Ever wondered what the differences between pool and snooker were? In this Snooker vs Pool article we’ll tell you just that, covering everything from the game itself to the popularity, the money you can earn as a pro and even the calories you can burn in true Versus-All style.
Unlike our article on soccer vs football, which looked at two different words for one game, this Pool vs Snooker article is about two very different games. The cue is the same, the table is similar, and the aim of the game is to pot balls, but that’s where the similarities between snooker and pool end.
Keep reading and you will understand just what we mean.
Pool vs Snooker Rules
If you play with regulation balls, then they are the same shape and material in both pool and snooker. The difference lies in the color. In snooker there are 15 reds, 1 black, 1 pink, 1 blue, 1 brown, 1 green and 1 yellow. There is also a white ball, which is known as the cue ball. The white ball is used to strike a red. If one is potted, then the player who potted it can opt for a color of their choice.
Snooker is based on points. The red scores 1 and the colors range from 7 to 2, with the highest being the black and the lowest being the yellow. If they keep potting, they stay at the table, accumulating enough points to beat their opponent, who only gets a turn when they miss.
There are several variations of pool, which dictates how many balls there are and what the rules are. In 8-ball there are 16 balls; 14 are object balls, 1 is white and 1 is black. The 14 balls are split into two groups, with 7 of each. In European 8-Ball these are solid colors and stiped colors, known as “Spots” and “Stripes”. In American 8-Ball the balls are red and yellow.
Once a player pots a type of ball then they henceforth need to pot the same group, with the opponent taking the other group. When they finish all their balls, they need to pot the black to win.
In 9-Ball there are 9 balls. These are all numbered from 1 to 9 and the player who pots the 9 ball wins, but each player has to hit the lowest ball on the table first (using the cue ball, of course). So, if the 1 has yet to be potted, they need to hit that first, but they can use it to pot the 9 if they wish, striking the cue ball so that it hits the 1 and sends it into the 9, which then enters the pocket and wins them the game.
Snooker vs Pool Table
A championship size snooker table can be daunting to a player who has only played pool in pubs and clubs. That’s because this table is 11 feet, 8.5 inches by 5 feet 10 inches, whereas the pool table is just 8 feet long as standard (see Foosball Fanatic for other top table games.)
The snooker table has a slick cloth, which mean the balls roll faster and more smoothly over the cloth, allowing for the player to get more control, but also making them harder to manipulate. The snooker cushions (the inside edges) also have more bounce and the pockets are set at a tighter angle. If you strike a ball against the inner edge of a snooker pocket it will likely bounce out, whereas the same strike in a pool table pocket will likely pot the ball.
If the contest of snooker vs pool was all about difficultly and length of time it takes to master, snooker would win hands down. We’re sorry, pool fans, but you know it’s true.
Snooker vs Pool Cue
Cues tend to be the same in both games, although you can get away with using a short cue in pool. That’s simply because the table is shorter. There are also more attachments for the cue in snooker, including something known as a “Rest” and “Spider”, which allows the player to take long shots that they otherwise can’t reach (they have to keep on foot on the ground at all times so they can’t lie on the table).
Snooker vs Pool Gloves
Pool players also tend to wear gloves. We get a lot of questions along the lines of, “Why do pool players wear gloves and snooker players don’t?” The truth is, some snooker players do and it is becoming increasingly common. However, it’s mostly down to the break and the fact that players in pool try to get a lot of power during it. The glove helps here as it reduces friction between the skin and the cue.
There is rarely any need to generate such power playing snooker. In fact, the table doesn’t really accommodate it. But, if snooker vs pool was all about how simple they were and how little equipment you needed, pool would definitely win.
Snooker vs Pool Difficulty
Make no mistake about it, while both games can be tough, pool is easier to play. The tables are smaller, the pockets are bigger and the balls are easier to control. You can, however, just buy a pool table and a set of snooker balls and then play snooker on the pool table. If nothing else it gives you an extra game to play on your new table.
Snooker vs Pool: What is Best?
This is hard to say. It’s all about preference. We personally prefer snooker because we think there is more skill involved. However, when it comes to playing snooker we prefer to do it on a pool table, because it’s easier for amateurs to get involved that way. Otherwise a game would take all day.
If you are looking for something that requires more concentration, snooker would also win. It is more tactical and strategic. If you are looking for game that burns more calories, then they are roughly the same. You can burn roughly 100 to 150 calories an hour playing pool and snooker. However, if you speed things up, setting time limits to see who can pot a succession of balls the quickest, then pool might be more accommodating and will therefore make it easier to burn more calories.
If pool vs snooker was all about mastery of the game and about players crossing over from one sport to another, that has to go to snooker as well. A snooker player would struggle with the slow speed of a pool cloth and even the power of the break, but a pool player would struggle with the high speed of a snooker cloth and the tightness of the pocket. They are both tough games that take a lot of skill to master, but we think a snooker player would fair better as a pool pro than the other way around.
In fact, you only need to look at players like Mark Selby and Ronnie O’Sullivan to understand this. The former is the World Number 1 in snooker and has also won pool world championships. The latter is one of the snooker greats and has played pool exhibitions in which he beat many stars of the game.
Snooker vs Billiards
Billiards is not a very popular game anymore. In fact, very few people actually know what it is. It seems that many assume it is a synonym for snooker and are obviously get the two confused. As it happens, billiards is as different to snooker as snooker is to pool. There are many differences and we could easily get a full guide out of Snooker vs Billiards, but we’ll try and keep it brief.
How Does Snooker Differ From Billiards?
In the above sections on pool vs snooker we told you all you really need to know about snooker. The basics anyway. As for billiards, there are only three balls: white, red and yellow. This means that you can play billiards on a snooker table and even on a pool table.
The white and yellow balls are the cue balls and each player takes one. The goal is to pot, as usual, but you score points based on these pots. You can score a straightforward pot, a cannon, where your ball hits both of the others, or an in-off, where your ball hits another and is then pocketed.
If you pot the opponent’s ball it remains in the pocket. If you go in-off then you can place the ball in the D, which is where you also place a potted cue ball in snooker. If you pot the red, it goes on its spot, which is basically the black spot in snooker. And, that’s it. It is a simple but fun game and it offers you a new way to play with your table, cue and balls.