Which Choice is Right For You – An American Pool Table or an English Billiards Table
When people are thinking about buying a pool table, the question comes up about which is the best type to purchase. The main question usually comes down to deciding between American pool tables and the British style which are more commonly known as billiard pool table. There are a few differences between the two that anyone considering investing in a pool table should be aware of before making an outlay of thousands of dollars.
The main difference between American tables and the British version is their size and also of the pool balls that are used with them. Some might say that the English tables are actually a smaller cousin of the American tables. The English pool tables were first introduced to the British pubs a little more than forty years ago in the 1960’s. Because of the more compact spaces in most gamerooms and lounges in Europe as opposed to the available space in America, the tables needed to be a bit smaller in order to be able to fit them into the pubs of the day.
The standard sized American pool tables are generally nine feet in length and four-and-a-half feet wide. This is compared to the regulation size of the English tables which measure seven feet in length by three-and-a-half feet in width. There are also English pool tables that are six feet long and eight feet long, with their width being half of the length.
Because of the difference in size of the standard American pool tables versus the English tables, some of the pool table accessories are also accordingly sized differently as well. This is important because the amount of playing area is reduced considerably on the English tables which affects the play.
On American tables there is more room for the balls to spread out and this reduces the occurrence of balls “clumping” which can make it more difficult to get a nice clean shot at a pocket. At the same time, with a table that is two feet longer than its English counterpart, there are many more instances of long shots that need to be made. Such longer shots are particularly challenging for beginners and often a game can become very drawn out when players are chasing the last couple balls around the table.
To help ease the problem with space on the felt, the pool balls that are used with the English tables are smaller with a diameter of two inches. This compares to the balls used on American tables which are two-and-a-quarter inches in diameter. Of course, the pockets that are built into the American style tables are comparatively larger as well in order to accommodate the larger size of the pool balls.
Another difference that you will find between playing on American tables as opposed to English pool tables is in the pool cue sticks that are used. The English pool cues use a smaller cue tip which measures eight to nine mm across. The typical cue tips that American pool players are accustomed to using on their cue sticks are 12 to 13 mm.
When it comes right down to it, the biggest difference between American pool tables as compared to their English counterparts is their size. If you have adequate space, then most experienced pool players would suggest that you buy the larger American table. The general rule of thumb is that the bigger the table, the better the game.
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