Billiards vs Pool: Difference and Comparison

Billiards, as well as pool, are both interior games. Billiards refers to a group of three gameplay: carom billiards, snooker billiards, and pocket billiards.

All three games need the usage of a cue staff and balls on a cloth-covered table with rubberized or leather cushions around the sides. Billiards and pool are both categorized as cue sports and are one of the key similarities between the two.

Billiards vs Pool

Billiards is a game for two people that is played on a table without pockets. It only has three balls, which are red, white with a spot, and one white without a spot. Pool is a game played on a table with six pockets along the rails, into which balls are deposited. It is mostly played with 15 balls.

Billiards vs Pool

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Billiards is a catch-all term for three distinct cue sports. This game is comparable to pool except that it is conducted on a clothed board with no pockets.

Linear rail, balkline, triple cushion billiards, cushioning carom, and creative billiards are all forms of carom billiards. Carom derives its name after the Portuguese and Spanish phrase ‘carambola,’ which means ‘rebound after striking.’

Pool is an interior game that was formerly referred to as ‘pocket billiards.’ This game dates back to the eighteenth century when participants played it in pool rooms while horse gambling addicts pooled money to wager on races.

Pool was thereafter recognized as a pastime for the wealthy and cultured.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonBilliardsPool
No of balls31-15
Size of cuesSmaller and bulkierBroader and more slim
RackNoneDiamond or triangle-shaped racks
Size of ballDiameter of about 61.5 mmDiameter of about 57 mm

What is Billiards?

Billiards refers to a group of games played on a tabletop with compartments and a cue rod. The original term was “Carom billiards.” Billiards is a sort of game that, along with several others, is referred to as “cue sports.”

Cue sports, known as billiards, are any games played with a pointer rod and billiard spheres on top of a cloth-covered board with cowhide or latex boundaries. 

Pocket billiards or “pool,” carom pinball, and snooker are the three sub-categories of billiards. The term “billiard” comes from the French term “billart,” which signifies “mace.”

The mace had been an item used before to the current cue stick. This game, sometimes characterized as carom billiards, is contested with just three balls but on a board with no compartments. 

Carom billiards is claimed to have been the foundation for pool and snooker. Carom billiards isn’t really widely played in the United States, although it is common in Europe. France, in particular, is regarded to be the birthplace of the game.

Heated slate is available on several carom billiard tables. 

If you’re not acquainted, slate is a type of rock that is used to make practically all high-end tables. The slate is immediately beneath the table’s cloth, providing a smooth, uniform field of play for the game.

A heated slate is essential for ensuring that the table runs quickly and accurately throughout.


What is Pool?

There are various games that may be classified as ‘pool,’ but in the conventional pool, competitors can gain points by hitting the spheres into the table’s slots, a technique known as ‘pocketing’ the ball.

Prior to the game, participants agree to a particular amount of points in order to be proclaimed the winner. 

An ordinary game is worth 100 points, but a skilled game is worth 150 points. Any ball on the board can be pocketed by a player, and each effective pocketing earns the player one score.

A straightforward pool is a ‘call-pocket’ activity, which means that before playing, players must say which ball will go in which pocket. The desired ball must enter the targeted pocket for the stroke to be acceptable. 

And while pool is not as prevalent as it once was, it is still common and well-liked by all who play it. People nowadays play on a wide variety of pool tables.

Some are high-end boards that may cost thousands of dollars, while others are small pool boards that can reach only a few dollars. 

In pool or snooker, your intellectual and athletic ability to perform a solid pot or a safety break can drastically alter the result of the match.

This is not the same as chess, which would be a game in which you can only influence your enemy’s play with your cognitive capacities. So pool is unquestionably a sport.

pool table

Main Differences Between Billiards and Pool

  1. The purpose of a billiards match is to earn a specified number of goals or the greatest number of scores within a time restriction that is decided upon at the start of the game, but the purpose of the pool would be to employ the cue ball to strike the other spheres and deposit them in particular groups or in a precise sequence.
  2. When playing billiards, racks are not used. When the game begins, the balls are arranged in a triangle form on a rack for a game of pool.
  3. The pool sticks are long, slim, and skinny. Billiard cue sticks are heavier, smaller, and have a quick taper.
  4. Based on the sport, the count of balls employed during pool ranges from one to fifteen. Billiards need at most three balls. 
  5. Billiards first appeared in the fifteenth century. Pool was originally called pocket billiards and goes back to the mid-1700s.
Difference Between Billiards and Pool

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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