Many people talk about pool table dimensions in regards to their length and width. Of course, this is important information to know— particularly if you want a table the same size as the pros use. But the height of a pool table is often glossed over. Height isn’t only important to mimic tournament play, but also for comfort and ease of use. Particularly tall or short players may have a hard time on tall or short tables. So, in this article I aim to answer the question: How Tall is a Pool Table?
According to the World Pool-Billiard Association, pool tables should be between 29 ¼-inches and 31-inches tall. This measurement is from the floor to the playing surface— not to the rails or the cushions. There’s a ¾-inch space for error and adjustments— mostly to leave room for leveling the pool table.
How to Measure Pool Table Height
Before we get into more detail about the height of pool tables, let’s talk about how to measure a pool table’s height.
If you want to determine how high your pool table is, you need to determine how far the floor is from the playing surface. But, unless you take a railing off the table, it’s hard to get a direct measurement from the floor to the surface.
You can get a pretty good measurement (usually within a half-inch) by eyeballing it with a tape measure from the floor to the outside of the railing approximately level with the playing surface.
If you want to get a more accurate measurement, you can measure from the playing surface to the top of the railing. Then measure from the floor to the top of the railing. Subtract your first measurement (surface to top of rail) from the second (floor to top of railing) to get the height of the playing surface. If your table is level, this measurement shouldn’t vary much when performed at different parts of the table.
Are All Pool Tables the Same Height?
Answering the question of whether all pool tables are the same height is a little difficult. The guidelines and equipment specifications set by billiard and pool organizations around the world state that tables should be within a specific height range. These differ for the major billiard games, but there is really nothing stopping table owners from adjusting their tables higher or lower than is specified.
Pool tables at tournaments follow the guidelines set by their specific organization. As such, all pool tables at a tournament will be the same height to within ¾ of an inch.
However, pool tables in bars, billiard halls, or homes around the world aren’t guaranteed to be the same height. Some tables have adjustable legs and table manufacturers often make tables of different heights upon request.
Does Table Height Affect Table Size?
A common question about table height is whether the different size tables are different heights. I’ve heard people ask, “How tall is an 8-foot table?”
The answer: It depends. 8-foot tables aren’t typically built any taller or shorter than 6 or 7-foot tables. But the process of leveling that table or bringing it to a comfortable height for the owner may make it slightly taller or shorter than other tables. Since leveling deals in very small adjustments, most standard tables won’t have a noticeably different height than any others, no matter their other dimensions.
Now let’s take a look at the height of other tables in the billiards family.
Snooker Table Height
Unlike pool tables, snooker tables are typically measured from the floor to the top of the cushion. This makes things a little easier on the measurer. The standard height of a snooker table is between 2’ 9.5” and 2’ 10.5”. That’s a minimum height of 33.5-inches and a maximum of 34.5-inches. Making the difference between the minimum height of a pool table and the minimum height of a snooker table 4 ¼-inches.
Carom Table Height
Carom tables are measured using the playing surface. Their height range is close enough to that of a pool table so as to not be noticeable during play. The range is 75 to 80 centimeters from the floor to the playing surface. That’s 29.53-inches to 31.5-inches.
What Size and Height Do the Pros Play On?
Size and height are perhaps the most important factors when trying to imitate the tables that tournaments are played on. The pros play pool on 9-foot tables that are between 29.25 and 31-inches in height. If your main goal is to imitate a pro table, you’ll benefit from ensuring the playing surface is within that height range.
When to Consider Adjusting Your Pool Table Height
Most casual players will adjust a pool table out of the normal range for comfort. This is mainly true for taller people or those with back problems who would benefit from a taller table. Pool requires a lot of bending over, and if your back hurts every time you play, the fun goes out of the game.
So, unless you have professional aspirations, you can really put your table at whatever height you want, within reason. Pool is supposed to be fun, relaxing, and challenging. Not a pain in the back!
Does Pool Table Height Affect Playability?
The height of a pool table won’t generally affect playability for most players. If you go from playing on a 7-foot table to a 9-foot table, you may have some trouble adjusting. But going from a 29-inch high table to a 32-inch high table isn’t a big deal for most people. As long as the other dimensions on the table are the same, the height doesn’t really affect the most important factors.
That said, some players, like those that are particularly tall or short, may find it strange to play on an abnormally high or short table. But for the most part, table height is set as such to allow comfort for the majority of players.