Curious About Snooker Tables? What Exactly Are They?

Hello, fellow snooker enthusiasts! 

Today, we're going to explore the world of snooker tables - those beautiful, felt-covered platforms where we pot balls and score points. 

We all know the thrill of a perfectly executed shot, but have you ever wondered about the table itself? Its history, design, and unique characteristics? 

Well, you're in the right place. Join us as we uncover the mysteries of the snooker table. 

Ready? Let's dive in!


What is a Snooker Table REALLY?

billiard sports

Much like the snooker game itself, the snooker table exhibits a distinct character that sets it apart from typical pool or billiard tables. 

A snooker table is a highly specialized piece of equipment where the game of snooker is played. It's a large table, usually about 12 feet in length and 6 feet in width, covered with a smooth, low-friction cloth, typically green, to simulate the grass of the outdoor games that inspired billiards.

The Beauty and Appeal of Snooker Tables

Snooker tables possess an aesthetic allure that appeals to both players and spectators alike. The visually striking contrast between the lush green felt, and the gleaming set of colored balls is an inherent part of the snooker charm. 

Snooker Tables

The fine craftsmanship that goes into making each table is evident in the polished woodwork, which often features intricate designs and detailed carvings, adding an element of grandeur to these tables.

Not only are they a means to a thrilling game, but snooker tables also serve as a statement piece in game rooms. 

They embody class, elegance, and tradition, making them a sought-after item for upscale establishments and home game rooms.  

The allure is not only in their looks but also in their functionality. 

The precision required in their construction ensures a flat and level playing surface, allowing for accurate shots and impressive gameplay.

Moreover, snooker tables have a deep-seated cultural significance, representing a game rooted in the history and traditions of sportsmanship. 

Owning a snooker table goes beyond just the game; it's also about maintaining a piece of sporting history. 

So, the next time you see a snooker table, take a moment to appreciate not just the game but the artistry, craftsmanship, and history that it represents.

History of Snooker Tables

Snooker Table Playing

The Origins of Snooker Tables

Snooker, as we know it today, has its origins in British colonial India. The game evolved from traditional billiards, which was highly popular among British military officers stationed in India during the 19th century.

History of Billiard Sports


Sir Neville Francis Fitzgerald Chamberlain, a British Army officer stationed in Jubbulpore (now Jabalpur), India, is credited with inventing snooker in the 1870s. To alleviate the monotony of billiards, Chamberlain introduced colored balls, giving birth to snooker.

History of billiards


Snooker tables also evolved alongside the game. Traditional billiard tables gradually transformed into larger, more challenging snooker tables measuring 12 feet by 6 feet, with smaller, rounded pockets requiring greater accuracy.

Crafted with precision, these tables provided a flat, even surface for optimal gameplay. The green baize covering the tables was a nod to billiards' outdoor origins as an open-air game played on lawns.

As snooker gained popularity, the demand for snooker tables increased. Craftsmen began to construct tables with aesthetic appeal, incorporating elaborate carvings and high-quality materials, transforming them into works of art.

The history of snooker tables blends sport, culture, and craftsmanship. Each table carries a piece of the past, representing the game's birth and evolution. This history adds depth to our appreciation of this classic game.

Evolution of the Design & Materials Used 

Over the years, snooker table design has evolved to meet changing sporting and aesthetic preferences. Initially, tables were purely functional, with little emphasis on visual appeal. Early tables were simple, featuring a smooth green surface on a sturdy wooden base. 

As the game gained popularity, demand for visually appealing tables increased.

snooker table design


In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, snooker tables were primarily constructed with English oak for the body and legs, providing stability. The playing surface, made from slate, was covered with a green baize cloth to reduce friction. 

As the 20th century progressed, tables began to feature intricate designs and carvings, using woods like mahogany and rosewood for a touch of sophistication.

Today, traditional design elements and materials are still used, but there is also experimentation with modern materials and styles. Metal frames and legs offer a contemporary look, while synthetic materials improve durability and performance.

This evolution showcases the blend of tradition and innovation in snooker tables, transforming them from basic sporting equipment to pieces of art. Despite changes, they remain the canvas for the beautiful game of snooker, a testament to the enduring appeal of this classic sport.

Design and Anatomy of a Snooker Table

Detailed look into the components of a snooker table (bed, cushions, pockets, rails)

Design and Anatomy of a Snooker Table

A snooker table is composed of several key components, each contributing to the overall functionality and aesthetics of the table.


The bed of a snooker table is a flat playing surface, usually made from a piece of slate. The slate provides a perfectly level surface that is not prone to warping or bending. The thickness of the slate can vary, but it typically ranges between 3/4 inch and 2 inches. This surface is then covered with a baize cloth, traditionally green, which allows for smooth movement of the balls.


Running along the edges of the playing surface are the cushions, which are designed to rebound the balls back into play. These are typically made from rubber and are covered with the same cloth as the bed, providing a consistent playing surface.


There are six pockets on a snooker table, one at each corner and one midway along each of the longer sides. The pockets are smaller in snooker than in other billiard games, adding an extra challenge. They are lined with a net or a piece of cloth to catch the balls.


The rails are the top sections that sit above the cushions. They are usually made from the same wood as the rest of the table frame. The rails serve two main purposes: they provide a resting place for players' hands during shots, and they house the mechanisms for returning the balls to the foot of the table after being pocketed.

These four components – bed, cushions, pockets, and rails – come together to form a snooker table. 

Their design and quality significantly affect the playing characteristics of the table and, therefore, the game itself. 

Understanding these elements can help players and enthusiasts appreciate the game further and make informed decisions when purchasing a snooker table. 

The Role Each Part Plays in the Game

Each component of a snooker table plays a critical role in the overall gameplay, affecting both the physical dynamics and the strategic aspects of the game.


The bed of the table, being the primary playing surface, directly influences the speed, direction, and spin of the balls. A high-quality bed, typically made of slate and covered with a fine baize cloth, ensures a smooth and predictable roll, allowing players to execute shots with precision. 

For example, when a player uses a backspin, the surface of the bed can significantly affect the ball's reaction.


Cushions are integral to the player's ability to make rebound shots. The quality of the cushion affects the bounce of the ball, which can be harnessed by players to position the balls strategically for subsequent shots. 

For instance, a player might play a shot off the cushion to strategically place the cue ball for the next pot.


The pockets are the ultimate targets in snooker. Their size and cut can significantly influence scoring.  

For example, smaller and tighter pockets require more precision from the player, making the game more challenging. The design of the pockets also contributes to how a missed shot behaves, which can lead to unexpected opportunities or challenges for the opponent.


While often overlooked, the rails provide a vital supporting role in the game. They serve as a resting place for the players' hands, enabling steady and accurate shots. 

Additionally, in tables with ball return systems, the rails guide pocketed balls back to the collection area, ready for the next game.

Understanding the role each part plays in the game of snooker not only deepens the appreciation for the game but also enhances the gameplay strategy. 

Recognizing how each component can affect the game dynamics can help players optimize their shots and play more tactically.

Unique Characteristics of Snooker Tables

Unique Characteristics of Snooker Tables


Comparison of snooker tables to other billiard tables (Pool, Carom)

Snooker tables, while sharing some similarities with other billiard tables such as pool and carom tables, have unique characteristics that set them apart.

 Comparison of snooker tables to other billiard tables


Snooker tables are generally larger. A standard snooker table measures 12 feet by 6 feet, whereas a standard pool table is 9 feet by 4.5 feet, and a carom table is approximately 10 feet by 5 feet.


All three table types have six pockets, but their sizes differ significantly. Snooker tables have smaller and less forgiving pockets compared to pool tables. Carom tables, on the other hand, lack pockets entirely, as the objective of carom games is to strike the opponent's balls, not pocket them.


The balls used in each game also vary. Snooker uses 21 balls, including 15 reds and 6 different colors. Pool, depending on the variant, uses either 9 or 15 balls. In contrast, Carom uses only three balls - two white (one marked with a dot) and one red.


Snooker tables have a "D" semi-circle marked at one end of the table, which is not found on pool or carom tables. Carom tables, however, have lines drawn on the surface to aid with gameplay.

Surface Color

Traditionally, snooker tables have a green cloth surface, chosen to represent the green grass of outdoor games. Pool tables can be found in a variety of cloth colors, although green and blue are the most common. Carom tables typically feature a heated slate bed covered with a yellowish cloth.


Rails in snooker and pool tables serve similar purposes. However, the rails in carom tables play a more active role in the game, as players aim to rebound their cue ball off them and onto the other balls.

In summary:

  1. Size: Snooker > Pool > Carom
  2. Pockets: Snooker (smaller, rounded) < Pool (larger, angled) < Carom (none)
  3. Balls: Snooker (21 balls) > Pool (9 or 15 balls) > Carom (3 balls)
  4. Markings: Snooker (presence of "D") > Pool (no specific marking) = Carom (no specific marking)
  5. Surface Color: Varies, with traditional color being green for Snooker, green or blue for Pool, and yellowish for Carom
  6. Rails: Similar in Snooker and Pool, more important in Carrom

Understanding these differences can help appreciate the unique nuances of each game and make an informed decision when choosing the table that best suits one's interests.

Maintenance and Care for Your Snooker Table

Maintenance and Care for Your Snooker Table


Tips on keeping your snooker table in top condition

Tips on keeping your snooker table in top condition


Maintaining a snooker table is crucial for its longevity and for ensuring an optimal gaming experience. Here are some handy tips to keep your snooker table in top condition:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Regularly clean your snooker table to keep it free of dust and dirt. You can use a soft brush or a special snooker table vacuum cleaner for this. Always brush or vacuum in the direction of the nap - this is the direction in which the cloth fibers naturally lay.
  2. Ball Cleaning: The balls should be cleaned regularly with a specially formulated ball cleaner and a soft cloth. It helps to remove chalk marks and other grime, keeping the balls looking new and preserving their roll.
  3. Avoid Food and Drink: Keep food and drinks away from the snooker table. Spills can cause stains and damage the cloth. If an accidental spill occurs, clean it up immediately to prevent seeping and staining.
  4. Covering the Table: When the table is not in use, keep it covered. It will protect it from dust, sunlight, and potential damage. Use a cover that is designed for snooker tables to ensure a proper fit.
  5. Regular Ironing: Yes, you read that right! The baize should be ironed regularly using a special snooker table iron. It helps to keep the nap flat and ensures a smooth and accurate roll of the balls.
  6. Re-clothing: Over time, the table's cloth may become worn and need replacing. It is a specialized task that should be carried out by a professional.
  7. Avoid Sitting or Leaning: A snooker table is not a seat or a leaning post. Excessive weight or pressure can damage the table's cushion rubber, leading to an uneven bounce.
  8. Humidity Control: Too much humidity can warp the table and cause the cloth to pucker. Try to keep the room where your table is located dry and at a consistent temperature.
  9. Professional Maintenance: Once in a while, it's a good idea to have your table professionally serviced and leveled. It ensures the highest level of play and prolongs the table's life.

Remember that proper care and maintenance of your snooker table will not only enhance your gameplay but also extend its lifespan, ensuring many years of enjoyable play.

ARGMAC: Your Ultimate Destination For Exquisite Luxury Snooker Tables

ARGMAC: Your Ultimate Destination For Exquisite Luxury Snooker Tables

At ARGMAC, we offer a diverse range of meticulously crafted snooker tables to deliver an unparalleled playing experience. As a premier provider of luxury snooker tables, we ensure quality, elegance, and excellence in every product we offer.

Our collection includes classic, vintage-inspired snooker tables that evoke the grandeur of bygone eras, as well as sleek and modern designs perfect for contemporary game rooms. As an example, our CARONI POOL TABLE series combines timeless design with modern functionality. 

Crafted from Indian rosewood (Sheesham) and finished with PU/Veneer, these tables showcase hand-carved, intricately detailed legs. The precision-ground slate bed ensures a flawless playing surface, enhancing your gaming experience.

For those seeking modernity, our ANGOSTURA POOL TABLE offers an innovative, sleek design with clean lines, a minimalist aesthetic, and a high-gloss finish. The table's precision-engineered pockets and cushion rails ensure superior accuracy, making it a favorite among professional players.

At ARGMAC, we understand that snooker is not just a game; it's a passion. That's why every snooker table we offer can be customized to your exact specifications, from cloth color to optional features like embedded LED lighting or integrated ball return systems.

Our comprehensive assistance ensures your snooker table reflects your personal style and needs.

We pride ourselves on exceptional customer service, providing expert advice and assistance from the initial consultation to post-purchase support. Every customer is part of the ARGMAC family, and we strive to guarantee your satisfaction.

Experience the ARGMAC difference, where luxury, quality, and exquisite craftsmanship converge to create the ultimate snooker experience. Welcome to ARGMAC – your destination for luxurious snooker tables, where you play the game in style.


Throughout this article, we've delved deep into the world of snooker, pool, and carom games and particularly honed in on the charm of snooker tables and their maintenance. Let's quickly recap some of the key points we've covered:

  • We kicked off by comparing the unique aspects of snooker, pool, and Carom, highlighting the variations in table size, pocket style, number of balls used, table markings, surface color, and importance of rails in gameplay.
  • We then spotlighted the distinctive features of snooker tables, such as their large size, green cloth surface embedded with a 'D' semi-circle marking, the use of 21 balls, smaller rounded pockets, and rounded cushion edges. These characteristics not only set snooker apart from other billiard games but also add a layer of complexity, requiring a higher degree of precision and strategic planning from players.
  • Lastly, we turned our focus on the care and maintenance of snooker tables. Some helpful tips included regular cleaning of the table and balls, keeping the area free from food and beverages, covering the table when not in use, ironing the baize, re-clothing when necessary, avoiding sitting or leaning on the table, controlling room humidity, and scheduling regular professional servicing.

Remember, a well-maintained snooker table not only enhances your gaming experience but also ensures a longer lifespan for your cherished possessions. 

Happy playing!