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Difference between pool and billiards
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Pool People

The Pool People specialize in family fun for everyone! We’ve been providing Central and Northern Wisconsin with a high-quality selection of swimming pools, spas, and pool tables for over 37 years.

What’s the Difference Between “Pool” and “Billiards”?

Have you ever wondered if the terms pool and billiards are basically the same thing? If so, you aren’t alone. In fact, it’s often a question that we get asked. Today, we’re going to explain the differences and similarities of each. After finishing this article, you’ll instantly be able to spot the difference between pool and billiards.

It’s common for people to use the two words interchangeably. Why? Because pool is actually a type of billiards game. The term “billiards” refers to any game that is played on a cloth covered table with a cue stick. So technically, pool is a billiards game with pockets. But there are other games that fall under the billiards category as well. And the main differences between the games comes down to the presence of pockets and what size and type of balls are used.

Defining Pool and Billiards


The game of billiards is played on a table with no pockets, unlike pool which we will get to in the next section. Billiards uses only three balls — one red and two white (or one red, one white, and one yellow). One of the white balls has a spot and the other does not. The ball with the spot can be replaced by the yellow ball also. These balls are typically larger than those used for pool.

When playing billiards, the goal is to hit the white cue ball so that it hits the other two balls one after another. This results in a one-point score. The player who scores highest wins.

Billiards tables are larger than pool tables, with a minimum size of 5’ x 10’.


The game of pool is different from carom billiards in that it is played on a billiards table with pockets — six to be exact. This has also earned it the nickname “pocket billiards.” Instead of three balls as with billiards, players use between 8 and 15 object balls. This depends on what popular game version they want to play. Pool also uses a cue ball. Pool tables are smaller than billiards tables. They are also designed with cloth that is intended to make the ball slide more slowly across the table. They have six pockets. Pool cue sticks are also longer and thinner than billiards cue sticks. Pool tables come in several sizes, from 7 feet to 9 feet long.

In addition to the standard game of pool, there are a ton of fun games you can play. From playing 8-ball to Cutthroat, a pool table is a great addition for fun with friends and family.

One Source for Your Gaming Needs

Now that you can spot a pool and billiards table, it’s time to bring the fun home to stay! At Juniper, we can cover all of your pool and billiards needs. Come find the billiards table that’s perfect for you. Located in Appleton, Wisconsin, Juniper sells expertly crafted tables from top designer Plank & Hide.

In addition to the perfect billiards tables, we offer various pool table accessories, including supplies, cloths, and cues. We also offer a selection of used tables, though we currently have a waiting list to purchase these as they come available. Contact us today for more information or stop in at our store for immediate service and to see our selection in person.

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