As a huge fan of both sports, I can see the appeal of converting an existing pool table into a snooker table.
Let’s be honest here, good pool tables are not cheap and require a lot of space. Even the smaller pool tables need a huge amount of space to be comfortable while playing.
Snooker tables are the behemoths of the sport, these gentlemanly giant tables require a lot of room and for sure don’t come cheap.
So is it possible to convert a pool table into a snooker table? kill two birds with one stone so to speak.
You can convert a pool table to play snooker on it, but you will need to make some adjustments. Snooker balls are too small for regular pool tables so new balls, as well as snooker table markings, will need to be added to have a more authentic game of snooker on a pool table.
This article will cover:
- 4 main points to consider if it’s worth converting your pool table into a snooker table.
- The Special types of ball you will need.
- How to convert your pool table into a snooker table
- Brief explanation on how to play snooker
- Some tips and tricks to get the most of of your new converted snooker table
Keep reading to learn more!
- 4 things to know before converting your pool table into a snooker table.
- Snooker balls for pool table
- Converting a pool table into a snooker table
- How to play snooker on a pool table
- Can you play snooker on a 7ft pool table
- Can you play snooker on an 8ft pool table
- Can you play snooker on a 9ft pool table
- Final thoughts
4 things to know before converting your pool table into a snooker table.
Before you start drawing lines on your pool table, there are a few things to consider when deciding if you can play snooker on your pool table.
A few years ago I decided to do the same, as a lover of snooker and an avid player I wanted to try and convert my 8 ft’er into a snooker table.
As someone who has played both games on their intended tables, I can offer some insight on their playability and practicality and how they differ.
I’ll give you my opinion below and 4 things to understand before you convert your table into a snooker table.
If you want to check out the differences between pool and snooker then I created an in-depth article covering everything.
1. How snooker and pool compare against each other
Consider how the two games are played and how they are different.
Pool is a very attacking game, straight from the break the balls are smashed open and the fun starts. It’s fast, quick and aggressive.
This is contrary to snooker, which is a more methodical, tactical and slower game. A snooker break is more of an art form than pure power. How to break in snooker requires hours of practice to perfect, is completely tactical and positional.
Snooker is a phycological game made up of different elements, such as the size of the table. Remove these elements and psychologically you have a slightly different game.
2. The different sizes of table
One of the psychological elements, as mentioned above, is the size of the tables they are played on.
A standard billiard table size for snooker and pool differ hugely.
In fact, the standard pool table size for pool differ hugely, with common sizes being 7, 8 and 9 ft tables.
Snooker is almost entirely played on a 12 ft table making it much bigger than a pool table.
The difference between a 7 ft pool table and a 12 ft snooker table is an impressive 47.5 ft² area.
That makes the playing surface area of a 12 ft snooker table almost three times bigger than the playing surface of a 7 ft pool table
Size difference between a pool table and a snooker table
|Table Size||playing surface in ft²||Size difference|
|7 ft||24.50 ft²||47.5 ft²|
|8 ft||32 ft²||40 ft²|
|9 ft||40.50 ft²||31.5 ft²|
|12 ft Snooker||72 ft²|
Its this difference in size that makes the two games completely different.
The size of pool tables allows the game to be much faster whereas the size of a snooker table will require more tactile play such as snookering your opponent to gain an advantage.
Making the snooker table smaller will remove this tactical element somewhat.
3. Size of the balls and pockets
Snooker tables have smaller balls and smaller pockets, making it more difficult to make a successful pot.
Pool tables have later pockets to accommodate larger balls, usually making it easier to pot.
This also aids in the style of play both games produce. The type of game that has a bigger target at a shorter range will produce faster games than games played with smaller targets and longer distances.
Playing snooker on a pool table with pool table pockets and balls will completely change this dynamic of the game.
|Sport||Ball size||Pocket size (corners)|
|English pool||2 Inch||3.62 Inches|
|American pool||2.25 Inches||4.6 inches|
|Snooker||2.06 Inches||3.4 Inches|
4. Amount of balls needed
Another thing to consider about, can you play snooker on a pool table or not, is the number of balls you’ll need.
A snooker table uses 22 balls in total, compare that to 8 ball which uses 16 balls in total.
That’s a lot of extra balls on a smaller table, as you can imagine, things will get crowded pretty fast.
When I converted my 8 ft table into a snooker table I used 10 red balls instead of the standard 15 red balls. 15 reds, as well as all the colors on an 8 ft converted pool table, just felt cluttered. 10 red balls worked much better.
As you can see from the table above, standard snooker balls are smaller than standard pool balls so using 22 snooker balls sized 2” ¼ would be too crowded for a smaller table.
But if you used 2.06 inch snooker balls on regular pool tables, the nose of the rail cushion will to too high.
So, best to use fewer balls, and get regulation sized balls, only snooker balls – or slightly smaller.
As I said I used 10 red balls instead of 15
Snooker balls for pool table
Know which sized snooker balls you will need
- English pool tables: Because of the size of the pockets, table and height of the cushion, 2″ sized snooker balls are better suited
- 7 or 8 ft table: Standard pool ball sized 2″ 1/4 snooker balls or slightly smaller 2″ 1/8 sized snooker balls
- 9 ft table: Standard pool ball sized 2″ 1/4 snooker balls
The balls I went with are the – Aramith 2” 1/4 inch snooker balls on amazon.
They are the standard size for pool balls so they were the perfect size for the cushions on my table.
The quality of the Aramith balls is first class but expensive as all Aramith balls are.
If you want to convert an English pool table then consider getting smaller balls as the pockets are smaller and so is the height of the cushions, these Aramith 2” snooker balls (Amazon link)should work nicely
All these factors combined need to be considered, but it’s perfectly plausible to play snooker on a pool table, you just need to make some adjustments. You won’t get the authentic snooker feel but it has its own merits and will help you a lot with positional play.
Can you play snooker on a pool table with balls that are too big or too small?
You might struggle with this one as American pool tables tend to have higher cushion noses and bigger pockets that might not give the same rebound feedback if you choose the smaller 2-inch snooker balls.
The same is true with getting bigger sized balls for an English pool table
Try to get snooker balls that suit the dimensions of your table
So, let me answer; can you play snooker on a pool table?
You definitely can, I have done it. The major thing to consider is the size of the balls. The game takes attributes from both snooker and pool. It will be a more aggressive style of snooker with some tactical and positional elements mixed in. Although not strictly snooker or even pool, the game it produces is a lot of fun and it will help improve your positional play.
Although it manages to merge playstyles from both, there are elements of both games that are lost.
Snooker is a truly tactical and positional masterpiece that is complemented by the size of the table.
That same fineness required for taking long pots on with incredible accuracy is not as relevant on a pool table.
To get the most comparable playing experience you really need to use a 9 ft or even a 10 ft table.
Converting a pool table into a snooker table
Above I discussed some of the differences with playing snooker on converted small snooker table.
Yes, it’s more than possible to play on a pool table, but you need to make some adjustments to make the whole thing possible.
If you feel satisfied that converting your pool table into a snooker table then lets jump straight to it
What you will need to convert your table and play snooker on it… first you’ll need some snooker balls for pool table.
- Snooker ball on the left ( 2″ 1/4) is perfect for American regular pool tables.
- Snooker ball on the right ( 2″ 1/16) regulation sized snooker balls, also ok for English pool tables
If you want to know a little more about the anatomy of a snooker table and how to set one up as well as the points for the colors then check the link out. It would be a very useful article for your little project ahead.
It will give you some measurement of where to place the sports for the colors and where the baulk line should be.
What you’ll need to do.
1, Mark baulk line: Using a marker pen, draw the baulk line. On a full sized snooker table, it is 31inches from the baulk cushion. That’s approximately ⅓ the distance from the baulk cushion to the middle pockets
2, Create the D: Best to use a popsicle stick or something similar, have one end in the center of the baulk line, and carefully rotate the popsicle stick to create the circumference of the D
3, Color spots: Either using your marker pen or a sticky dot map out where all the colors should be placed.
- The brown is in the middle of the baulk line.
- The green and yellow are at each end of the D
- The blue is in the middle of the table, inline with the two center pockets.
- The pink and black need to be far enough apart the reds can be racked between them. Depending on the size of your table and balls used you may use the full 15 balls or opt to use only 10 red balls.
4, Set the table up: Everything should be in place for you to start enjoying your game. Make sure to place all the balls in their correct starting position and you are good to go.
5, Enjoy: Enjoy playing snooker on a pool table, It’s really a lot of fun!
Congrats, you have successfully converted your pool table into a snooker table.
How to play snooker on a pool table
You can easily play snooker on a pool table if set up correctly. Let me explain very simply how to play snooker on a pool table.
I would recommend using 10 red balls to start with.
The basic rules are:
Snooker is a turn-based game that is won by collecting points from potting balls.
- If you miss a shot it’s your opponent’s turn.
- You always start your turn by hitting a red ball.
- A red is always pot first, then any color, then a red… and so on.
- Once you pot a color (not a red), you replace it back in its starting spot on the table.
- You continue this run of red and colors until there are no more reds on the table.
- Then pot all the colors in numerical point value starting with the lowest.
- Whoever has collected the most points wins the game.
Basic rules on Fouls
- If you foul in snooker its 4 points to your opponent
- If you foul by hitting a color, the value of that color is awarded in points to your opponent – unless the value is less than 4, in which case just 4 points are awarded
- If you pot the white ball then that’s a foul and your opponent. White is placed in the D
Now you know the very basics of how to play snooker on a pool table, you can start enjoying games of snooker
Can you play snooker on a 7ft pool table
It is possible to play snooker on a 7ft snooker table but you may want to consider it carefully as snooker uses 22 balls, and having so many balls on a 7ft pool table won’t give you much space. To play snooker properly, you will need to use balls suitable for your table, and snooker balls are too small for the cushions on a 7 foot pool table.
So having 22 balls, size 2 1/4 inches on a 7-foot pool table may be far too crampt. one solution is to use fewer red balls, perhaps 10. This gives you more space on the table, without it affecting the game too much.
Can you play snooker on an 8ft pool table
Yes, you can play snooker on an 8ft snooker table, but it is better to use balls that are specifically designed for a pool table. Snooker balls are smaller than pool balls so they won’t fit the cushions on an 8ft pool table as well. If you do choose to use snooker balls on an 8ft pool table, you may find that the game is a bit more difficult as they will bounce off the cushions differently.
Some solutions to this are to change the size of your pool table rails, so the nose of the table rail will be better suited for snooker balls which are a 2 1/16 inches. This is a fairly extreme alteration.
Another solution would be to use regular pool table-sized balls that are a better size for your pool table cusion rails. As snooker uses 22 balls, you might be a little cramped for space so perhaps consider using only 10 red balls while playing snooker on your 8-foot pool table.
Can you play snooker on a 9ft pool table
Yes, you can play snooker on a 9ft snooker table, but it is better to use balls that are specifically designed for a pool table. Snooker balls are smaller than pool balls so they won’t fit the cushions on a 9ft pool table as well. If you do choose to use snooker balls on a 9ft pool table, you may find that the game is a bit more difficult as they will bounce off the cushions differently.
A solution would be to use regular pool table-sized balls that are a better size for your pool table cushion rails.
Playing snooker on a larger pool table, like a 9ft pool table you can try using the full 22 snooker balls to see how it feels. If you feel there is not enough space to play properly then you can always use 10 reds instead of the standard 15 red snooker balls. This should give you excellent game play while playing snooker on a 9-foot pool table
Can you play snooker on a pool table? Yes, you can, and if you are able to I think you should give it a try. Its a lot of fun and will help you improve your positional play also.
Although it loses some of the elements that make snooker, snooker. It also adds some unique and exciting elements to the game too.
Rob is an avid player and fan of all cue sports, particularly 8-ball, and snooker. He has competed in a few local 8-ball tournaments and although he is not a professional, he can compete with the best of them.