We all love a good game of pool. It’s why you’ve come here, naturally. On a Friday night, when the drinks are coming round and the tables are just filling up, there’s nothing better than renting a rack and sinking some shots. But what if the rack’s all you can afford, and all you’ve got for cueing up is a snooker cue? Will it affect your shots?
For casual players, a snooker cue can be used to great success. Snooker cues are not that much different from English pool cues, which makes them just similar enough to be used in a game of English pool.
They also have a good size, weight, and tip-size, so many tend to use them over pool cues. So long as you’re not in an environment where anyone will care, you’ll most likely be fine.
So, why do snooker cues work for English pool? Do they only work for English? In this article, we’ll go over some of the reasons you’ll be able to use a snooker cue for English pool, as well as what English pool is and how it differs from other pool forms. By the time we’re done, you’ll know exactly where you can use your snooker cue.
Difference Between English Pool Cues and Snooker Cues
For many, pool and snooker cues are exactly the same thing. It would take a trained eye to pick out the pool cues from the snooker cues if you were to lay them out on a rack. But, there are some noticeable differences.
Its worth pointing out that there are two types of pool cues:
- Pool cues that are designed for the American game of pool
- Pool cues that are designed for the British or English game of pool.
The question we are answering is about using a snooker stick to play English pool. Which we have already answered, in most cases its perfectly fine to use.
Likewise, it works perfectly fine the other way round – using a English pool cue to play snooker with.
Where things get a little confusing is using a snooker or English pool stick to play American pool – This isn’t as advisable – more on this later.
Closer Look At English Pool Cues
English pool cues are the long, wooden staffs we all know and love- but in terms of visual differences, there’s not much to set them apart from a snooker cue. Here are some of the things that make an English pool cue a pool cue.
- English pool cues usually have a cue tip 8-9.5mm in diameter
- They are between 55-57 inches long
- They are usually made from Ash or sometimes Maple
- Small brass ferrule
- Comes 1,2 or 3 pieces
- Usually comes in 16,17 or 18 Oz
- Used for hitting a cue ball of 50.8 mm
Many people prefer American pool cues because of their larger tips- they believe it makes for an easier shot. With larger tips and lighter, smaller balls, you’re likely to feel the shot easier than a lighter cue with a smaller tip.
Closer Look At Snooker Cues
Snooker cues, on the other hand, are made to be as precise as possible and therefore are very stiff making them more precise instruments.
- Snooker cues have a tip diameter between 9-10.5mm.
- They are about 57 inches long
- Snooker cues are made from Ashwood and/or Rosewood
- They have a small steel or brass ferrule
- They come in 1 piece or 3/4 jointed
- Weigh between 16 – 19oz
- Used for hitting balls of 52.5mm
As you can see there are a lot of similarities between an English pool cue and a Snooker cue. So it makes sense that it’s ok to use the two cues interchangeably – But if you are playing English pool and there are English pool cues available then it only makes sense to use them.
Why Does the Kind of Pool Matter
You might also be wondering whether the kind of pool really matters. If we are talking about English pool then the cues, weight, and size of the balls are somewhat similar to snooker so using these cues to be used for the other game won’t be too much of an issue.
American pool is different in that the ball size and weight are much larger than snooker or English pool balls and therefore the cues are made with this in mind.
American pool cues…
- Have 30% larger tips than English pool cues
- Are used to hit balls 12.5% bigger than English cue balls
- Are used to hit balls 30% heavier than English pool balls
People do use English or snooker cues to play American pool
People do use American pool cues to play English pool (I’ve never heard of or seen American pool cues used in snooker – But I’m sure it happens)
But as you can see American pool cues are not designed to be used with such small light balls that are used in English pool
English and snooker cues are not designed to be used with such heavy big balls that are used in American pool.
Will a Snooker Cue Work for English Pool
First, let us say that this is a guide for casual pool players. If you’re looking to play pool professionally, of course, there will be restrictions and limitations on the kinds of cues you can use. You’ll want to check the rules for your given contest to determine whether or not you can legally use your cue.
If you’re a casual player, however, you might not notice the difference between a snooker cue and an English pool cue at all.
I have used a snooker cue many times to play English pool and vice-versa and I have found them to play pretty much the same.
As you can see from above, both cues are pretty similar with only a few minor differences. For a casual player, the difference is not really noticeable and you’ll be perfectly fine using a snooker cue to play English pool with or the other way round – using an English pool cue to play snooker with.
As I said, I have done it countless times and not noticed any difference really.
If you were to cross over to the American variant of the game then you may want to reconsider your cue options.
All in All
All in all, you likely won’t experience any noticeable problems when playing English pool with a snooker cue. The biggest difference is in size- Snooker cues are longer with slightly larger tip sizes but for a casual player you won’t notice too much of a difference.
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.