Now that it’s July and the heat is on, who’s ready for a nice, cool addition to your game room? Pool tables are popular in many homes for casual and competitive players alike. The game of pool can be enjoyed by people of various skill levels and is great for family quality time, weekend guests, and parties. For someone unfamiliar with the many aspects of choosing a pool table size, it would be prudent to do some research before purchasing your first pool table. There are several important things to consider when deciding on the best size pool table.

Measure The Room First

Before thinking about the dimensions of the pool table, the area in which the pool table will be located should be measured first. The main limitation of a pool table is the space in which it will be planted. Avoid making the mistake of purchasing a pool table that is too large for the room. This will make gameplay too cramped or entirely unplayable. Players should be able to comfortably surround and walk around all sides of the table and have the capability to maneuver their cue sticks as needed without damaging walls, decor, furniture, or other nearby items. Do not forget to account for space for a cue rack and other pool table accessories.

Pool Table Size Chart

Here is a helpful pool table size chart to refer to when measuring the area intended for a pool table:

Table Length Cue Length Recommended Room Size
7′ Foot Table 48″ Cue 11’3″ X 14’6″
7′ Foot Table 52″ Cue 11’9″ X 15’2″
7′ Foot Table 57″ Cue 12’8″ X 16″
8′ Foot Table 48″ Cue 11’9″ X 15’4″
8′ Foot Table 52″ Cue 12’4″ X 16″
8′ Foot Table 57″ Cue 13’2″ X 16’9″
9′ Foot Table 48″ Cue 12’3″ X 16’4″
9′ Foot Table 52″ Cue 12’10” X 17′
9′ Foot Table 57″ Cue 13’8″ X 17’10

Seven-Foot Pool Tables

Also known as the “bar box,” seven-foot pool tables are the most popular size for local bars. This size provides a fair challenge for beginner and intermediate players. Since a seven-foot table is on the smaller end of pool tables, the billiard balls are likely to bunch into clusters during play. This creates a handy learning opportunity since players must strategically break these clusters while playing a game.

Although not sufficient for true competitive play, a seven-foot table will be satisfactory for fun, casual play with friends and family. If your space allows for a seven-foot table, this size is an excellent option for a first-home pool table.

Eight-Foot Pool Tables

Eight-foot pool tables are the most popular size, will give you the most options and in many cases, gives you the best overall value. They are also considered tournament tables. While they are not quite as big as nine-foot official regulation tournament tables, eight-foot pool tables are the next best option if a regulation size table will not fit in the home.

Billiard ball clusters will still need to be broken while playing on an eight-foot table, but players can practice mid-range shots since there is more room than on a seven-foot table. The eight-foot table offers a nice middle-ground for casual players to enjoy and a chance for more serious players to brush up on their skills. It offers a glimpse into the competitive world while also situating itself comfortably in the home.

Nine-Foot Pool Tables

As previously mentioned, nine-foot pool tables are the standard size used in regulation tournaments and are usually used by the most experienced pool players. If there is room for a nine-foot table in the home, this is the best size for anyone looking to seriously practice their skills for official tournaments or hosting competitive game nights. 

Due to the size, nine-foot tables will have fewer billiard ball clusters and require longer shots, increasing the difficulty and calling for a higher skill level. Experienced players participating in tournaments will greatly benefit from having a regulation-size pool table in the home. Owning a table the same size as the table used in tournaments provides a consistent playing surface.

Other Pool Table Features to Consider

When searching “pool table for sale near me,” there are many characteristics of pool tables to consider other than size. These features can make pool tables more or less enjoyable for players of certain skill levels. The bulk of these features only matters for those looking for the highest quality tables that deliver optimal performance.

  • It is wise to set a budget before deciding on a pool table, as they are available in a wide range of prices. Just because a table is expensive does not mean it is the best for an individual’s home. Thorough research on pool tables will prove that there are plenty of affordable tables on the market.
  • The playing surface of a pool table comes in either slate or non-slate. A top-quality tournament table will have a slated surface, while an inexpensive, lower-quality table will likely have a non-slated surface. Slates come in a range of thicknesses, the top-recommended being one inch. In addition to thickness, slates come in either one or three pieces. A three-piece slate is easiest to install and maintain.
  • Another factor that determines the table’s performance is the cushions. Many materials are available for this; however, the superior quality of AAA Malaysian gum rubber makes it the best option for pool table cushions.
    The pool table cushions are glued onto the rails. Choosing a durable rail material will increase the overall longevity of the pool table. Rails made of solid wood will live through many years of replacing the felt surface, which requires re-stapling into the wood. Some rails have a scratch-resistant finish to upkeep the look of the pool table.
  • The main body of the pool table is called the cabinet, which is designed to withstand the pool table’s full weight and players putting their body weight on the table. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the cabinet is exceptionally stable and secure. The most common cabinet materials include hardwood, laminate, synthetic, and veneer. A durable hardwood would be the best choice for strength and longevity. Laminate materials are a less expensive option; however, they are generally a lower quality material and not as pleasant in appearance. Laminate materials can also delaminate over time.
  • Consider the skill level of the players. While the largest pool table sizes are preferable for experienced, competitive players, this does not necessarily translate to the smallest pool table being the best for beginners. Medium-sized pool tables offer a great middle-ground for beginners learning the game of pool to more experienced players participating in bar leagues.

Keep in mind that a participant in regulation tournaments will be disadvantaged if attempting to practice on a different-sized pool table. If the pool table is mainly for children’s play, a table that is too large will be less enjoyable for them. Consider how often guests will be joining in games of pool to ensure that table size is chosen that is comfortable for that skill level.

Complete Your Home Billiard Room with Greater Southern Recreation

If you are creating your own home billiards room, these size choices are only the beginning of what you’ll be factoring into your new purchase! Greater Southern is here to help you consider everything from features, size, and style you need for your space and budget. Visit Greater Southern Recreation to make your final selection today! We have pool tables from several quality manufacturers in many sizes, materials, finishes and felts. We also have a wide selection of accessories, including chalk, racks, cues, table covers, and other items you’ll need to entertain your family and guests. We currently have many pool tables on sale and welcome you to our showroom. Our professional entertainment experts are here to help!