American Pool Tables

Pool Tables

A pool table can be a beautiful and exciting edition to any home or game room. Not only are there different styles and sizes, but they are also designed and assembled in all different parts of the world. Different countries play different rules than other areas and play on tables that may be similar or quite different than what you might be used to playing pool on. The following will describe what to look for when considering an American pool table.

What do American pool tables look like?

American pool tables are always rectangular in shape and are generally available in three different sizes. The sizes are a 7, 8, or 9’ table. These pool tables have six pockets, one in each corner and one on each side of the table. The tables stand approximately 30 inches from the floor. These pool tables are constructed of wood, wood veneer, or laminate cabinet styles.

Play Features

The Billiard Congress of America (BCA) states that regulation pool tables must have a play field constructed of slate. Most slate is a three part or 3 piece slate. The BCA also states that the slate must be one inch in thickness. This rule has been ammended to allow the occasional 7/8” thick slate as well.

The rubber cushions on the rails should be made of a good quality gum rubber. The rubber will usually have an industry term for the profile of k-66. These cushions sit up above the playfield approximately 1 ½ inches high. ( the cushions sit lower on snooker tables.)

The pocket openings vary between 4 and 5 inches in opening width. There are two different styles of pockets. The first is a leather drop pocket that is made of iron wrapped in leather, this pocket has an industry term of #6 iron. The other pocket is an enclosed style that is made of a plastic or hard rubber and are usually hidden from view.

There are six top rails on american pool tables. Each top rail has three diamond-shaped inserts or circles in them. These inserts are usually made of a mother of pearl, or a plastic version thereof, or abalone, stainless steel, etc..These diamonds or circles however, are seperated at exact regulation measurements to create what is known as “the diamond system.” The diamond system is a mathematical formula for determining the outcome of making particular pool shots banking and kicking the balls off of the rails. The game of pool can be very mathematical, the angles created are all geometric and the diamond system has formulas for “roadmapping” these angles into properly executed shots.

American Pool Table Games

The most popular pool game in America is 8-ball. Eight Ball is a game where one player has the solid balls and the other player has the stripe balls. Once a player legally eliminates all of his/her class of balls they shoot the 8 ball in to win the game. The next most common game is called 9-ball. Nine ball is a rotation game which only uses the 1 through 9 balls. The player who can legally sink the 9 ball in wins the game. Other games include one-pocket, straight pool, cut-throat or 3-way, rotaion, and bank pool. There are more games but those are all the most common games being played in America.

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