kind of cloth-covered tabletop game. Or any game played with a cue stick and cue ball.

Scoring more points than your opponent is the main aim of Billiards. You do this by reaching the agreed amount that is needed to win the game.

Carom Billiards can be played one-vs-one or two-vs-two. The game is played on a table that has the same dimensions as snooker tables do. In many places, both games are played on the same table. Three cue balls must also be used, one red, one yellow, and one white cue ball.


  • Played with three balls, red, yellow, and white.
  • Each of the two players has their own cue ball. One having the white ball, the other the yellow ball.
  • The player who breaks off first is decided by both players.
  • Players must take turns to attempt to score the most amount of points and win the game.


 Carom Billiard tables are much larger than pool and snooker tables.

The minimum size is 5 feet x 10 feet.

Billiards tables have no pockets. The cloth (baize) on these tables is said to be fast. Likely because the game is timed.


The equipment used for playing carom billiards might look the same as that which you would find on a pocket billiards table. But looking at things like the billiard balls you will see many differences.


Billiards uses only three balls.

 One white with spots, yellow with spots as well, and one red-colored ball. Both the white and the yellow balls are able to act as the striker ball on a billiard table. This type of game has no object balls

 These balls are 2 7/16 inches in diameter

Cue Sticks

 Carom Billiard cues are smaller than pool cues but have a thicker butt and a shorter ferrule (cover/top)

The cue stick is usually 54 or 56 inches long.

It has a small tip and a pin joint made from wood.

Rack / Triangle

The triangle used for most cue sports is the same for most carom billiards. Billiards does not use a triangle/ rack.

Rules of Billiards

The main idea in a game of CAROM BILLIARDS games is to score points.

These arecalled counts.

They are scored by bouncing one opponent’s cue ball, called a cue ball, off of the other two balls on the table.

  • Each of the two players has his/her own ball. One having the white ball. The other the yellow ball.
  • The player who breaks off first is decided by both players.
  • This is a timed game.
  • Players must take turns to attempt to score the most amount of points. This is all before the timer goes off.



The game of pool was developed out of billiards. It was originally considered a common man’s game.

Back in the 18th century, gamblers came to pool halls to bet on horse races. This was illegal back then. The money was pooled/ combined into a large pot. In order to make poolrooms appear to be less dubious. Pool rooms often had pocketed pool tables. 

Gamblers would play casually while they waited on the results of the real game in these pool halls. Out of this, pool tables received their name. Also known as Pocket Billiards. Pocketed billiards was the original term used for the game. “Pool” is short for “poolrooms.”

The game of pool can be a high-speed game compared to its close relatives’ snooker and billiards.

How it is played

  • The game of Pool is a 2-player game that’s played on a pool table using pool balls and pool cues.
  • The aim of the game is to sink all of your pool balls, either stripes or solids.

There are several kinds of pool games played. So depending on what your preference is. There is a variation of pool games to satisfy every itch. Eight ball, nine ball, and straight pool are some popular ones.

Eight ball

The most popular of the games played on pool tables

  • A billiards game played with a total of 15 balls numbered 1 through 15.
  • The goal of each player is to pocket all of his or her group of object balls. 1 to 7 or 9 to 15 and win the game.
  • You will either play the solid-color balls or the striped pool balls.
  • All together a set of pool balls has sixteen balls. Fifteen object balls and a striker ball.


Because the 8 ball is most popular its rules apply to most of the other pool games. Both are played on normal-sized pool tables. With the regulation six pockets.

  • Eight-ball pool can be played as a single or doubles game.
  • It is played with cues and 16 balls, 15 object balls, and one white cue ball
  • This white ball is used to strike all the other object balls.
  •  An opponent can win if − he pockets/ pots the 8 balls legally after potting all the seven balls.


This billiard games pool table comes designed with 6 pockets. 4 on each corner and 2 along the rails on the edges of the pool table.

Available as –

Seven-foot table

Eight-foot table

Nine-foot table aka a Tournament table


The cue sticks used for playing pool are long and have thin shafts. They come in different lengths. Even the shorter crowd like myself have what they call kiddie cues available. The Regulation standard pool cues are between 57 and 58 inches.



Snooker was first played in 1875 by an army officer, Sir Neville Chamberlin. He was stationed in Madras and Jabalpur. He devised a set of rules that combined the games black pool and pyramids. The word snooker was a common degrading term. It was used to describe inexperienced or first-year military officers.

In the early 20th century, snooker was mostly played in the United Kingdom. It was considered a “gentleman’s sport”. This was until the early 1960s when it grew in fame as a national hobby. It then finally spread overseas.

How its Played

It is played with 22 billiards balls. 15 red balls and 7 with colors brown, yellow, blue, pink, black, and green. The last one is a white cue ball

  • In snooker, the games are organized into frames. 
  • A-frame can be won by scoring the most points using the cue ball to strike billiard balls.
  • Colored balls that may be pocketed on any given turn are the “on” balls.
  • For example, if a red ball is pocketed. This must be followed by a colored ball. Then this must in turn be followed by another red ball.
  • The balls are racked using a diamond-shaped rack.


  •  The red balls are each worth one point.
  • The yellow is worth two points.
  • The green is worth three points, the brown is worth four points
  • The pink is worth six points, the blue is worth five points, and the black is worth seven points.
  • A foul is when the wrong ball is pocketed.
  • The player does not receive points for pocketing the ball.


Snooker is played on massive twelve-foot tables. These are pro-tournament-sized. This table has 6 pockets. Snooker tables are larger than pool tables but the pockets are smaller than those on pool tables.  

The cloth on this table is felt. Like any billiards table, the playing surface is flat and sturdy. American tables are typically ten-foot tables, and English tables the twelve-foot tables.


North American, straight-grained ash is the wood used for Snooker cues usually come made of a specific type of wood known as North American straight-grained ash. These cues are strong and also offer a higher degree of stability and needed control for snooker tables. The standard cue is 57 inches and has a Tip size of 9.5mm.


Which is better Snooker or Pool?

Well, the answer to this depends on your competitiveness as a billiards player.

From popular answers many people consider snooker to be harder than a regular 8 or 9 ball pool game.

This opinion is not just coming from snooker players. Because snooker is more challenging, a manly man who loves a challenge will choose it. Pool is played by more people mainly because it is more on the laid-back side.

What is more popular: Pool, snooker, or billiards?

Though snooker is the more popular game. It is just not found easily because snooker tables take up a lot of space. The game of pool is played more widely than billiards and snooker. This is 0nly because it is more easily accessible. Pool is also much cooler because it has so many other ways it can be played.

Straight pool,8 ball,9 Ball, 10 ball, three Cushion billiards, Bank pool, and one pocket are all popular pool games.

Is snooker easier than pool?

The short answer is no.

Though both cue sports are challenging in their own way. Snooker is known to require some skills that are harder than those of a pool player. After all 22 snooker balls are no laughing matter.

Can you play pool on a snooker table or billiards table?

The obvious answer for a pool game on a billiards table is no. Simply because a carom billiards table has no pockets for the balls.

Although it is possible, to play pool on snooker tables. You should always play the games on their respective billiards tables. This is because the table and billiard balls are different sizes for the different games.

Who are the governing bodies for each sport?


  • The international governing body for pool /pocket billiards is the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA).
  • It was formed in 1987 and was initially headed by a provisional board of directors from around the world
  • World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS) oversees the WPA. This is the umbrella organization that all the major cue sports are part of.


  • The Billiards and Snooker Control Council (B&SCC) was the governing body of the games of Englishbilliards and snooker
  • It was formed in 1919 by the union of the Billiards Association (founded in 1885) and the Billiards Control Club (founded in 1908).
  • They lost control of both the amateur and professional games in the early 1970s.
  • This was after a dispute with professional players over challenge matches for the World Billiards Championship.
  • Following the loss of its government funding, the B&SCC went into voluntary liquidation in 1992 and its assets were later acquired by the World Pool-Billiard Association.


The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association

  • The WPBSA was founded in 1968.
  • They took over as the controlling body of the professional sports of snooker and billiards from the Billiards and Snooker Control Council (B&SCC).
  • The organization has subsequently acquired and transferred all rights dating back to the Billiards Association, first established in 1885 to date.

How many pockets does a snooker table have?

A snooker table has 6 pockets. This is similar to a pool table. There is one at each corner and one at the center of each of the longest sides of the table. The pockets are smaller than a pool table. 


From lawn games to billiards games with fifteen red balls. Maces to modern billiard cues. The Billiards game has changed over time and might continue to change with the times. One thing for sure is Billiards games will always entertain the masses.