Billiard table question

It has come to my attention, in doing research on the game of billiards (not pool, mind), that the table is heated in some way. I’d like to know why and how this is done, and is this the only cue game involving a heated table?

I am not aware that billiards tables are heated nowdays. As far as I know they are standard slate tables. They may have been heated in the distant past e.g " To prevent damage to the balls as a result of striking the rim of the table, the rim was upholstered with layers of felt. This then formed the earliest form of ‘cushion’. This resulted in an inconsistent bounce due to different materials used, and John Thurston (Our founder) introduced the first rubber cushions to the world in 1835. Being of natural rubber, the cushions would have different effects on the bounce of the ball depending on the temperature in the room. The rubber became very hard in cold weather and had to be heated using pans filled with hot water. These pans were shaped to fit as closely as possible to the shape of the cushion being heated. As a permanent solution, vulcanised rubber was used in cushions from 1845."


I’ve played billiards (and snooker) plenty of times. The table isn’t heated.

I’ve had sex on billiard (and snooker) tables plenty of times. The table DEFINITELY isn’t heated.

That’s weird, since a heated table is described here: (needs flash)

I’ve never played billards, but I used to play snooker alot (12ft by 6ft tables), which uses the same table, and they are definitley not heated.

I’ve also seen a few three cushion billard tables they didn’t look heated either.

In world class snooker the table is heated slightly. Don’t know why but a commentator mentioned it during the Benson and Hedges Masters a short while ago. Maybe it’s to keep the table at a constant temp. to avoid any changes in the tables performance, speed etc?

The bog standard tables that 99.9% of players play on aren’t heated

That’s an entertaining site Joe K.

You should note that the term “billiards” is a catch-all term for a variety of table ball games, including pool, carom and plenty more, and the most common version played in the UK and Commonwealth countries is the one described here. The table used to play that game certainly isn’t heated, but that’s not to say that other games don’t use a heated table. So your question remains unanswered.

This site gives a list of places where cue games are played in the USA and several claim that they have heated tables available. If you don’t get a better answer here perhaps you could contact one of those places directly and ask them?

Right, I tried to say “billiards, not pool” in the OP, but I guess I didn’t count on any trans-atlantic differences. I was wondering how extensive personal experiences were on here.

I do thank everyone for their help (especially Bryan :stuck_out_tongue: ), and I guess I’ll just look for a e-mail address.

As to the site: Yes, very entertaining. :slight_smile:

Also for a type of wild game most often seen in Beverly Hills in the early 70’s (different pronunciation). :wink:

Well in the UK, when you talk about billards, it usually means English Billiards which is an incredibly difficult game to play, dorm what I’ve seen (and I play snooker).

I’m an American so I take billiards to mean you’re talking about 3 cushion billiards and actually some billiard tables are heated and the reason is to keep the cloth dry (duh :slight_smile: ) Dryer cloth plays faster and billiard tables use a much faster cloth than pool tables. The heating elements run underneath the slate. See for an example.
This is necessary because standard 3 cushions shots require the cueball travel much farther than most pool players ever need. Making the cueball travel 7 rails or more is tough on a pool table but easy on billiard tables for these reasons.
You can see some shots at
or see an actual match at

Answered by someone named breaknrun, even…thanks! :slight_smile: