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Billiards: Take a Shot at Family Fun with a Pool Table
Pool is that game you might only play at your local pub or pool hall. Or maybe you love billiards, but find it hard to hone your skill. Whatever your skill level, you can bring home the excitement of billiards with your very own pool table. Ideal for a basement or large rec room, a billiard table can turn your space into a fun gathering place for playing eight ball, practicing your break shots, and engaging in friendly competition.
What Should I Consider When Buying a Billiard Table?
A pool table is an investment. So, consider these factors when choosing the right billiard table for you.
Size is the first thing you should think about when choosing a pool table. You'll want enough space around the table so players can comfortably shoot from all areas and angles. Standard billiard tables can range in length from 84" to 108", so make sure to measure your entire space before you commit to the pool table of your dreams. If you're short on a space, a tabletop billiard table is always an option for fun, casual games.
Playing Bed and Frame
From commercial-quality slate to lightweight, cost-effective MDF, pool tables are made of materials designed for different budgets and uses. If you're a serious pool shark who's turned pool practice into a daily ritual, consider a slate bed table for its precise levelling and high-quality build. If a billiard table is just another addition to your growing games room, then a table with an MDF bed may suit your needs perfectly.
Billiard tables are covered in felt. But not all pool table felt is created equal. The colour of the felt is a matter of personal preference, but the composition of the felt can affect its longevity. Generally, pool table felt comprises a mix of wool and nylon or wool and polyester. Look for pool table felt with a higher percentage of wool for smooth ball rolling. Some felt is also coated in Teflon to resist stains.
Pool table pockets range from traditional leather drop pockets to plastic pockets with a ball return system. Drop pockets keep the balls in their pockets after they're potted, while pockets with a ball return system drop all the balls to a single collection area. Ball return systems make it more convenient to grab all the balls when a game's done, but often make a table bulkier.
What Games Can I Play with a Pool Table?
Billiards don't limit you to a single game. There are tons of games you can play with a billiards table. Here are just a few.
When you think of pool, you're probably picturing eight ball. In this classic game, one player tries to sink all the solid-coloured balls while the other aims for the striped balls. Once a player has pocketed all of their balls, they must sink the eight ball to win the game.
As its name suggests, nine-ball pool is played with only nine balls. The balls are racked up in a diamond shape, with the nine ball in the middle. The object of the game is to sink the nine ball. However, the cue ball must first hit the lowest numbered ball on the table before it hits any other balls. Therefore, sinking the nine ball may not be as easy as it seems.
Show off your speed, precision, and agility in a game of speed pool. Great for one or more players, speed pool requires you to pocket all the balls as precisely and quickly as you can. Set the timer and start shooting, but make sure to call out the ball and pocket you're targeting -- because fluke shots aren't allowed. Sink the balls in any order, but save the eight ball for last.
How Do I Choose a Billiard Cue?
When choosing a pool cue, consider your budget, needs, and design of the cue. Billiard cues are available in one- and two-piece designs, with two-piece designs being ideal for travel. If you practice at home and play in a league at your local pool hall, opt for a two-piece cue for easy transport. When shopping for a pool cue, also consider the weight of the cue, the material and feel of the wrap, and the type of tip.
What Other Pool Table Accessories Do I Need?
Many billiard tables come with the essential accessories you need to start playing right away. These include pool cues, a set of balls, and a racking triangle. Other pool table accessories to look for are chalk for the cue, a bridge stick for harder-to-reach shots, a rail brush for cleaning the table, and a cover for protecting the table. Billiard accessory kits are great for getting all the extras you need in one package.