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HomeRulesThe Difference Between American, British and Australian Pool Tables
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The Difference Between American, British and Australian Pool Tables

So What Are The Differences?

A purple pool table delivered to an Australian homeWithout a doubt, the one question that we at Quedos are asked the most is:

What differences, if any, are there between American, British, and Australian pool tables?

At first glance, the American, British, and Australian pool tables look the same in appearance and appear to be played in the same manner.

But, as any player will tell you, there are vast differences in the length of the tables and the dimensions used for the construction of the tables.

The only across-the-board fact is that cue games are played on pool tables.

Before going into details about the continental differences, it helps to know that there is no finite difference between the British and Australian pool tables.

Governing Bodies

The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA), is the governing organisation that provides the rules and regulations for professional cue sports, including the specifications for competition pool tables. In America, the affiliated governing body is the Billiards Congress of America (BCA), in Great Britain, the associated governing body is the European Pocket Billiard Association(EPBA), and in Australia, the affiliate governing body is the Oceania Pocket Billiard Association (OPBA) which requires a paid membership to access the website.

However, the Government of Western Australia, Department of Local Government, Sport, and Cultural Industries does have a regulatory websiteon the specifications for cue games. All of these organisations are associated with the World Confederation of Billiards Sportshttps://www.wcbs.sport, an international organisation that oversees all major cue sports.

Table Dimensions

Professional Pool Table Sizes

There are no set in concrete professional table sizes. However, the two competitive table sizes recognised by the WPA are the American pool table size of 9’ in length and 4.5’ in width and the British and Australian pool table size of 8’ in length and 4’ in width.

That said, the British and Australian pool table size of 7’ in length and 3.5’ in width is allowed in some competition events with prior approval of the WPA. The WPA also has rules related to the equipment specifications for professional pool tables that cover all areas from the table dimension, height, rails, size and shape of cushions, size of balls and ball packs, pockets, bridges, cue sticks, to the playing space requirements and everything in between.

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Standard Pool Table Sizes

The size of a pool table will depend on where the table is going to be placed and how much surrounding space there is between the pool table and the nearest object such as a wall, furniture, or another pool table.

Standard American pool tables are larger than the standard British and Australian pool tables, typically being 9’ x 4.5’ and 8’ x 4’in sizes. That said, 7’ x 3.5’ pool tables are frequently used in pool halls to maximise the number of tables that can be spaced.

Homeowners with limited room space prefer the smaller American pool table size. But, homes with large open areas have the luxury of owning customised American pool tables crafted in larger sizes up to 12’ x 6’. The size of your American pool table is strictly a personal choice.

Standard British and Australian pool tables are smaller than American pool tables, typically being 8’ x 4’ and 7’ x 3.5’ in sizes. Depending on the amount of playing available, British and Australian pool tables typically used in pubs are 6’ x 3’ in size. Homeowners with limited room space usually prefer the 6’ x 3’ or 7’ x 3.5’ British or Australian pool table.

Homes with large open areas have the luxury of owning a customised British or Australian pool crafted in larger sizes up to 12’ x 6’. The size of your British or Australian pool table is strictly a personal choice.

Additional Differences Between American, Brittish, and Australian Pool Tables

Pocket and Ball Sizes

American pool tables use larger object balls and a cue ball that all measure 2 ¼ inches in size and the tables have larger pockets to accommodate the bigger balls.

British and Australian pool tables use smaller object balls that measure 2 inches in size, the cue ball that is smaller than the object balls and measures 1 – 1/17 inches in size, and the tables have smaller pockets. The pocket areas can either be a mesh or solid material bag to capture the balls, or the pockets can have a built-in slide that returns the balls to one end of the table.

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Pool Ball Aesthetics

American pool tables use the larger two ¼ inch balls referred to as spots and stripes, typically in a set of 15, including the traditional number 8 black spot ball. The players will identify with either the spot or solid coloured, balls or the striped balls, leaving the number 8 black spot to be the last ball pocketed. This same set of balls can be used to play other cue games on the same pool tables.

British and Australian pool tables use the smaller 1-1/17 inch cue ball and 2 inch balls that are either referred to as reds and yellows or blues and yellows. Whichever game of colours you play, the set will contain one number 8 black ball. The players will identify with a designated colour and will attempt to pocket their all of their colour before pocketing the black ball.

One uniqueness afforded to British and Australian pool tables is the option to use a set of American style balls, in the smaller version, with spots and stripes. The game is played in the same format as with colours, but the players aim for their designated spot or stripe, leaving the number 8 black ball to the end.

Pool balls in action on a table

Cue Sizes

American pool tables use cues that have larger tips and ferals designed for better striking of the larger, heavier balls. The ferals are made of plastic, and the body of the cue is typically made of maple wood.

British and Australian pool tables use cues that have smaller tips and brass ferals for striking strength. The body of the cue is typically made of ash wood.

Final Thought

Yes, there are many differences between American, British, and Australian pool tables and their respective equipment. There is no clear better form of pool tables.

When buying a pool table, the style of table that you select will be the style that you prefer to play on and that you have the available space where your table will be installed.

A high-quality Quedos pool table, whether American, British, or Australian in style, expertly handcrafted, correctly assembled and installed, and well maintained will be a family treasure that will last a lifetime.

To determine the best-personalised pool table for your playing pleasure, call Quedos today and chat with one our experienced, knowledgeable, professional pool table experts. Call us on 1800 147 868. You can also send us an email us at quedos@quedos.com.au, and we will contact you as soon as possible.

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