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Billiards

Billiards is a well-known game enjoyed by millions of people worldwide at home or in pool halls and just for fun or competitively. Known as a cue sport, billiards requires a few pieces of essential equipment to play. Understanding the essential and optional equipment can help you to fully enjoy the game.

Is billiards the same as pool?

Pool was adapted from billiards, and both require a table, cue sticks, and a set of billiard balls. It started out as a 19th-century game that used a table with bumpers, where the player had a unique ball color. the goal was to strike the opponent’s ball. Over time, different numbers of balls and techniques were used in various games. Pockets were added to give more ways to play pool, like sinking a ball, meaning it falls into a pocket.

Pool and billiards are terms that are used almost interchangeably, both games using tables with six pockets and up to 16 balls in a set. Players can choose the number of them to play with based on the game. The goal is to use the cue stick to create the ideal spin, velocity, and curve on the ball when struck so it affects at least one other ball.

What are the different kinds of billiards equipment?
  • Table: Pool tables are covered in a smooth felt and designed to be twice as long as they are wide. As felt is worn down, it affects the playing surface over time and may need replacing. Felt is commonly found in multiple colors for easy replacement, but some pool tables can go decades without new felt.
  • Sticks and Tips: Standard cue sizes are 57 inches to 58 inches long, but this can vary based on preference. Cues are designed to comfortably reach across the length of most pool tables for optimal striking capability. The chalk-covered, easily replaceable tips last a lot longer for infrequent players. Tips can vary in density and generally, the harder the tip, the better it is. Some players feel that the way softer tips flatten out with use gives more control over the ball.
  • Billiard Balls: These are made from materials that are strongly resistant to cracking and chipping, including plastics, polyester, and acrylic. they come in sets of 16 to accommodate the appropriate number needed for a game. They typically have two sets of seven solid and striped numbered balls, with a black 8 ball and dense white ball.
  • Chalk: Chalk cubes are designed to be rubbed directly onto the tip frequently to prevent the tip from slipping during the strike. Softer tips hold more chalk.
  • Racks: Racks are designed to hold and organize individual pool equipment.
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