The Billiard Table and Its Details

The billiard table is one of most important billiard equipment apart from pool cues and pool balls. A billiard table is to billiards what a golf field is to golf. A billiard is a bounded table on which the game is played.

Many different billiard games are played on a variety of tables. There is a lot of difference between a home billiard and a professional table. Some manufacturers also design ‘made to order’ fancy tables which are more used as a décor than for playing billiards and pool. tables comprises of bed, pockets, cloth, markings etc. Not only the game but even the billiard is considered a fashion accessory by many.

In terms of classifications, different types of billiard tables differ as per the below factors.

Sizes and Dimensions

Billiard tables which are professionally used in competitions and other contests have a certain standard size. A professional billiard has to accurately fit the dimensions. Apart from the standard rectangular tables, the game has also seen popularity of hexagonal and even zigzag tables.

Cloth and Material

What makes a pool table special is the feel. The cloth is of special type which is used to cover the playing area of a billiard table. The cloth can be of many colors but green is the most popular color. Many sports historians have an opinion that tables have green color cloth to represent the green color of outdoor lawn games. Blue cloth on billiard table is also gaining popularity. There are many manufacturers who make cloth and finest billiard fabrics. Table cloth affects the run of balls tremendously. Pool cues are known to produce marks and stains on cloth if used incorrectly.

Pockets and Pool Balls

A normal billiard has 6 pockets, one at each corner and 2 at mid points of the table. The pockets have a standard size of approximately 70 cm but many popular tournaments have smaller pockets to test the skills of players. British balls are generally coded as red by yellow or blue by yellow as compared to the stripes and spots combination used in the American version of pool.

Apart from these features, billiard are also classified on the base of table markings and other smaller factors. In addition, specific games like Russian pyramid and Asian four balls have specially designed tables. Other billiard and pool accessories work in tandem so that the players can enjoy the game.

Minimum Billiard Room Size Dimension Requirements

If you shoot billiards regularly, then at some point you have surely played on a billiard table that was in a room way too small to house it comfortably. Your cue may not have enough room cue to make your shot due to a close wall, or you may have to contort your body into an awkward position due to a support post or other obstacle. And having to raise your billiard cue stick a couple extra feet higher just to make an easy shot is something no shooter ever wants to deal with. Your billiard room size must be large enough to comfortably accommodate not only the current billiard game, but also spectators, other guests, some nice bar furniture, and possibly some complementary games, as well.

Figuring out a minimum billiard room size for a new billiard table is rather simple. First, based on obvious visual dimensions of the room, determine which way the billiard table shall be positioned. Then, take into account cue length, which is usually an average of 58 inches. Finally, take room measurements. These factors will allow you to not only determine what billiard table size to go with, but also whether the room you are measuring is big enough to house a billiard table to begin with. To determine the minimum billiard room size you will need, keep these points in mind:

• Cue sticks are usually about 57-59 inches in length. Keep this pool cue stick measurement in mind, or adjust it accordingly for a shorter or longer pool cue.
• If you have an eight foot long regulation size billiard table, it will be exactly twice as long as it is wide.

Also remember that most regulation size tables are eight or nine feet long, but most recreational, bar and tavern, and home billiard tables are smaller, ranging anywhere from five to eight feet long.

In order to calculate the adequate billiard room size needed for smooth, uninterrupted play, add two cue lengths to each side of the table dimensions. This will allow for a safe and comfortable shot margin. For example, if your cue length is 58 inches, and the dimensions of the billiard table are 48 inches X 96 inches (a standard 4 foot X 8 foot table), then your minimum room dimensions for the billiard table itself are 58 + 58 + 48 by 58 + 58 + 96, totaling 164 inches X 212 inches, or a minimum billiard room size of 13.67 feet X 17.67 feet. A smaller room size than this would necessitate adjustments, such as shorter cue sticks or the possible consideration of a smaller table. And also remember you will need extra space for other billiard room activities, as well.

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Essentials of a Quality Billiard Lamp Or Pool Table Light

Adequate and proper lighting for your billiard table is key if you want to make billiard shots up to caliber. Poor lighting can affect a pool player in a number of ways, including the infamous “shadow casting,” which can distort angles and play tricks on a shooter’s eyes. And of course it might simply be too dark to see. When considering billiard lamps, one must not only consider what is best for the pool table, but what will illuminate the rest of the billiard room, as well.

Billiard table lamps are most commonly anchored to the ceiling right above the center of the billiard table. Your pool table light should be at least three feet above the surface (for a person six feet tall, that is about even with the bridge of your nose) of your billiard table for a couple of reasons. First, you want light to shine evenly across the table. Hanging a pool table lamp too low will cause the billiard table to be lighted unevenly, creating light pockets and shadows. Also, if you are a taller person, you run the risk of smacking your head on the table light during shots. This can be more dangerous than you think, especially if you have a Tiffany billiard lamp or stained glass table lights.

You may choose to hang different sized billiard table lamps in other places in your billiard room, also. The reason behind placing a pool table light directly above the table is to keep shadows from being cast at uneven angles. But billiard lamps come in a ton of different sizes and styles. Usually, a 40 inch billiard lamp, or set of three billiard lights, are used over a billiard table. However, a single, 16 inch, Tiffany billiard table lamp looks nice over a pub table and matching bar stools in an adjacent corner, or a double lamp would light up a small bar nicely without over-illuminating the rest of the billiard room.

Billiard table lamps come in a number of colors, designs, and materials. When buying a billiard lamp, try to find a balance between quality, practicality, aesthetic traits, and cost. Many types of material are available, including plastic, metal, glass, stained glass, Tiffany style, and more. Many lampshade styles are out there to choose from, and different kinds of lighting are available, including incandescent, fluorescent, and so on.

Billiard table lights are usually attached to the ceiling above the pool table. If you have a basement billiard room, attach hooks into the crossbeams on your ceiling. Installation of the pool table light will likely require the use of light tools and a few pieces of hardware. Chains and reinforced steel bolts are commonly used, as chains can be easily adjusted in terms of height and distance. A general understanding of electrical work is not necessarily required, but recommended, as you are playing with electricity. Good luck with finding what you need, and enjoy your billiard room!

A Brief Timeline

The term “billiard” comes from the French word “bille,” meaning “ball,” referring to a ball and stick game, and the word “art,” representing the art of the game. Billiards has been around for many centuries, originating as lawn games in much of the world over 700 years ago. Presently, it is typical to see a pool table in every bar or tavern you walk into. A number of people even have them in their homes, but it was not always like that. When billiards originated, it was played outdoors as early as the thirteenth century, and from there moved indoors onto tables. Wooden sticks called “maces” were used to shove (rather than stroke) the wooden and ivory billiard balls. Maces were eventually modified into cue sticks due to the difficulty of shots near rails with maces.

Many prominent, historical figures have owned billiard tables, and in many countries. Some of these famous people include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, King James I of England, and Kings Louis III, XIV, XV, and XVI of France. It is even recorded that King Louis XI of France purchased a billiard table as early as 1470. Over time, billiards became more popular in bars, inns, and taverns, therefore becoming more commonplace amongst ordinary people. Below is a brief, historical timeline of how the game of billiards was born.

• 13th century:
o 1200s: Bat and ball lawn games are invented and spread quickly
• 15th century:
o 1470: King Louis XI of France buys his own billiard table
o End 1400’s: billiards moved from outside on grass to inside on a table
• 16th century:
o 1500s: “Table billiards” popularity spreads amongst nobility in France and England
• 17th century:
o 1600s: Billiard play becomes more popular amongst commoners in public places
o 1674: “The Complete Gamester,” one of the first ever how-to billiard publications, was written by Charles Cotton of England
• 18th century:
o 1773: Carambole introduced in France
o 1775: Idea of “One Pocket” developed
o 1797: Cotton and wool replaced with new fabric to improve smoothness and friction
• 19th century:
o 1807: Carombole becomes popular in England, coming to be known as the game of billiards
o 1820s: The mace becomes virtually obsolete, replaced solely by the cue stick
o 1823: The perfection of the leather cue tip greatly increases the use of “spin”
o 1826: John Thurston of England develops the first slate tables, replacing the old wooden ones
o 1845: New rail cushions developed from vulcanized rubber by Goodyear.
o 1850s: A billiard “industry” is born, including companies like Sheraton’s and Gillow
o 1860: John Brunswick joins with the Phelan-Collender Group to form the Brunswick Corporation
o 1860: Claims of billiard tables existing in every State of the Union.
o 1868: Development of new billiard balls out of cellulose nitrate (called “celluloid”), replaces wooden- and ivory-made balls
o 1870: 1st officially recognized English Billiard Championship played between John Roberts and William Cook
o 1892: 1st official standard billiard table is made by Thurston & Co.
• 20th century:
o 1900: Snooker recognized by the Billiards Association
o 1901: 8-Ball invented
o 1910: Straight Pool invented
o 1920: Development of 9-Ball
o 1970s: Cast resin balls replace crystalate and celluloid billiard balls, improving accuracy in size, weight, and shape

Many improvements over the centuries have led billiards and pool into what it is today. Billiard games have been a pastime for years all around the world, and current trends show that it will be sticking around for quite some time.

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Beginning Billiards

Pocket billiards or pool refers to a game played on a six pocket billiard table. It mainly consist of 15 object balls and a cue ball. Snooker on the other hand is played on a billiard table with 21 object balls and a cue ball. Carom billiards to a game played with 3 balls on a table and no pockets.

Basic skills are required or almost the same for playing either snooker, pool or billiards, or carom billiards.The most noticeable smilarities are the way the player hold the billiard cue, the stance and the movements of the arms.

Despite all these smilarities in playing billiards, snooker and carom billiards., there are of course differences that distinguish itself from one another. In billiards, the player is suppose to pocket the 15 balls with a cue ball as quickly as possible, while the carom billiards must keep 3 balls in the game.

Anyone interested in billiards must have played a game of pool at any one time.Or maybe it all started because your friend invited you to have a game of pool. And after observing for a while, you become fascinated by the technique and the way the game has to be strategized in order to beat the opponent. Soon you picked up a billiard cue, aim at the cue ball and the object ball, and started playing. Maybe not for too long, you bought a two-piece billiard cue for the pride of ownership. And all the bullshit about how you started playing billiards or pool are history, you are a frequent player at a pool hall near you.

It is not an accident that pool ranks among the top sports in American, while the english version, snooker ranks number one in Britain, not soccer. And billiards has been playing all around the world as a leisure sport or favorite past time. It is mainly because pool halls are everywhere and to play the game, you don’t need to bring or buy loads of equipment, mostly one billiard cue is all you need. The game not only challenge your opponents but also challenges yourself in attaining higher level skills as you go along.

Probably it will not take long for you to realize that the cue ball don’t respond to what you desire the cue ball to react. The cue ball may run too far or sometimes too near, maybe the cue ball bank at the wrong angle and rest on the wrong spot, or worst you miss a cue. These are beginner’s mistakes, but never let this mistakes ruin your pleasure in billiards or pool or don’t make it a habit. Mistakes are normal as part of the learning process. But mistakes are only beneficial when you try to learn from them.

Pocket billiards is a game that everyone can learn to play. If you practice it, you will soon discover that the game requires planning, strategy, concentration and intuition. Very soon you will instill an intuition of strategizing the game against your opponents 5 steps ahead of them. Billiards or pool is not a game of chance, it is but a game of physics, it relates to the build of billiard cue to the strength you exert on the cue ball. Read some of the articles on bank shots, follow shots or break shots. After reading them, practice them, and soon you can feel the game.

Another tip to know is that, whenever you are planning for a practice session, practice it with an experienced billiards player. If you are playing billiards or pool, play with an expert or a more advance billiards player. Only by playing with them, then he can spot your mistakes, like the way you hold your billiard cue, your stroke or he may impart some useful tips to you. Never be embarrassed to ask a more experience billiards player, I believe they will be more than happy to help you.