Why Are So Many Pool Tables Green

  • By: Rob
  • Date: May 12, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Pool is one of the most popular indoor games around. But have you ever noticed how almost every pool table you see is green? That’s no mere coincidence. 

So, why are pool tables green?

Pool was originally a yard game that evolved for indoor play. The introduction of a table and green cloth was to represent grass from its yard days. Green also happens to be a great color for not straining your eyes while focusing on pool balls; making it a perfect color for pool table felt.

Green is a great color for pool table felt but it’s not the only popular color today, in fact you might be surprised by the findings.

Why is felt usually green

To learn why felt is usually green we need to take a quick look at the origins of the game.

These days pool— or billiards, to some— is widely known as a popular indoor table game, but that wasn’t always so! In fact, billiards first came onto the scene as an outdoor lawn game around 600 years ago. The original game was very similar to what we know of today as croquet.

If you want to know more about the history of pool and the interesting reason why its called “pool” then check out why is billiards called pool

This outdoor version was popular in the 1340s but began its transition to an indoor game shortly after that. The first record of an indoor billiards table dates back to the 1400s when King Louis XI of France commissioned the first indoor billiards table.

Legend has it that he loved the lawn sport so much that he wanted to find a way to play it all year round, rain or shine. The original version of the game was much bigger, of course, owing to the generous size of many outdoor lawns. The game needed to be adapted to function as an indoor game, however, and a few changes had to be made to accomplish this. The pool tables you know today are miniature replicas of the original lawn setup from the outdoor version of the game. Pretty neat, huh?

Since the table version was meant to be a miniature replica of the outdoor game, it was decided that the tabletop should be green.

Even though no one alive today remembers the original lawn version of the game, the many pool tables are still made with green felt tops.

Does Pool Table Felt Color Matter

Other than historically, why are pool tables green, does it even matter now? This will really depend on your preference, If you are after the decor of the room to look ascetically pleasing then that’s a personal preference and probably won’t affect your game too much.

That being said, there are some colors that will actually strain your eyes after long periods of play. Although pool table colors come in a huge range nowadays, lighter colors such as green and blues are the most popular by a long way.

This is because the lighter colors are better for your eyes, especially after many games of pool.

blue pool table felt green pool table felt why green felt

Which do you think is the best pool table felt color – You might be surprised by my findings – check out the article to find out more!

Green Is Easy on the Eyes

One of the main reasons why today,  pool tables are made with green felt is to help make it easier for players to play for long periods of time without experiencing discomfort or eye strain. The color green is one of the easier colors for the human eye to take in for a long time, which makes it a good choice for games like pool.

The grass green color of pool tables also helps players see the balls better. The green used for the felt top is a much different shade than the green of the balls, and this can help make your shots more accurate. Even in conditions with poor lighting, it’s still relatively easy to see the balls stand out against the bright green of the table.

Is Green Here to Stay?

While most billiards tables are green, it’s still quite common to see other colors as well. Since the green color isn’t a game regulation or rule, some manufacturers opt to use different colors for their tabletops.

These days you can find a pool table with a felt top in almost any color, which is good news if you want your table to match your decor!

Check out some of these pool table felts

One of the more popular pool table colors (behind green, of course) is blue. In fact, blue pool tables are experiencing an upswing in popularity these days. Many people are opting for this unique table color over the traditional green.

The blue tabletop offers a lot of the same visual benefits of green tables. Blue is another color that’s easy to look at for extended periods of time without experiencing eye strain. Similar to green, it also offers a nice contrast with the balls and pockets, which allows players to see clearly.

Blue tables are actually more popular for televised pool tournaments as well. The blue offers even more contrast when viewed through a television than the traditional green tables, and this visual clarity helped bring about their popularity.

FAQ: Why Are Pool Tables Green

Are all felt pool table tops the same?

No. There are actually two different types of felt tabletops, and each serves their own purpose. The first type is worsted felt, and is the material most commonly used by professional pool players. The second type is woolen felt, and this is more common for amateurs. Worsted felts are higher quality and offer a much smoother surface, but are also more expensive.

Is it a bad idea to use a darker color for my pool table?

Yes— kind of. It’s not necessarily a “bad” idea, but using darker colors won’t offer the same visual benefits as the lighter green and blue. This is because the pockets are dark holes and can be challenging to distinguish when you’re playing for a long period of time or in a poorly lit area. Darker table tops also make it more challenging to see the 8-ball. For the best playing experience, lighter colors are recommended.

What are some other colors besides blue and green to use for pool table tops?

Lighter colors like tan, grey, and maroon are good choices. The lighter the color, the easier it will be to see everything on the table clearly, even in dark rooms. There’s a good reason why you’ve probably never seen a black pool table!

In Summary

The game of pool has a fascinating history dating all the way back to the 1300s! As hard as it is to believe, the reason for green pool tables is actually 700 years old. Even though the original intention was just to mimic the color of the grassy lawns, the green ended up serving another purpose and helps players see more clearly.

I bet when you wondered,  why are pool tables green, that the answer is steeped in history and science!

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.