Pool originated as an outdoor game similar to croquet, and later moved indoors; to prevent sore backs from continuously bending over to play on the floor, the modern pool table was invented. Pool tables are purchased in one of four sizes depending on the amount of space available in your home or establishment; keep in mind that additional space is needed around the table when shooting with a cue.
Pool tables are twice as long as they are wide and come as 7-, 8-, 8 1/2- and 9-foot tables. Each size of table is used for a different purpose; for example, 7-foot pool tables are commonly found in bars and taverns where space is limited, while 8- and 8 1/2-foot tables are for home or commercial use. The 9-foot table is a custom table used for competitions and tournaments. These are only recommended uses, so if you're practicing for a tournament and the space is available in your home, a 9-foot table may best suit your needs.
How Tables Are Measured
Pool tables are measured from the inside edge of the cushions from one end of the table to the other; the same technique is used to measure width. When planning to purchase a pool table, however, also take into consideration the width and length of the outer edges of the table with respect to the amount of available space.
Computing Room Suitability
Measure the length and width of the pool table room and convert the measurements into inches. Subtract the width of the desired pool table size from the width of the room; also subtract two times the length of the longest cue. Perform the same calculation for the length of the desired table; if any space remains, the table will fit in the room with plenty of playing area.
Other Things to Consider
Consider the use of your pool table. If only for recreational purposes, a less expensive table may be appropriate; for more serious players, a mid-range or custom pool table may be more worth the extra expense. The prices of pool tables vary greatly; look for strong wooden construction and a K66 slate underneath the table felt for an even playing surface.
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images