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Around The World on a Pool Table Pt 1: Revolution of Pool British vs American

billiards table where the felt is a map of the world with 5 balls. 1 ball looks like the earth.

The game of pool, also known as billiards, is a favored pastime enjoyed by millions around the world. Despite its common roots, the game has spread out into many forms. Each game comes with their unique rules and styles depending on geographic and cultural preferences. Today we will look specifically at how the modern game of pool is played in the United Kingdom and America.


In the United States, "pool" generally refers to the game played on a rectangular table with six pockets and a set of 15 numbered balls plus a cue ball. The most popular games are 8- Ball and 9- Ball. Starting with Eight-Ball, one of the more common variations, is played with 15 balls. The player must pocket all of either the striped or solid balls, and then the 8-ball. Nine-Ball is played with only the balls numbered 1 through 9, they MUST be pocketed in order. This version of the game is popular amongst both amateur and professional players, often featured in televised tournaments.


In the UK and Australia, the game takes on a different style. Blackball (UK and Australia) also known as "English eight-ball,” is played with 15 balls. Of those balls there are 7 red, 7 yellow, and a black 8-ball. It’s typically played on smaller tables with narrower pockets compared to American pool tables. Snooker, although technically a different cue sport, is a version of the game more commonly played in the UK. This game is incredibly popular in the UK and many other countries. It's played on a larger table with 21 balls, including 1 white cue ball, 15 reds, and 6 other colored balls that must be potted in a specific sequence.


The fascinating world of billiards holds a wide selection of gameplay styles across the pond. Each reflects its own unique cultural difference. While American pool delights with its straightforward, fast-paced nature and array of games like eight-ball and nine-ball, UK style billiards like blackball and the precision-driven game of snooker, offers its own set of challenges and strategy. Both styles hold a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts and provide endless hours of entertainment and competition.

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