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Pool Tables and Accessories

Pool Tables and Accessories
These days many people are investing in pool tables for their homes. Here's a lowdown on different sizes and accessories available for the same.
Rita Putatunda
It was back in 1903 when the first pool table, which was coin operated, was invented. You had to pay a penny to play on those. Back then pool balls were made of ivory, and four balls could be made out of one tusk. Celluloid and other types of plastics replaced ivory balls later.

The cushions on the inner sides of tables are made of a certain kind of vulcanized rubber. Further, the felt is made of a blend of wool and nylon or plain wool, as has been the practice for more than 400 years. The pockets can either be drop-and-return types of carriage systems or baskets as is common in coin-operated pool tables.

The Right Kind of Pool Table

Pool tables are generally 7, 8, or 9 feet in length. Although the size you select will depend upon the space available. However, it needs to be kept in mind that 9 feet is the tournament length.

The table comprises a surface that is covered with felt, pockets, side cushions, a bed, and body. The body can be made of wood veneer, wood, plastics, laminates, and sometimes even metal. It can either be luxurious and decorated ornately or simple like the mass-produced type.

The bed is generally made of a single slate piece. It is the only kind of surface that serious players choose to play on. If you are not a stickler for straight shots and sure lines, you can opt for cheaper ones available.

The color of the felt or cloth has various options. The dealers or manufacturers can customize it according to your taste.


There are several accessories that are required for the pool table to function optimally, like the lights, felt, balls, chalk, cues, racks, and covers.

Felt: The felt used, which is generally green in color, covers the top as well as the sides of the table. It is usually made of wool, as has been the 400-year-old tradition of this sport. Although blends of nylon and wool are also available. Felt that is of high quality is thicker and denser compared to the cheaper variety. The superior quality enables the ball to travel more accurately and faster on the table. The cheaper one is more durable and softer. However, it slows down the ball and makes it less accurate. It is generally used on those pool tables that are set up in bars where high usage justifies its use.

Balls: These are available in various types of sets. The 16-ball set is the most common one that comprises seven striped balls, seven solid balls, a white cue ball, and a black 8 ball. This kind of a ball set is generally used for playing games like Cutthroat, 9 Ball, and 8 Ball.

Table Cues: The cue sticks or pool cues are of two types: one-piece and two-piece. The one-piece cues are the ones that are generally used by people in bars and are meant for a casual player. Professional pool players usually use the two-piece ones, which consist of a shaft and a butt that can be unscrewed and placed in a case.

Pool cues that are of high quality are generally the two-piece types made of maple wood. The tip is made of leather, and the butt is covered with either leather or linen in order to absorb moisture. The tips of cheaper cues are made of either graphite or plastic, and the butt is not covered with any material.

Cue Chalk: When shopping for the accessories for your pool table, one of the first things you need to buy is the cue chalk. It is put on the tip of the cue for increasing friction when it strikes the ball. It also enables you to have a greater control on the amount of spin you can apply on the ball. The cue ball chalk is not actual chalk, but comprises fine abrasives.

Lights: These are hung from the ceiling and are placed just on top of the table. For visibility to be consistent, these lights need to be used whether you play during the day or night. The conventional models of these lights have 2 - 3 round-shaped lamps and are made of various materials like wrought iron, brass, stained wood, smoked glass, and so on. Contemporary or modern lights come in unconventional colors and have sharp looks and clean lines.

Ball Racks: Compared to plastic, wood is a little more costly and harder which also makes it more long lasting. Ball racks are generally triangular-shaped for both 9 and 15 ball games. Further, they also are diamond-shaped for 9 ball games.

Covers: This is one of the most important accessories to buy for your pool table. It protects the table from spills, debris, dust, etc. It is usually made of leather or vinyl with the corners weighted to keep it on securely.

So, all set to buy your very own pool table set? We hope this article helped in giving all the necessary information you needed on the same.
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