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Choosing Pool Table Cloth Color

Choosing Pool Table Cloth Color

Choosing pool table cloth color can be tricky with so many choices out there. With today's billiard industry and technology becoming so vast, your choices for pool table cloth color are virtually limitless. This article won't tell you specifically what color to choose, but it will present various data and opinions from the internet and from billiard enthusiasts. This information is meant to aide you in making a good decision when choosing pool table cloth color.

Choosing Pool Table Cloth Color

We will preface this discussion by noting that there is a general consensus as to what the most common or popular colors are. At the top of the list are the traditional greens, the newly popular palette of blues, and neutral colors such as camel, tan, and gray. These were the colors that we saw being recommended over and over in our research, and we'll present the reasons for this later on in this article. In fact, to narrow it down even further, the two most common and popular pool table cloth colors are green and blue. We've done an article on deciding between green pool table cloth and blue pool table cloth for your enjoyment. In contrast, we saw some colors constantly being advised against. These colors include red, black, orange, and other dark colors.

Here are some statistics compiled throughout various billiard forums. In an AZB poll, the results confirm our own research that blue and green are the most popular.

  • Blue - 38.00%
  • Green - 61.00%
  • Whatever - 1.00%
  • Red - 0%
  • Other - 0%

In addition to this, one pool player who has shot extensively on green, red, maroon, tan, blue, and gray felt, has ranked the pool table cloth colors in his order of preference based on overall playability and feel.

  1. Tan pool table cloth
  2. Blue pool table cloth
  3. Grey pool table cloth
  4. Green pool table cloth
  5. Maroon pool table cloth
  6. Red pool table cloth

Another study ranked several pool table cloth colors in order of ease on the player's eyes.

  1. Simonis Electric Blue
  2. camel and tan
  3. traditional green

A few billiard enthusiasts took a few minutes to tell us which cloth colors that they definitely would not consider when choosing pool table cloth color.

  • Do not choose red pool table cloth
  • Do not choose dark green pool table cloth
  • Do not choose black pool table cloth
  • Do not choose dark blue pool table cloth
  • Do not choose purple pool table cloth
  • Do not choose yellow pool table cloth

Choosing Pool Table cloth Color

Now that we have a general overview of what players prefer, lets look at the pros and cons of various pool table cloth colors to help you in choosing a pool table cloth color. Beyond the above studies on choosing pool table cloth colors, we've complied some comments on various colors. The first list of comments focuses on the traditionalist view that pool table cloth color should be green.

  • "Just stick with Green. Can you imagine defacing an antique 1950's Brunswick Centennial pool table with some weird color?"
  • "If I didn't want to be competitive, I'd use a pool table cloth color other than green."
  • "The traditionalist in me has always taken it for granted that my future pool table would have green cloth."
  • "Years ago, a room owner in town decided he was going to spruce his place up by putting red cloth on his tables. He was told that it wasn't a good idea because red was the most aggressive color and was the hardest on the eyes. Two things happened. His table time decreased greatly and the number of fights and arguments increased dramatically. Six months later, all the tables were recovered in green cloth."
  • "Use Standard Green! It makes a difference in your game if you get a drastic color like red. If you plan on playing on other tables I would suggest not going to a colored cloth on your own home billiard room table. Going from one color to another could have it's difficulties."
  • "Green pool table cloth looks very nice with the Gold Crown tables and other quality wood tables. I don't know anyone who thinks blue [or other colors of pool table cloth] goes nicely with brown or gold billiard tables."
  • "One thing I consider when making this kind of decision is what kind of table I will be playing on at local pool halls and in tournaments. Because of that, I have traditional green on my home table and will continue to do so in the future."
  • "Standard green is the way to go."

Some other lighter colors have been considered, and have been declared superior to the standard green by some players. Check out this article on the benefits of tan and camel pool table cloth. Besides tan or camel pool table cloth, other colors like gray and blue have grown in popularity. Lighter colored pool table cloth will have a smoother, and more soothing effect on the eyes while playing and also will brighten up the home billiard room. A darker colored cloth will give the room a darker, more dull feeling. On the other hand, an extremely bright colored cloth will give you headaches.

Generally you want as much separation as possible in order to see the ball's edge. To accomplish this, choose tan or gray pool table cloth, since they are the easiest to play on. Green is also good, provided that the lighting is adequate. The worst pool table cloth color is a dark colored table with inadequate lighting that does not cover the entire surface. There are so many bad lighting situations out there where the center of the table is lit and the ends are dark. One player who chose gray pool table cloth says "go with a colored felt like Grey, it's smooth and peaceful. My favorite cloth of all time was a gray cloth, I loved playing on it."

Lets not forget about the superior effect of the gray background. Neutral gray (19%) background tends to be the best background shade. This is true of both photographs and billiard tables. Everything will stand out just right, including billiard balls; not too much or too little. Therein lies the beauty of neutral gray; It is extremely easy on the eyes, and it gives a level of brightness and contrast that makes just about anything stand out without sticking out, or blending in. Neutral gray pool table cloth is just perfect.

Another word of wisdom to consider when choosing pool table cloth color; Don't choose red. Reviews include the following. Most other reviews mirror those below.

  • The worst cloth I ever played on was in a dive game room that had nice weekly tournaments. The tables had red cloth, and red chalk. This equals red stains all over your pool cue shaft after one game. It seemed like my game dropped five balls when playing in those conditions.
  • Bright red, and dark red pool table cloth has been reported to give players headaches after extended play. Green is the most natural color to your eyes.
  • I have red on my table and totally despise it. Go with pool hall green. Worst cloth I've played on is a red cloth...
  • One bar around here changed to red cloth and red chalk. The management tried to tell us that we couldn't use blue chalk for our league match. The players pretty much said "screw you" to the regulation.
  • I have trouble looking at red pool table cloth. It gives me a headache, and I tend to not play as well. Your hands get red, and the cue tip gets red if the management or table owner makes you use red chalk and the whole background to the table just just doesn't seem right.
  • I recently recovered table with a wine colored cloth, which is essentially red. It just isn't the same anymore. Lighting and contrast between object balls has lost something and practicing is not as fun and can not be sustained as long as it once could. Additional lighting hasn't helped the situation, and in fact, it just seems that the shooting, the contrast and the shadows are all really subdued. After going from my maroon/red table to practicing on a friends Diamond table, which has blue cloth, and I never got tired of playing.

Beyond this, see below for random advice from around the billiard community with regards to choosing pool table cloth color.

  • Lighting is not everything. One player used a light green cloth with dim lighting and the room looked just fine, he exclaims. Yet, when he replaced the light green cloth, he says, with a darker green, and installed brighter lighting, his room looked quite dark. Bright yellow cloth on super powered lighting will make it seem like your playing pool out in the sun. This is not recommended.
  • Grey pool table cloth has been reported to make a 4X8 pool table look like a 6X12 pool table.
  • Some players draw a line with their eyes from the edge of the pocket through their target object ball to find the point of contact needed. With blue, they report the ability to maintain that line in their mind much better than any other colored cloth.
  • "Tournament Blue" is the Simonis color used by Diamond. This color was selected specifically due to reduced eye strain, and ease of seeing the balls. It is said to give the most visibility in general, considering all object ball colors.
  • Many people see the blue or green on the tables at big, televised, publicized tournaments, and expect the color to look exactly the same on a home table, in person. That just isn't going to happen. TV/Magazine colors are just different. The television distorts it. When you attend the Open, front row and see the tables yourself, then turn the television, the pool table cloth looked entirely different.
  • A Simonis service representative said the Mosconi Cup cloth and the pool table cloth used in the Billiard World Championships is the Powder Blue version. Simonis also said that the sample cloth may look slightly different due to varying dye lots and distortion from television or print. They also commented on Tournament Blue, saying that studies have revealed that the hue of blue used in the Tournament Blue Simonis cloth has been tested to be the best color for the eyes. Tennis courts, which have always been green, are now using this same color blue because of the excellent visibility for the players.

Hopefully this helps you in your quest to choose the best pool table cloth color. Remember, use this as a guide, and not a final say, and choosing pool table cloth color will be a lot more pleasant of a process.

Choosing Pool Table Cloth Color

  • Title: Choosing Pool Table Cloth Color
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 5/7/2008 10:27:00 PM

Choosing Pool Table Cloth Color Comments

  1. ShaneShane from WI, United States on 3/12/2011 1:08:44 PM

    I have red cloth on my pool tables, and must take exception to parts of this article. I completely understand that red cloth may not be the choice of many, however suggesting that red cloth causes fights or headaches is a complete falsehood.

    It is necessary to use red chalk, and proper lighting is required. I live in Wisconsin, and the warm feeling in the room from a warm color is nice. If you would like to know the largest problem that I have with red tables is that stains are more apparent than on blue or green tables, because red is a LIGHTER color than the blues and greens. There are some darker reds out there however look at the color of chalk and determine for yourselves which is darker. That is why red chalk becomes necessary. The blue or green chalk stains the pool table, just as it does the ends of your stick, like all chalk does.

    And remember, in pool there are two opponents, the person you are shooting against, and the pool table. Please remember to treat both with respect.

  2. Arline TArline T from Largo, FL on 6/18/2018 10:09:43 PM

    Green cloth is the way to go.

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