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In 1873, billiards was the first sport ever to have a world championship. The game of billiards has been around for so long and developed into the game of pool. But, is pool and billiards the same thing?

If you've ever wondered the differences between billiards and pool, you've come to the right place. Read on to learn more.

billiard table with no pockets


Developed in the 18th century, billiards was a game of skill that men played and made bets on. This "gentleman's game" was often enjoyed in a private club with a cigar in hand.

Many wonder, "does a billiards table have pockets?", and the answer is no. The table is surrounded by bumpers that the balls can ricochet off of.

Similar to pool, they have cue balls, but there is one for each player. There is also a red "striker" ball that is pushed by the cue ball to try and hit the opponent's cue ball. The cue balls are different colors, not white so that you can tell your cue ball from the others.

You get points when you strike your opponent's cue ball. Depending on the difficulty of the shot, the points will vary.

pool table with drawer





Why is pool called billiards? Pool is often called billiards because it is a type of billiards game. Originally, it was considered a game for the common man because it was developed from billiards.

In pool, there is a single, white cue ball accompanied by fifteen balls that are different colors. The extra fifteen balls have numbers on them and are solid-colored or have a colored stripe. There are multiple variations of the game of pool, but the objective is always the same.

The goal is to sink all of your balls into the pockets before your opponent does. On each corner, there is a pocket, along with one on the center of each side.

Similar to billiards, players use different techniques to angle the perfect shot. These techniques allow a player to hit the cue ball to make it spin or curve to hit a specific ball or series of them.

Quality Tables

The major table difference is that one has pockets while the other one does not.

They both should have a playing surface made of smooth table felt over a slate piece. When the felt is of quality, the ball can move across the surface easier. It is also important to have a quality table that does not have a slant so that every shot is accurate.

Billiards vs Pool

So, is pool and billiards the same thing? Not quite, although they both require high-quality tables for an accurate game. Upon closer inspection, you will realize that a billiards table has no pockets and the game has more than one cue ball.

Do you want to build the perfect game room now that you know the difference between pool and billiards? Check out our new and used pool tables for sale.