Opinions about pool table wanted

The wife and I want to put a pool table in our rec room. It is about 11-1/2’ wide… which is the limiting factor. Doing some checking around we can go with a 3.5’x7’ table and 52" cues or possible a 4’x8’ table (more traditional size) with 48" cues. Prices are virtually identical. Any opinions on what would be better for the casual player?

I prefer larger tables. With what you described the bigger table doesn’t seem to be to big to fit. Since the majority of shots are not going to be at right angles to the length of the table you can probably use long cues most of the time. I’d suggest getting the bigger table with longer cues but get at least one short cue for tight shots.

From my experience, moving from a big table to a smaller table is way easier than moving from a small table to a big one.


No real opinion on what size table, just make sure, whetever size you get, it will fit through the door.

Pool tables come in relatively small pieces. Getting it in the door shouldn’t be a problem.

A 3.5 x 7 pool table is playable, but a 4 x 8 is much more enjoyable.

I had a 4 x 8 table in a room 11’8" wide, and it was no problem.

If you ever want to play straight pool or one-pocket (both are great games), then a 3.5 x 7 is almost unplayable. A 4.5 x 9 is preferred, but a 4 x 8 is a reasonable compromise.

As far as size goes that is really a matter of personal preferance. Something else you should definately consider is the type of slate you get with the table. In case you have no idea what I am talking about the slate is the actual hard surface of the table. If you are looking for a nice table that will last you a long time and will remain unwarped make sure you get a table with concrete slate. They sell cheap tables over the internet that come with particle board slate and other types. Make sure you know exactly what you are getting before you buy it. There is also the matter of how many sections the slate is in. I have seen concrete slates in one two and three piece sections. I am told you can buy them in four piece too. The differance, besides the obvious, is durability. One piece slates are much bigger (the size of the whole table) and are more likely to warp over time. The multi-section slates are less likely to warp but are a lot harder to assemble and get level. Once they are assembled and level they shouldn’t give you much problem as long as the table is treated well.

Not to sound condisending or anything but you shouldn’t have to worry about what Caught@work said about getting it through the door. I have never seen a pool table delivered fully assembled with the exception of those coin tables they have in bars. Assembly is something to think about as well. If you are planning on buying over the internet you should look into having someone profesionally install, cover and level the table. If you are buying from a local dealer they will usually do this for free or for a nominal charge. Also remember that a lot of tables do not come with felt. This is something you sometimes have to buy seperately. If that is the case i definatly recommend you have a profesional cover the table. I made the mistake of trying to do this myself when I first got my pool table. The table got covered but the felt was real lose and it had a major affect on my game. Hope I was some help.

Definetly be a slate top… at least 3/4" if its a 3.5x7 or a 1" if an 8’ table.

I guess the biggest question I have is “playability”. I would obviously prefer a 4’ table, but I am concerned about the width of the room. Even a 3.5’ with 52" cues is “tight” by most sizing charts on the internet… but I do agree with sleestak in that rarely the shots are 90 deg and at the bumper.

Sam Stone, do you remember what your cue size was? Did you have plenty of room in the sense that if you lost say 3 or 4 inches in the room would it have made the game unplayable?

Quite honestly, you’re room is too small for a pool table.
You think shots perpendicular to the rail are rare? They come up all the time.
Question 10 from http://www.TheBilliardList.Com/faq.txt

If you get the least bit serious about your pool game, you will become highly frustrated with a pool table in a room this small. I had an 8’ table in an apt for about a year before I moved to a house and bought my dream table. The table was good for practicing certain shots and helped to improve my game but you cannot play real pool on it and my room was wider than yours buy a couple feet. The FAQ maintainer suggests you make a cardboard partition of some sort and go to a pool room and place the partition about where your wall would be and try to play pool. After a few hours you should have a decent idea of whether you can live with the obstruction.
on top of all that, I would most definitely recommend against an 8’ table. Get the 7’. The less you have to resort to a short cue, the more you’ll enjoy the game.

The more I have doing some research, I think we will go with the 7’ and 52" cues… that should be fine for almost all the shots. If I have to play a shot right against the bumper at a 90 deg angle AND the cue level with the table, I’ll probably even buy a 48" for such ocasions. I think an 8’, no matter how much I would like, would just be too tight… and I don’t think I would want to play with a 48" cue more than I have too. 52", I can live with, happily too.

And make sure the delivery guys will assemble it too, if possible.

A couple of comments, for what they’re worth:

  1. Personally, I find 7-foot tables (“bar sized”) no fun at all. It feels like you’re playing on a toy table, at least to me. Eight-foot is better from where I stand.

  2. That being said, when I was growing up, my dad had an 8-foot table in the basement of our house. Most shots were no problem, but the two support pillars in the basement would occasionally get in the way of a shot. I didn’t find this to be much of a problem, though. First of all, it taught us to try to control our cue, so as to avoid the tougher shot. Second, it added a sort of unique home-field advantage sort of situation, where you could actually try to leave your opponent with a “pole shot,” as we called them. Third, it taught us to be creative with bank shots if the poles did get in the way. Fourth, we always had 2-piece cues, so we’d just unscrew them and use the top end if needed so as not to hit the pole with the backswing.

  3. Ask the billiard supply store where you plan on buying the table what they think the minimum space needed is. Around here, for instance, they have available a little chart that tells you exactly how much space you need, depending on the type of table.

Yuck, it’s late and I should have previewed. In point #2 above, go with “control our cue BALL” and eliminate one of the “sort of’s” in the sentence beginning with “second.”