Pool is a game that’s recognized almost universally. This well loved game is a popular pastime whether it’s in your garage or down at the bar with a couple of mates as you drink a few beers. You may be so fond of pool that you’ve decided to finally bite the bullet and invest in a pool table of your own.
Of course, because pool is such a popular game there are also many different variations of the game. Because of this, in turn, there are also a lot of different kinds of pool tables. If you are looking to buy a pool table but you aren’t sure what kind, there’s no need to worry! Here’s all of the information that you need about the different kinds of pool tables.
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Slate Pool Tables
A lot of manufacturers opt to create slate pool tables. Why? Simply because it’s one of the best materials for pool tables. These kinds of pool tables are highly renowned by professional players throughout the world. This is because they are highly efficient in letting the balls flow smoothly in a short time period. Slate is essentially a certain kind of volcanic rock that’s ideal for a pool table. At the moment, slate pool tables are by far the most recommended material because most professionals have demonstrated their usefulness and effectiveness. The material is also very easy to sculpt and craft on the end where the ball slides in.
Wooden Pool Tables
Wooden pool tables are also quite commonly used, shortly following after the slate table. This is mainly because wood is very easy to obtain. Additionally, there are latching and planing machines available to shape it and smooth down the table top. Usually the legs and the frame also consist of wood.
It’s also important to consider the kind of wood used in creating these tables. Usually manufacturers will use hardwoods because they are very durable. The downside of this is that hardwood pool tables tend to be quite heavy in weight and are also rather bulky, which means that if you’re looking for a portable option you would be better off looking for a different kind of material.
Metallic Pool Tables
Generally metallic pool tables are readily available in the market but it’ll cost you - these pool tables are more for if you have a bit more money to play with in your budget. Usually it isn’t the whole table that’s made of metal but just the frame and the legs. The kind of metal used should be rust free so it will be suitable for outdoor games of pool when the weather is bad.
Usually aluminum is the best metal because of its rust free nature and because it’s fairly lightweight. With that being said, it can tend to break and it usually folds when it’s hit with a heavy object. Sometables are also made of steel, which is also recommended by a lot of pool players. Even though the table is made out of metal, the table top is generally cushioned with a smooth fabric, often velvet.
Rubber Pool Tables
Rubber is a pretty decent material for a pool table because they have a bouncy quality to them, so they’re good for sports equipment. The rubber’s smoothness also helps to increase durability when it’s in contact with the ball throughout the game. The only issue is that it is a little bit more susceptible to wear and tear, which means parts will need to be replaced more frequently, potentially.
These kinds of pool tables are particularly good for children, leisure games or training. In fact, they’re also pretty versatile and you can convert the table into a hockey table for the children to play on.
Kinds of Pool Tables
So there are a lot of different kinds of pool tables on the market, and the first differentiator actually comes in the origins of the pool table. Primarily, there are English pool tables and American pool tables. Generally English pool tables are the one that you’ll find most often in homes and public areas in the UK, whereas as you may expect, you’re more likely to find American pool tables in - you guessed it - the US. If you have a hard top you can even use both of these kinds of pool tables as a dining table. You can even have outdoor pool tables!
English Pool Tables
English pool tables are usually around 6 or 7 feet in size which is what you’re likely to find in pubs and clubs throughout the UK. Usually red and yellow balls are used on these pool tables, and the balls are usually smaller so as a result the table pockets are also smaller generally. The center pockets are also a little more open than American ones are.
American Pool Tables
These pool tables are usually a little bit bigger, starting at around 7 feet and they can be as big as around 9.5 feet. 2 ¼ inch balls are usually used on these pool tables, so the pockets are usually a little larger on the corners, but are smaller on the center pockets. Usually American pool tables will have a faster cloth fitted, which means that the game as a whole is also a little faster than it would be on an English Pool Table.
Pool Dining Tables
Pool dining tables are a pretty popular option for use at home. These kinds of tables are made in such a way that there is a matching hard top available to you when you need to have the table to use for working, entertaining, eating and pretty much anything else that isn’t pool.
The depth and the height of the table are made in such a way that you can sit at the table using a dining chair as you normally would at a table and you can eat at a normal height. When you want to have a game of pool then, all you need to do is remove the top, safely store it away and get your game ready to play.
A pool dining table is a great choice if you don’t have a plethora of rooms at your disposal to put a pool table in. You can even buy them in a range of different styles to suit your interior design choices, ranging from contemporary to modern to traditional, with a bunch of finishes available too.
Commercial Pool Table
If you are looking at running a commercial location and you want to charge people for using the pool table at your establishment, you could opt for a Commercial pool table. These tables come in a range of different styles, but the most commonly known one is the mechanical ‘straight six’ coin handling system. This will allow you to choose the price and what kind of coins will be accepted. Then, the customer just puts the coins into the tray and then pushes the corresponding mechanism towards the pool table, which will release the balls once the coins are accepted.
If you don’t want to use the straight six, you could have a slight upgrade and get the electronic coin operated pool tables as they offer coin handling. These machines are able to accept many kinds of denominations and have a push button operation. The more advanced coin operation systems will let you set charging by the hour and the day and will give you the option to change things as required.
Some of the most advanced commercial pool tables are actually now fitted with contactless payment options, and you will select the game and then pay using your phone or bank card. This can make things a lot easier for people who don’t carry cash and makes things convenient, meaning you’re more likely to get more people to play.
Professional and Luxury Tables
If you pay a little more money, you can get a pool table with slightly higher quality. You will be able to benefit from customizing a lot of aspects of the professional table, from the design to the wood finish, the type and the color of the cloth on the table and so much more. They also offer a lot of durability and fantastic playing conditions.
Of course you need to remember that these tables are going to be more expensive, but for that price you’re also getting extra durability and extra features, so ultimately it comes down to what you want out of your pool table.
Those are the main kinds of materials and kinds of pool tables out on the market. Of course, there are a bunch of different styles to choose from so you’ll almost definitely find something that will work for you - you just need to look for it! Hopefully our guide has helped you to find the best pool table for you. As a quick note though, it’s important that you make sure that you’re buying a pool table made out of high quality materials and with a good construction so that it will last you longer.
I’m Lia and I love playing games. I started this site to share things with friends and they encouraged me to post more and now I’m trying to share things with the world – indoor and outdoor sports, and board and bar games. I write about things like Bocce, Croquet, Billiards, Darts and other fun ways to enjoy time with your friends and family!