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Every Difference Between Pool, Billiards, and Snooker

Maybe you are wondering about the differences between pool vs billiards vs snooker. Nothing to worry about! From RS Barcelona, we got you covered! Each one of those games is apparently similar, and there is where the confusion lies! But let us get deep into it. You will be surprised when you read about each game one by one.


The king among kings. Without discussion, this game, or modality, is the most popular at bars and pubs.

We just need to have one thing in mind. When we compare between pool vs billiards vs snooker, all of them can be listed under the term “cue sports” and also “billiards” as well.

This can be relatively confusing and may vary depending on the context. So, billiards then can be a family of games, synonym of “cue sports”, and a cue sport in particular, the same we will talk about in this post.

Going back to pool vs billiards vs snooker. Pool, as we said before, is the funniest and the perfect one if you want to enjoy your time with friends.

When you think about the 8 black ball, you are thinking about pool. There are different ways to play pool, but the most common is the one with 15 balls plus the white cue ball.

With the first shot, which is called the break shot, the players decide if they go for colored or striped balls. The first one to pocket their 7 balls, followed by the 8 black ball, wins the game. It has to be in this specific order. If you pocket the 8-ball before the other ones, the game is over, and you lose.

Let us see the particularities of the equipment you need for pool to compare it to billiards and snooker.


The pool tables should be, at least, 3.5’ x 7’. They also need to have 6 pockets in order to fit the balls. Of course, the pool table surface needs to be cover in cloth as any other cue sports table.


Depending on the way you choose to play, you will need between 9 and 15 object balls and the cue ball. The standard measure of the balls is 2 ¼” in diameter.

Cue stick

Usually, comparing pool vs billiards vs snooker, the cue stick of the pool is longer, and it has a thinner shaft too.


Now we move on to the next kind of cue sports to see the differences between pool vs billiards vs snooker.


This second variation can also be knows as “Carom billiards”, its original name. The other name you may have heard is “Carambole”.

Within its particular characteristics, the lack of pockets can be surprising in the billiard tables. The other feature which makes this game unique, comparing pool vs billiards vs snooker, is that it is played with only 3 balls.

So, how is it played? The balls have 3 different colors: red, white, and yellow. The white and the yellow balls are the cue balls, and each of them belongs to a player or team.

The objective of this game is to strike your cue ball against the object ball (the red one), and if that one strikes the other player cue ball… That is a point!

You also can hit the other player cue ball first, but in the end of the turn, your cue ball has to hit the red ball as well. If your cue ball only hits the other cue ball, you do not get the point.

The ultimate goal is to score the highest number of points, another difference between pool vs billiards vs snooker, specially compared to the 15 ball pool.

Let us see the specifics of the billiards’ equipment in order to make easier the comparison of pool vs billiards vs snooker.


As we just have said, the billiards’ table has no pockets. In addition to that, this kind of tables are much larger compared to the pool tables, with a minimum of 5’ x 10’. But, as a common characteristic, pool vs billiards vs snooker, they all share the cloth surface of the table.


Just to summarize, remember, only three balls. Red, yellow and white. In some cases, the yellow one can be substituted for another white ball. To differentiate between them, one has a spot.

Cue sticks

The cue sticks used for billiards are smaller, but thicker. This is just to let them taper faster in order to hit with more precision.


This is the last one of our pool vs billiards vs snooker post. The snooker involves the highest amount of balls in game between the three variations of cue sports. A total of 22 balls! Here goes nothing!

The way to play snooker is similar to pool. You have to strike the balls, making them fall in the pockets. May be two players or teams. Similarities so far, let us go for the differences.

The 22 balls can be divided into 15 red balls, 1 yellow, 1 pink, 1 blue, 1 brown, 1 green and 1 black for the objective balls, and 1 white known as the striker ball.

Each player or team has to pocketing the balls, as we said, but it has to be alternating between the red balls and the colored ones. For example, you pocket a red ball, then your next objective has to be the yellow, pink or any other colored ball. The player or team who scores the required amount of points wins the game.



The snooker table is really similar to the pool table, but the size differs. With 6 pockets as well, European snooker tables are 6’ x 10’ and Americans 5’ x 10’.


Just to refresh it, 22 balls, 15 red, 6 colored and 1 white. Reds are 1 point each and the colored vary from 2 to 7 points. None of them are numbered.

Cue sticks

The cue sticks are also shorter than the pool cue sticks, but not as short as the billiards ones.

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