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What Is The Difference Between Pool and Billiards?


What Is The Difference Between Pool and Billiards?

I guess my question is what is the difference between pool and billiards? Is there a difference, or is this just a naming convention only that varries by region?

What Is The Difference Between Pool and Billiards?

Replies & Comments

  1. lukebilliardsforum on 10/14/2006 2:35:49 AM

    The answer will probably surprise you. "Billiards" is a term which describe all games that are played on a billiard table. The real name for what we call pool is "pocket billiards".

    "Pocket Billiards" is just one version of Billiards. Some billiard games are played on tables where pockets don't even exist, such as 3 cushion or bar billiards.

    In the 19 century "poolrooms" existed, but were not the pool rooms that we know today. They were simply betting parlors where people came in to bet on horse races or play poker. They were called "poolrooms" because everything involved a "pool" of money.

    While people sat around the pool room and waited on results, they installed pocket billiard tables. People of course began to gamble on these too. Therefore, the name "pool" became attached to billiards simply because of the betting, and it has nothing to do with actually playing the game. When people say something like "Hey, want to play some pool" we all know that they are referring to billiards, but technically they are asking you if you want to play a bet.

  2. lukeluke on 10/14/2006 2:38:08 AM

    Thanks for the quick reply. I never knew that about where the term "pool" acually came from.

  3. lukeGinger on 10/14/2006 2:38:57 AM

    hahah, very interesting.

  4. lukemdungelman on 10/15/2006 9:57:02 AM

    Go to Wikipedia.org and search for billiards. If you haven't heard of wikipedia it is an online free encyclopedia. Definitely one of the coolest sites I know.

  5. lukestraightshooter on 5/14/2007 6:19:35 PM

    cue sports, billiards, pool, carambole; whatever, is one of the hardest sports to classify and to keep terminology straight. Add to that the fact that north america has different words for the same things than billiard players in the UK and england.

    Don't worry so much about the terminology, just get out and play. That will get you much further.

  6. luketasha_silvester on 12/14/2012 10:52:08 AM

    Today, the terms billiards and pool are generally understood to be the same but actually they are not. Billiards is an umbrella term while pool refers to pocket billiards. (Carom) billiards is played with 3 balls on a table with no pockets while pool is played on a table with 6 pockets and with 8 to 16 balls.

  7. lukeallanpsand on 5/2/2013 12:22:32 PM

    Nowadays, there a battle of formal versus informal usage.

    "Pool" is the informal use commonly used among the unwashed masses.

    "Billiards" (usually further refined to include Pocket Billiards) is the formal definition. You see this in formal material - magazines, pool writers/authors, etc.

  8. luketasha_silvester on 5/6/2013 12:41:53 AM

    Billiards (cue sports) is classified into:

    • Carom Billiards - Pocketless billiards played with 3 balls on a carom pool table
    • Pocket Billiards - Also referred to as "pool", contains pockets and is played with 15 balls
    • Snooker - A game containing pockets which are smaller as compared to those on a pool table and is played with 22 balls.
  9. lukebilliardsforum on 5/26/2013 7:41:55 PM

    Haha, this discussion is a ticket to nowhere. Wikipedia has the correct context/hierarchy I believe...

    They bucket everything under "Cue Sports" and break it out into types from there.

    I still love how the term "pool" is rooted/related to betting. Can't say I am surprised though.

  10. lukegibson on 8/12/2013 2:21:44 PM

    Never get confused and dive into a billiards table.

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What Is The Difference Between Pool and Billiards?

  • Title: What Is The Difference Between Pool and Billiards?
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  • Published: 10/14/2006 2:27:33 AM