The Difference Between Billiards and Pool

In doing a Google search to find the difference between pool and billiards, I found Billiards Simulationthis. Ever since I played a game of pool (8-ball), I have always seemed to use those two words interchangeably.

Like, there would be times where I’d tell my friends by saying, “Let’s have a game of pool.” Other times, I would find myself asking, “You wanna play some billiards?”

Now, after reading what I saw on this page, I have a better understanding between pool vs. billiards. The difference is that pool is a variant of billiards. A game of snooker is under the billiards term as well. The names of bumper pool and carom would fall under the billiards category also. To use an analogy as an example, billiards is to fruit and pool is to apple.

Pool is a variant of billiards

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the real main difference between the two terms is that billiards is a blanket-term of pool. To say the word “billiards” is like putting the words snooker, carom, pool, bumper pool, etc. into one word.

Pool, on the other hand, would be in a league of its own under the billiards term: using only cue sticks, the table must have pockets, and there cannot be any pins or any objects in use. The most common forms of pool are 8-ball and 9-ball. This is also the most well-known form of pool.

Another billiards variant: snooker Set of Snooker Balls

To further explain my example of billiards, I will be going over another variant: snooker. The items with this game is different from pool. It consists one color of each ball: white, pink, black, blue, green, yellow, and brown. There would also be fifteen red balls to be played as well.

Another thing to note about playing snooker is that the table is wider where the playing surface measures at 11 feet 8.5 inches by 5 feet 10 inches for a standard full-size table.

Pool (only) games: 8-ball and 9-ball

Whenever you’re at a pool hall, pool bar, or a friend’s house, chances are you’re looking at a pool table that contains six pockets where the balls fall into. You’re also likely to find accessories such as cue sticks, a white cue ball, and sixteen numbered balls.

So, when you’re playing 8-ball and 9-ball, you’re playing a game of pool. Even though, I still find myself saying the word “billiards”, as it’s the wrong way of saying what these games are. What I should be saying is, “I’m playing pool.” It’s going to take me a while to change this habit.

The pool table measurements

The measurements of the pool table’s playing surface varies. The smallest (7 ft) table measures at 39 inches by 78 inches. A medium (8 ft) table measures at 44 inches by 88 inches. A large (9 ft) table measures at 50 inches by 100 inches.

An interesting thing to note is that the playing surface of the pool table is smaller than the snooker table where I’ve mentioned that the playing surface for the snooker table measures at 11 ft 8.5 inches.

Thoughts? Questions?

What were your thoughts about reading this post on The Difference Between Billiards and Pool? Do you now see the difference between the two words? I would like to know your feedback. Please submit them in the comments section as I am eager to know about your thoughts. Thanks.

To your billiards/pool/gaming enjoyment,



  1. // Reply

    Your information on playing pool, billiards, and snooker is very enlightening. Your game room website is very a very enjoyable and informative read.
    I was interested in your pool/ billiards page as my mom,s cousin “Harold Worst” was the world champion 3 cushion billiards player for 10 years and was considered untouchable at the time. He was young and died of cancer at a young age.
    We found him on Youtube playing “Boston Shorty” ina game of pool, he won.
    I am just an average hot and cold player at 8 ball.
    I had some uncles that were good players that used to play with Harold. I will book mark your site because you offer so much information that I would like to reference in the future.


    1. // Reply

      Hi Marty. I would like to send my appreciation for replying to my post here. I would also offer my condolences to the passing of your Mom’s cousin, Harold Worst. Wow, I never heard about him being a 10-year world champion. I’ll definitely look him up on Youtube. Like you, I consider myself just an average pool player as well. There are times where I feel untouchable where I find myself on a hot streak where I consistently hit a ball into a pocket one after another. Then, there are cold times where I can’t seem to pocket any ball at all. I just thought I’d share my experience with you.

      Again, thanks for commenting on here, and I hope to get in contact with you again soon. Maybe we can play some pool one of these days. Take care!


  2. // Reply

    I’ve often wondered the difference between pool and billiards myself.

    I am confused by the table measurements. You said a small 7ft table is 39 feet by 78 inches. Wouldn’t it be 39 inches by 78 inches? This may just be a typo, but you did the same thing with the other sizes as well.

    Thanks for the clarification between the two.

    1. // Reply

      Hi Laura, and thanks for commenting on my site. I would also like to say thanks for pointing out the wrong table measurements on my pool tables. You were right, a 39′ for a pool table does not make sense. I’ve fixed that to make my article sound more real and credible. I hope I gave you a clearer understanding of the two words: billiards and pool.

      To your billiards (pool/carom/snooker/bumper pool) enjoyment,


  3. // Reply

    Growing up a friend had a bumper pool table ( although from your article I know ‘pool’ uses no bumpers) and we used to play every day after school.
    When I got old enough to go to the night spots I would play the occasional game of 8 ball but wasn’t all that good. I was good enough to enjoy it though and knew not to bet on the game lol.
    And once in a London pub I was invited to play snooker but I didn’t even know what that meant.. now I do!
    Thanks for the enlightenment and I really like your site..

    1. // Reply

      Yw , David. I hope I gave you an insight to what the difference between pool vs. billiards (pool, snooker, bumper pool, carom, etc.). I was wondering if you also used the two words: pool and billiards interchangeably like I did.

      Bumper pool can still be considered pool as it falls under the billiards category. I guess I forget to mention in my article that “billiards” is a broad terminology.

      I would like to say thanks for commenting on my site. Maybe we can play some billiards, err…snooker one of these days, and we can place bets to see who wins…j/k.

      To your billiards/pool/snooker/bumper pool enjoyment,


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