American pool table vs English pool table: The definitive guide

Many are the differences between American pool table vs English pool table, and here, you will find each one of them. Stay tuned and keep reading if you want to turn into a pool table master.

Every difference you need to know about American pool table vs English pool table

First of all, we are going to explain the differences between the tables, not the games. Because you need to find the differences between those two kinds of tables, in order to play the style you prefer.

Here we go!

The size of the tables

In this case, size matters. Specially if we compare American pool table vs English pool table. Tables can differ up to 3ft (0.91 m) between the smaller and the larger one.

English tables are 7 ft (2.13 m) as tournament measure, but they can be found in smaller versions of 6 ft (1.83 m).  The standard tournament American pool table is 9 ft (2.74 m), so, depending on the space, it is quite big. That is why there are American tables in smaller sizes as well.

For example, 8 ft (2.44 m) and 7 ft (2.13 m) are much more manageable measures which can provide the same impeccable and playful experience. 

The size of the balls

The tables are different in size, so, according to that, the size of the balls differ too, comparing the American pool table vs the English pool table.

At English pool tables, you can find two different ball sizes. The first one is 1 ⅞” which corresponds to the cue ball, the white one. As for the rest of the balls, also known as object balls, they are 2”. The weight, also strictly measured, is 96 g and 118 g respectively.

As you can expect, the American balls version are bigger, like the tables. The cue ball and the object balls are all of them 2 ¼” and weight 169 g. No differences here between them.

Pocket sizes

As you can imagine, if you compare the American pool table vs the English pool table pocket sizes, there will be a difference too. The bigger balls of the American pool need a bigger pocket to fit. The width of these pockets will be the same of two balls side by side.

This is not the only remarkable difference. The cut of the line which continues the cushion is completely straight, while in the English pool table it is curved. Despite the fact that the pocket width in the English pool table. So, the cushion edge is a substantial difference.

This is due to the fact that depending on the angle you strike the ball, it will be easier to make the ball fall into. In general terms, the straight lines of the American pool table eases the task in the corner, while the curvature of the English pool table may provoke some kind of ricochet.


The cushion

As we go deeper into the differences between the American pool table vs the English pool table, we must stop a little bit more in the cushion. This is because all around the table, in an American pool table, it will be sharp and when you strike directly against it, the ball will bounce.

The same happens with the tips, which are far more sharpened than the ones in English pool table, specially if you are aiming to one of the center pockets with a bad angle.

That makes it easier to score, at least in the center pockets, playing the English version. It is not only because of the roundness of the tips, but also because of the cushion which surrounds the table, empty beneath the cloth, favoring a softer bouncing effect.

The cues

Are even the cues different? Well… Yeah. Probably you are realizing that the differences among American pool table vs English pool table are vast. And they are.

If you are playing with smaller balls, as in the case of English pool table, you need a smaller cue. The real difference is not the complete length of it (of course it is a bit tinier) but the tip of the cue.

In the end, the tip is the element which is in contact with the ball. That is why the English cue tip has approximately 9-11 mm and the American is 13 mm. Also, the English version is made of ash, while the American is made of maple.


The game

As we said before, the differences between American pool table vs English pool table, focusing just in the very games, are another world. Briefly, we are going to point at the most relevant ones.

The English version is played with red and yellow balls. One player is reds, the other one yellows. Each one of them has to score all their balls in the pockets, and the first who scores the 8 black ball, wins the game.

In the American pool table, you have the possibility to play 8-ball or 9-ball game, but if you really want to enjoy your new pool table, you have to play the fifteen-ball pool.

The first modality starts with the balls in a triangle. The second one, starts with the balls in the shape of a diamond and both players aim for the same ball in numerical order.

The third one, and the best of them, is the most reliable one. Why? Well, the set of balls used for this modality is a standard set, with sixteen balls, fifteen colored and the cue ball. Also, you can play it with a friend or choose for a challenge  between two whole teams. Lots of fun awaited you!

Your objective will be to shoot the balls and boost your score until you reach the number of points established as a goal.

That is another advantage of the fifteen-ball pool, if you choose a low number of points the play will be shorter. On the contrary, choose a higher one, and it will be longer. In other words, you can play this kind of game anytime! No excuses here!

What are you waiting for? Get yourself an American pool table and start playing!

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