American Pool Vs British Pool: What’s The Difference?

british pool

You may be wondering what the distinction is between an American pool table and a British pool table as a pool table buyer. Let’s have a look at some of the differences.

The United States has bigger pool tables. Thanks to the quick, napless nylon cloths and sharp cushions, this is a fast-paced game with many thrills. British(or English) tables are smaller and have napped, woolen coverings, providing a more meditative, strategic gaming experience.

An American table can make a stunning focal point for the games area if you have the space. However, British tables are preferable for home and business installations since they are small.


Diverse friends playing billiard at home
British pool

American pool tables, like most American games, encourage speed of play. As a result, they’re bigger and have larger pockets, balls, and quicker Nylon clothes.

It’s a popular misconception that the American pool is a simple learning game. Long-distance angles across an 8-foot table need a lot of practice and precision.

You may anticipate a more cerebral game when playing eight-ball on a British pool table. Small pockets and flat-sided cushions encourage strategic rather than raw shot power use. You may attempt to snooker your opponent on a smaller table by obstructing their shots.

In the United Kingdom, pub tables are almost exclusively British in origin, but an American table is seen in an urban sports bar or a pool hall as a US pool hall.


Man in Blue Shirt Playing Billiard
British pool

What is the distinction between the tables in terms of size? Because American tables are larger than British ones, you must be aware of the following:

The majority of British tables are about 6 or 7 feet long. These are ideal for a home game room where space and cueing area may be limited. If you want to play pool, you need to be able to walk about and use a 57-inch full-size cue from any angle around the table.

In the United States, most tables are approximately 8 to 9 feet long. Some 7-foot versions are now available, and a few 6-foot oddities. Please check the individual table listings for accurate table dimensions.

The average American seven-footer is larger than the British equivalent. As a result, they should only be utilized in areas that accommodate this size table. Check your cueing space before purchasing to ensure you have enough area for it.

In addition, the two nations’ slate types are also distinct. British tables are one-piece, whereas American tables are frequently made up of two or three parts for slates. It is transported in sections put together on-site by specialists due to the difficulties of transporting and handling an 8- or even 9-foot pool slate.

Slate adjusters, which are found on some American tables, allow you to fine-tune the level of each slate for a flat playing surface. A spirit level is usually used to straighten the foot of all American and British tables although.


british pool
British pool

The cloth is all-important in the American and British pool. British cloth may be manufactured from wool or other fibers, most likely produced in the United Kingdom. The directed weave known as a “nap,” designed to slow down the ball’s roll, is soft and absorbent. It emphasizes accuracy over speed on the roll and rewards individuals who do so.

The most common fabric in American apparel, Nylon, has a very low roll resistance. It lacks the sag of British cloth as well. Slow, methodical play may not be regarded as highly in this game structure as it is in others. Because strong strokes may travel further off a few cushions, the game demands quick and thrilling action.

Pockets And Cushions

Brown and Red Billiards Tables With Green Lamps
British pool

The cushions and compartments have their distinct patterns, making matters more difficult. The shoulders of British tables are rounded and tiny. The shoulders may rebound your shot in any direction, making it more difficult to sink a ball. An L-shaped cushion provides a little rebound.

A sharp point usually accompanies the entrance to the pockets on American tables on either side. This makes potting a corner shot easier because players are encouraged to utilize the quick cloth and attempt long shots. Center pocket strikes, on the other hand, can be challenging. The cushions in the United States are lengthy and narrow.

A British table features an internal ball return system that sends a potted ball back to the collection area at one end of the table. This is because British pockets are notoriously difficult to get your hand into. There is a different place for the white ball on a coin-operated UK table.

In the United States, tables have drop pockets that retain the balls until the game’s conclusion; however, the LA Pro has a ball return system.


british pool
British pool

Traditional centerpieces for American dining rooms have generally been more elaborate. It’s partly due to their size and the more notable design trends used to decorate these tables.

In contrast, British tables are more traditional in design and can have straight or bent legs, depending on personal taste.

Cues and Balls

british pool
British pool

You’ll need bigger balls with more room. As a result, most American pool balls are 214 inches in diameter, which is huge and hefty and provides a lot of forwarding momentum when rolling.

The smaller, lighter 2-inch balls utilized in the British pool discourage a faster tactical approach than the high-speed approach favored by Americans.

The diameter of a British cue tip is generally less than 11mm. This tiny tip aids in maintaining a firm grasp on your cue ball. American cues with tips as massive as 12 millimeters allow for long, accurate power strokes to the far end of the table.

While 57-inch pool cues are the most common, 48-inch cues are also common in tight spaces. Smaller sizes are available for young players and those who play in confined areas.


british pool
British pool

There are many differences between American and British pools. Remarkably, a game that appears to be similar on the surface can have so many subtle and not-so-subtle differences. Because of this, it’s impossible to choose one above the other when there are so many different features that distinguish each. It’s all a matter of personal preference as to which form of play is most comfortable for you.

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Shmulik Dorinbaum

Shmulik Dorinbaum

I like to Play Pool and Snooker, way too much. So welcome to my biggest passion, getting my self new Pool Cues all the time ;)