Is Snooker The Same As Pool Or Simply Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Welcome, fellow cue sports enthusiasts! Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of cue sports, where Snooker and Pool take center stage.

At first glance, they may appear similar, but as we explore deeper, prepare to uncover the hidden gems that set them apart.

From their unique rules and strategies to the rich histories that shape them, our journey will be an exhilarating deep dive into these captivating games.

Whether you're a seasoned player or a curious novice, join us on this enlightening adventure as we discover how Snooker and Pool are much more than just two sides of the same coin. 

Together, let's embark on this thrilling journey of exploration!

What is Snooker?

What is Snooker?

Snooker, a game steeped in tradition and precise skill, is much more than just a cue sport. Originating from the British Empire in the late 19th century, it is a game that requires strategic planning, sharp precision, and a calm demeanor.

Here are some key elements that highlight the uniqueness of Snooker:

Table and Equipment

A snooker table is larger than a pool table, usually measuring 12 feet by 6 feet. The table features six pockets and is typically covered with green baize. 

The game uses 21 balls in total, which includes 15 red balls, one each of yellow, green, brown, blue, pink, and black balls, and a white cue ball. 


The objective of snooker is to score more points than your opponent. A player achieves this by potting a sequence of balls. The sequence begins by first potting a red ball, followed by a colored ball. 

The red balls are worth one point each, while the colored balls range from two points for the yellow up to a maximum of seven points for the black.

Strategic Depth

A snooker player needs to think several shots ahead, making strategic decisions on which balls to pot in order to maximize their potential score while also making the game tougher for their opponent.


The game ends when all the balls have been potted following the rules or when it's no longer possible for the other player to win due to a deficit in points. The player with the highest score is declared the winner.

Worldwide Appeal

Snooker enjoys global popularity, with massive followings in the U.K., China, and increasingly in other parts of the world. The World Snooker Championship, held annually in Sheffield, UK, draws players from across the globe and is considered the most prestigious title in the world of snooker.

Snooker is a game of precision, strategy, and mental stamina. It's a beautiful blend of sport, art, and mind that captivates its players and audiences alike.

Five Prime Features of Snooker

Five Prime Features of Snooker

Elegant Table and Equipment

The elegance of snooker starts with its equipment. The game is played on a large, usually green, 12-feet by 6-feet table featuring six pockets. It makes use of 21 balls: 15 red balls, one each of yellow, green, brown, blue, pink, and black balls, and one white cue ball. 

The larger table surface and diverse range of balls add a unique layer of complexity to the game.

Intricate Gameplay

The gameplay of snooker is a blend of skill, strategic prowess, and precision. The objective is simple: players must score more points than their opponent by potting a sequence of balls. 

The sequence involves potting a red ball, worth one point, followed by a colored ball, worth between two to seven points. This alternating sequence enhances the game's strategic depth.

Unique Scoring System

The scoring system in snooker adds another dimension of excitement to the game. The match ends when all balls have been potted in accordance with the rules or when one player cannot catch up in points. It makes every shot crucial and builds suspense as the game progresses.

Strategic Depth

Snooker is not just about potting balls; it is a chess game on a green baize. Players have to plan shots in advance, strategize which ball to pot next, and consider how to leave the table to make the game more challenging for their opponent. 

This strategic depth sets snooker apart from many other cue sports.

Global Popularity

Snooker is loved and played around the world, particularly in the U.K., China, and many other countries. The World Snooker Championship, held annually in Sheffield, UK, is the most prestigious tournament and attracts players and viewers globally, reflecting the game's universal appeal.

Snooker is a sport that perfectly marries physical skill with mental acuity, testing players' precision, strategic thinking, and mental fortitude. It is an elegant game that captivates not only the players but also the spectators, making it a globally revered sport.


Historical Origins


The Origins of Snooker

The sport of snooker traces its roots back to the latter half of the 19th century in the British Armed Forces stationed in India. 

Here's how the story unfolds:

Introduction of Billiards to the British Army

The English game of billiards was introduced to the British Army stationed in India in the 19th century. Although the game was well received, soldiers began seeking more variety, leading to the inception of a new game.

Creation of a New Game

In 1874, in the garrison town of Jabalpur, a Colonel by the name of Sir Neville Francis Fitzgerald Chamberlain proposed a new game that integrated elements from the games of Pyramid and Black Pool. This new game was soon named "snooker."

The Naming of Snooker

The term "snooker" was a military slang term used to refer to first-year cadets or inexperienced personnel. When Chamberlain saw a player miss a shot, he called them a "snooker." The name caught on and has since remained.

Growth and Evolution

The game quickly gained popularity among British army personnel and officers. In 1882, Chamberlain brought the game back to England, where it was introduced to British society, marking the beginning of snooker's widespread popularity.

Formalization of Rules

The first official set of rules was established in 1884 by Chamberlain. The Billiards Association and Control Club would later merge to form the Billiards Association and Snooker Control Club in 1919, which further formalized the rules and began holding official snooker tournaments.

Global Expansion

The game's popularity began to spread globally in the 20th century. With the advent of the World Snooker Championship in 1927 and its first televised broadcast in 1969, the game reached an international audience and became a professional sport.

The history of snooker is thus a fascinating tale of innovation, evolution, and growth. From its humble beginnings in an Indian garrison town to the grandeur of the Crucible, snooker's rich history is as captivating as the game itself.

The Origins of Pool

The Origins of Pool TABLE

The game of pool, also known as pocket billiards, has a history as rich and varied as the numerous games that fall under its umbrella. Tracing its origins can be a complex endeavor, but let's try to navigate through this fascinating journey:

Early Beginnings

The origins of pool can be traced back to a lawn game similar to croquet played in Northern Europe during the 15th century. Like many other sports, it was moved indoors due to harsh winter conditions. It resulted in the creation of the initial version of billiards on a table with a green cloth to simulate grass.

Development of Equipment

The equipment used in the pool underwent significant evolution over the centuries. The cue stick was introduced in the late 1600s, replacing the mace, an earlier tool that was cumbersome to use near the rails. The balls, originally made from wood and then clay, began to be crafted from ivory. However, with the advent of the Industrial Revolution and the overhunting of elephants, materials like celluloid and, eventually, phenolic resin were used.

Diversity of Games

Pool is a generic term that encompasses many variations of billiard games, such as eight-ball, nine-ball, and straight pool. Each variation has its unique rules and strategies, showcasing the versatility and adaptability of this sport.

American Influence

The game of pool gained significant popularity in the United States during the 19th century. Famously, during the American Civil War, it was common for pool halls to host "pool" betting games, where patrons would bet on horse races. These betting games were often accompanied by billiard matches, leading to the term "pool" being synonymous with pocket billiards.

International Recognition

The growth of the pool led to the formation of various governing bodies, like the Billiard Congress of America in 1948 and the World Pool-Billiard Association in 1987. These organizations have helped standardize the rules and promote the sport internationally.

Modern Pool

Today, the pool enjoys global popularity, with numerous professional competitions, such as the World Pool Championship, attracting players and spectators worldwide. The sport's accessibility, requiring relatively inexpensive equipment and flexible game rules, contributes to its widespread appeal and longevity.

The history of pools spans continents and centuries, embodying the evolution of casual games into recognized professional sports. Demonstrating adaptability and universal appeal, pool continues to be a beloved game, enjoyed in both competitive and casual contexts around the world.

Is Snooker The Same As Pool?

Is Snooker The Same As Pool?

When comparing snooker to pool, it's essential to understand that while they share some similarities, they are indeed different games. 

Both games involve cue sticks, colored balls, and a green table, but the differences become apparent once you delve into the specifics of gameplay, table size, number of balls, and rules.



Snooker and Pool have markedly different gameplay strategies. The objective in snooker is to score more points by potting balls in a specific sequence, alternating between a red and a color, adding a layer of strategic depth to the game. 

Pool, on the other hand, requires players to pot either all the solid or all the striped balls, depending on the specific type of pool being played, before ending with the black 8-ball. It provides a more direct and less strategic approach.

Table Size and Balls

Table Size and Balls

The snooker table, generally measuring 12ft by 6ft, is larger than a pool table, which is typically 9ft by 4.5ft or 8ft by 4ft. Snooker uses a set of 21 balls, including one white cue ball, 15 reds worth one point each, and six different colored balls with values from two to seven points. 

Pool, in contrast, uses only 16 balls, including one white cue ball and 15 numbered balls.


Cue Sport Rules

The rules for snooker and pool also differ significantly. In snooker, players must first pot a red ball, then a colored ball. After all red balls are potted, players must pot the colored balls in ascending order of their values. 

In pool, on the other hand, players must pot either all the solid-colored balls (1-7) or the striped balls (9-15), ending with the 8-ball.


Pool Table Popularity

While both games are enjoyed worldwide, their popularity varies by region. Snooker is especially popular in the U.K. and China, while pool tables is more widely played in the United States. 

Major snooker tournaments, such as the World Snooker Championship, attract a global audience, as do major pool events like the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship.

While snooker and pool may seem similar at first glance, they're unique games with their own rich histories, rules, and strategies. 

Whether you're drawn to the strategic depth and precision of snooker or the faster-paced and straightforward gameplay of pool, both games offer a blend of skill, strategy, and suspense that makes them captivating to both players and spectators alike.

Strategic Approach in Snooker

When it comes to snooker, a strategic approach is paramount. A player's actions on the table are dictated not only by their current shot but also by the potential future layout of the balls. 

Here are a few strategies commonly used by seasoned players:

Playing Safe

Safety play is about making it as difficult as possible for your opponent to make a successful shot. It is typically achieved by hitting the cue ball in such a way that after making contact with the target ball, it ends up at a position far away or hidden from any easy pots.

Ball Positioning

Recognizing the sequence in which to pot the balls can be a game-changer in snooker. Players must consider where the cue ball will end up after each shot, positioning it for the next one. This strategy enables players to build sizable breaks and maintain control of the table.

Controlling the Cue Ball

Mastering cue ball control is critical in snooker. Players aim to control the cue ball's speed and spin, influencing its route around the table. A player with excellent cue ball control can more easily position the ball for the next shot, making it harder for their opponent to gain an advantage.

Utilizing Spin

Applying side spin, top spin, or backspin to the cue ball can dramatically influence its path and final position. This technique, known as "English" in the United States, allows players to execute complex shots that can help maintain a break or achieve a safe position. 

Forcing Mistakes

An integral part of a strategic approach in snooker involves forcing your opponent to make errors. It can be achieved by placing the cue ball in a challenging position if you fail to pot a ball, thereby leaving a difficult shot for your opponent. 

Strategic Approach in Pool Tables

When it comes to pool, a similar requirement for strategic thinking is key to success. It's more than just sinking balls; it's about controlling the table, predicting ball paths, and setting the pace of the game. Here are a few strategies that seasoned pool players often employ: 

The Break Shot

The opening of the game, the break, sets the tone. Good breaks can scatter the balls widely across the table, opening up more opportunities for your shots. Learning to execute a powerful and controlled break is a fundamental strategy in pool.

Selection of Balls

In many pool games like 8-ball, players must shoot either all solids or all stripes, then pocket the 8-ball. Choose your type (solids or stripes) not based on the first easy shot available but on the general layout of the table and the distribution of the balls.

Cue Ball Positioning

Just like in snooker, the positioning of the cue ball is essential. After each shot, players should aim to have the cue ball end up in a position that sets up the next shot. It is often achieved by controlling the angle and power with which they strike the cue ball.

Defensive Play

There will be times when potting a ball will be impossible or risky. In such scenarios, a defensive shot can be an invaluable strategy. The goal is to leave the cue ball in a position that makes it difficult for your opponent to make a successful shot - perhaps behind another ball or at an extreme angle.

Utilizing Bank and Kick Shots

When direct shots aren't possible, bank shots (where the object ball is bounced off a rail into a pocket) and kick shots (where the cue ball is bounced off a rail before hitting the object ball) can be used. These shots require a good understanding of angles and ball speed.

The Art of the Safety

Much like 'playing safe' in snooker, the art of safety in the pool involves leaving the cue ball in a position that makes it difficult for your opponent to execute their next shot, helping to regain control of the table.

Popularity and Influence

Popularity and Influence of Snooker and Pool  Tables

Both snooker and pool have gained immense popularity worldwide, each with a distinct cultural influence and fan following. The popularity of these games is evident not only in the number of players and spectators but also in their impact on popular culture.

Global Reach and Audience 

Both snooker and pool tournaments attract a global audience. For instance, the World Snooker Championship, held annually in Sheffield, UK, is watched by millions around the world. Similarly, the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship draws international attention. 

These events showcase the best talent in the sport and serve to increase the games' global popularity. 

Community Influence

Both games have a significant influence on local communities. In many towns and cities, local pool halls and snooker clubs serve as social hubs, bringing people together and fostering community spirit. 

These venues often host local tournaments, providing a platform for players to hone their skills and engage with fellow enthusiasts. 

Cultural Impact

Snooker and Pool tables have made their mark in popular culture, too. They've been the focus of movies, such as "The Hustler" and "The Color of Money," and have been featured in T.V. shows and books, further broadening their appeal. 

Famous personalities, including musicians and actors, have also expressed their love for these games, contributing to their popularity. 

Educational Influence: Both games are often used in educational settings to teach physics and geometry principles. The trajectory, speed, and spin of the balls provide practical examples for understanding these subjects, making the games not just entertaining but also educational.

Snooker and pool table have an undeniable influence and popularity. They bring people together, cross cultural boundaries, and even serve as teaching tools.  

Whether one prefers the strategic depth of snooker or the high-paced action of the pool, both games continue to captivate players and spectators alike. 

The Global Reach of Snooker tables

Snooker tables, with its refined strategy and precision, has transcended borders to become a beloved global sport. Here's a look at its worldwide impact:

United Kingdom

Snooker's roots trace back to the U.K., more specifically, to the British army officers stationed in India during the 19th century. 

Since then, the U.K. has been the heartland of snooker, hosting renowned tournaments like the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield. It's here where legends like Steve Davis, Ronnie O'Sullivan, and Stephen Hendry honed their skills, leaving indelible marks on the sport.


In recent decades, the popularity of snooker has soared in China. From Ding Junhui's successes on the World Snooker Tour to the influx of Chinese players in the professional circuit, the sport's influence is unmistakable.  

China now hosts several major snooker events, including the China Open and the Shanghai Masters. 


Down Under, snooker enjoys a dedicated following. Australian player Neil Robertson broke onto the international stage with his World Championship win in 2010.  

The Australian Goldfields Open, held in Bendigo, Victoria, further highlights the sport's reach within the country. 


Canada's love for snooker dates back to the 20th century when Canadian player Cliff Thorburn became the first player from outside the U.K. to win the World Championship. 

Today, snooker clubs are scattered across the country, from Vancouver to Toronto, hosting local tournaments and fostering the sport. 

Middle East

In the Middle East, particularly in countries like Iran and Qatar, snooker enjoys a growing popularity.  

These countries regularly host regional tournaments, and players from the region, like Iran's Hossein Vafaei, are making their presence felt on the international stage. 

Snooker's appeal is far-reaching. From its birthplace in the U.K. to the Far East, Down Under, and beyond, the game continues to enthral audiences with its blend of strategy, skill, and suspense. It's a testament to snooker's enduring allure that it continues to attract new fans and players worldwide.

The Global Reach of Pool Tables

Pool Tables, known for its fast-paced gameplay and dynamic strategies, has a broad international appeal. Let's explore some of the places where pool has made a significant impact: 

United States

In the U.S., the pool is deeply ingrained in the cultural fabric, with pool halls ubiquitous from coast to coast. The U.S. hosts numerous prestigious tournaments, including the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship, one of the most highly anticipated events in the pool calendar. 

American players like Willie Mosconi and Shane Van Boening have become household names, contributing significantly to the sport's popularity.


In the Philippines, the pool has a substantial following. Filipino players, such as Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante, are global superstars, bringing international attention to the sport in their home country. 

Events like the World Pool Championship, held in Manila, further enhance the pool's standing in the Philippines. 


Germany boasts a large pool-playing community. The country hosts the WPA World Nine-ball Championship, attracting top international players.  

German player Ralf Souquet, known as "The Kaiser," is a celebrated figure in the world of pool, further elevating the sport's recognition.

Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)

Pool has a significant following in Taiwan, with several Taiwanese players excelling on the international stage. Players like Ko Pin-yi and Chang Jung-lin are renowned for their exceptional skills and have brought home numerous international titles. 


Japan's interest in pool is growing, with the Japan Open Pool Association hosting several tournaments throughout the year.  

The sport has gained a substantial following among the youth, and Japanese players like Yukio Akakariyama and Naoyuki Oi are making waves in the international circuit. 

Pool's reach is truly global, leaving its mark from the U.S. to the Philippines, across Germany, Taiwan, and Japan. 

The sport's universal appeal is evidenced by its diverse array of players and fans across the globe. Its blend of speed, strategy, and skill continues to captivate audiences, securing its place in the world of cue sports. 

The Common Ground

Despite their differences, snooker and pool share a common ground that unites their players and fans across the globe. 

Shared Aspects Between Snooker and Pool 

While snooker and pool may appear as different games at first glance, there are, in fact, several shared aspects that bind these two manifestations of cue sports. Here are the key commonalities between them: 

Equipment and Set-Up

Both snooker and pool are played on a felt-covered table with pockets, using a cue stick and balls. Be it the pool's colorful array of numbered balls or the snooker's 15 red and six colored balls, the objective remains to strategically strike these balls into the pockets using the cue.

For example, both games utilize a similar break-off shot to begin, where the player strikes the cue ball into the pack of balls to scatter them across the table.

Skill Sets

Both games demand similar skill sets from players. Precision, patience, and strategy are indispensable in both snooker and pool.

For instance, players in both games must master the art of 'English,' which involves striking the cue ball off-center to impart spin, affecting its trajectory after hitting the target ball.

Rules and Objectives

While the specific rules may vary, the overarching objective in both sports is to outscore the opponent by sinking balls into the pockets. 

In a pool, players are assigned either striped or solid balls, and the first to pocket all their balls and then pocket the black 8-ball wins. In snooker, players score points by first pocketing a red ball, then a colored one, and repeat the process. The player with the highest score at the end wins. 

Cultural Impact

Both snooker and pool have had significant cultural impacts globally, from inspiring movie classics like "The Hustler" and "The Color of Money" to becoming popular pastimes in pubs and clubs around the world. 

Despite their differences in rules, scoring, and gameplay, snooker and pool share fundamental similarities in equipment, skills, objectives, and cultural influences. 

Whether you're a die-hard pool fan or an ardent snooker player, at the end of the day, we're all cue sports enthusiasts at heart. 

Conclusion: More than Just Two Sides of the Same Coin 

Whether it be snooker  tables or pool tables , both games share a commonality in their global appeal, skill requirements, social interaction, and cultural influence. Just as ARGMAC has been transforming the landscape of infrastructure with innovative, efficient, and premium designs.  

Much like the way snooker and pool draw enthusiasts together, ARGMAC brings together a team of highly skilled professionals to deliver high-quality infrastructure that exceeds expectations.  

If you are interested in pursuing a project that brings innovation, quality, and a track record of success, please contact us to learn more about how we can help shape your vision into reality.