Those who are new to pool can be easily confused when it comes to table sizes. Some pool halls or bars have tables that are clearly different sizes. But professional tournaments are usually played on the same sized pool tables every time. This begs the question, Do pool tables come in different sizes?
Yes, pool tables come in many different sizes, especially when you include miniature tables often made for kids. However, people generally refer to the three main sizes of pool tables: 9’ by 4.5’, 8’ by 4’, and 7’ by 3.5’. But if we were to count every different size of billiard table, including the games popular around the world, we would have a very different answer.
Read on to find out all about the different pool table sizes and their functions.
The Most Common Pool Table Sizes
As mentioned above, there are three common pool table sizes that you’ll see in bars, pool halls, and homes. However, there are other pool table sizes that are widely available. Let’s take a look at them all in a bit of detail.
- 7 feet by 3.5 feet
- Size in meters – 2.13 by 1.07 m
- Actual playing surface dimensions (inches) – 78” by 39”
- 8 feet by 4 feet (Common home size)
- Size in meters – 2.4 by 1.22 m
- Actual playing surface dimensions (inches) – 88” by 44”
- 8.5 feet by 4.25 feet (Pro 8-foot table)
- Size in meters – 2.6 by 1.3 m
- Actual playing surface dimensions (inches) – 92” by 46”
- 9 feet by 4.5 feet
- Size in meters – 2.7 by 1.37 m
- Actual playing surface dimensions (inches) – 100” by 50”
As you can see, the width of the table is half of the length in every size. This is why people don’t often refer to the width when talking about pool table sizes. They’ll typically only refer to the length, as in a “9-foot table” or “8-foot table.”
Pool Table Dimensions
You also may have noticed that the actual playing surface dimensions are different than the length and width of the pool table. This is because the entire length and width of the table are considered when referring to the overall size of the table. The size of the playing surface is found by measuring the length and width between the bumpers.
What is The Most Common Pool Table Size?
We’ve talked about the most common pool table sizes, but many people wonder what THE most common size of pool table is. The answer depends on whether you’re talking about a home pool table or bar pool table.
The most popular pool table size for homes is 8-foot. This is not to be confused with the slightly larger 8.5-foot table, which is considered an 8-foot pro or an 8+ pool table. Standard 8-foot tables are more prevalent than their 8.5-foot counterparts.
The most popular pool table size for bars is 7-foot. These are often coin-operated, and their relatively small size allows for more bang for the square-footage buck. When people refer to “Bar Size” pool tables, they’re usually referring to 7-foot by 3.5-foot tables.
What Size is a “Regulation” Pool Table?
People often talk of “regulation size” pool tables. This can be confusing as many people assume they are talking about the 9-foot tables that are commonly used in professional pool tournaments. But this is not the case. In fact, there is no one specific regulation size for pool tables. However, there is a requirement for dimensions.
A regulation size pool table is one that has a playing surface that is exactly twice as long as it is wide (with a 1/8th inch margin for error). All the table sizes we’ve discussed so far in this article are considered regulation pool tables.
But, if a regulation table can be any size with the proper dimensions, this begs the question: Why are tournaments almost always played on 9-foot tables?
Why Professionals Play on 9’ by 4.5’ Tables
Professionals play on 9-foot tables because of the difficulty the size entails. The larger dimensions require shots with more accuracy. If you get used to playing on a bar size table and then suddenly switch to a larger table, you’ll understand how much harder it is to play on a 9-foot table.
Do Cue Sizes Change with Pool Table Sizes?
Although cues are available in many different lengths, they do not change with the size of the table. The most common pool cue length, 58-inches, is used to play on tables from 7-feet all the way up to 9-feet. In fact, 58-inch cues are often used on snooker tables, which are even larger than pool tables (more on that later).
Other common cue sizes are 61-inch, 52-inch, 48-inch, and 36-inch (for children). Miniature pool tables, often made for children, come with small pool cues. Otherwise, the height of the player is more of a determinant when it comes to cues than the size of the table. Sometimes, when space is limited, players may choose to play with shorter cues so they aren’t banging into the walls when they try to make a shot.
What Pool Table Size is Best for You?
With so many different pool table sizes, it can be hard to choose the right size for you. Choosing a pool table size mostly depends on two factors: available space and player preference.
The space available is the first thing you should look at because this will not change. Preferences change all the time, but room sizes don’t. Not without thousands of dollars in renovations, anyway. For optimal room size, the clearance between the pool table and the walls should be 5-feet minimum on all sides. However, some say you can get away with 3.5-feet of clearance if you’re willing to play with a slightly shorter cue. For more information on room size, check out my article on how far a pool table should be from the wall.
The second factor is player preference. If you’re looking to go pro and you have room to spare, you may want to get an 8 or 9-foot table. However, if you’re just looking to play pool without leaving the house, a smaller table should work just fine, as long as you have the room. Some people would rather go out to the bar or the pool hall to play on a large table than have a 7-foot table in their home. Ultimately, it’s up to you.
Other Pool Table Sizes
There are some other, less common pool table sizes that we should mention here. These are considered specialty pool tables. For the best playing experience, I would suggest getting a pool table that’s between 7 and 9-feet. You can get a quality pool table for under $1000. But, in a pinch, the following sizes are always an option.
- 6-foot tables – Ideal space-saving tables and those with older kids who are interested in pool.
- 4-foot tables – Best for kids and those looking for a small, portable table for casual play.
- Tabletop and miniature tables – These are available in several different sizes, but they’re usually around 3-feet in length. Some are designed to be set on a table, others come with legs and a variety of other games like ping-pong, foosball, and air hockey.
Other Billiard Table Sizes
Snooker tables are a whole different story. Snooker is not so popular in the U.S., but you can find American snooker tables that measure 10-feet by 5-feet with a playing surface of 112” by 56”.
Standard British snooker tables are 12-feet by 6-feet with a playing surface of 140” by 70”.
Standard Carom billiard tables are the same size as American snooker tables: 10-feet by 5-feet, but the tables don’t have pockets and the game is played with only three balls.
Why Do Pool Tables Come in So Many Sizes?
The main reason for the different pool table sizes is mainly space availability, cost, and materials. Bigger tables take up more space, which is one of the reasons why smaller tables are popular in homes and bars.
The bigger the table, the more materials it takes to make and the more it will cost. This is another reason why there are so many sizes. It gives consumers options depending on what they want. Bars usually go for smaller tables, but some pool halls attract serious pool players and league play with their 8+ or 9-foot tables.
As you can see, pool tables come in many different sizes, but the most common are 7 and 8-foot tables for homes and bars. 9-foot tables are used by professionals and tournaments. But there is a wide range of smaller sizes that will fit any pool enthusiast’s needs.