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Whether you call it pool or billiards, the fact of the matter is that it is a very fun game to play. With that being said, you probably don’t want to go out to pool halls or to bars all of the time just to play a game or two. For this reason, you might be considering buying your own pool table, but with that being said, there are many different sizes to consider.
What we are here to do today is to talk about all of the different comment sizes of pool tables, as well as what the main differences between them are with the final goal of helping you choose the right size for you.
What Are the Most Common Pool Table Sizes?
There are three common sizes that pool tables generally come in. These include 7-, 8-, and 9-foot pool tables. Generally speaking, the 8-foot pool table is the one used for professional tournaments, what most people would call a regulation size pool table. This is also the size of pool table that you will usually find in pool halls.
That said, some tournaments do use 9-foot tables, and many pool halls have these too. While 7-foot pool tables are still quite common, they are usually reserved for tighter spaces.
7- vs. 8- vs. 9-Foot Pool Tables: Major Differences
Now that we provided you with the basics on the various sizes of pool tables, let’s now talk about the major differences between all three of them. There are seven major differences to speak of, so let’s get to it.
1. Size and Play Area
Of course, the number one main difference between all three of these pool tables is how large they are. Yes, we know that we have been talking about size the whole time, but we want to get specific.
Seven-foot pool tables usually come in at 3.5 x 7 feet (42 x 84 inches) and have a playing area of 39 x 78 inches. Eight-foot pool tables come in at 4 x 8 feet (48 x 96 inches) and have a playing area of 44 x 88 inches. Finally, nine-foot pool tables come in at 4.5 x 9 feet (54 x 108 inches) and have a playing area of 50 x 100 inches.
2. Required Space
When it comes to the size of the pool tables in question, you don’t just need to consider the actual pool table, but also the room that you will be playing in. Of course, if the room that you are playing in is too small compared to the pool table, then you are going to run into some very serious issues.
Generally speaking, for a 7-foot pool table, you need to have a room that is between 11’3” x 14’6” and 12’11” x 16’2”. For an 8-foot pool table, you will need a room that is between 11’8” x 15’4” and 13’4” x 17’. For a 9-foot pool table, you will need a room that is between 12’2” x 16’4” and 13’10” x 18’.
Now, keep in mind that the size ranges we just talked about depend on the cue size as well. If you are using a shorter 48-inch cue, go for the smaller dimensions, but if you are using massive 58-inch cues, go for the larger dimensions.
For more information on this topic, read my detailed article about how much room is needed for a pool table.
As you can imagine, adding an extra foot of length onto a 7-foot table or onto an 8-foot table is going to make a pretty big difference. You might not think that an extra foot of material makes a big difference, but when it comes to those heavy materials that pool cables are made out of, the difference is actually quite large.
For instance, if we’re talking about a high-quality 7-foot slate pool table, you can expect it to weigh around 700 pounds, whereas that same 8-foot slate pool table is going to weigh around 850 pounds. You can therefore expect a 9-foot slate pool table to weigh up to 1,000 pounds or more.
The consideration you need to make here is how strong your floors are, and if you will need to reinforce the floors. I talked more about the weight of pool tables here.
4. Difficulty of Play
What is also important to note about these different sizes of pool tables is the simple reality is that the smaller ones are generally much easier to play on than the larger ones. If you are a beginner, then go for a seven-footer but if you are a pro, go for a nine-footer. Larger tables have more space for the balls to spread out on and require much more skill to play due to the greater distances.
5. Cue Size
Although everybody is different, generally speaking, the longer the pool table is, the longer the pool cue will need to be. It’s really just common sense because that pool cue needs to be long enough to reach quite far into the playing area of the table. That said, this difference really is quite negligible.
6. Official Regulations
The fact here is that 8-foot pool tables are considered regulation whereas 7- and 9-foot pool tables are not. That said, at 9-foot pool tables are often used for televised tournaments.
Of course, you can expect a larger pool table to cost much more than a smaller one. Now we aren’t going to get into listing exact prices because there are so many different factors to consider, such as what the pool table is made out of or what brand it is, that it is almost impossible to provide you with exact figures. However, as common sense dictates, you can expect a pool table that is 9 feet long to cost much more than one that is 7 feet long.
Which Pool Table Size Should You Get?
What this really all comes down to is how much space you have to spare, what your skill level is, and what kind of pool you aim to play. If you have a small space and you just want to play pool for a bit of fun, then a seven-footer will do just fine. However, if you are practicing for tournaments, you want to be a professional player, and you have the room and money to spare, then you should go for one of the larger ones.
Now that you know what the main differences between all of these different sizes of pool tables are, you can make a well-informed choice for your next big purchase.