If you play pool or other cue games, you probably know their basics. What you may not know is the difference between pool and snooker cues.
We’re here to help educate you on the physical differences between a pool cue and a snooker cue. We will also explain the main differences between the games.
Lastly, we’ll tell you about the equipment used in each of them.
What Is a Pool Cue?
The design of a pool cue is quite different than that of a snooker cue when you get down to the details. Pool cues have a design that works well with pool-sized balls. Pool cues are made with larger tips and usually a carbon fiber ferrule.
Pool balls are larger in size than snooker balls. Therefore, the pool cue needs to be a bit heftier.
Wood is one of the staple materials used in many different cues. However, the kind of wood can vary from cue to cue. For pool sticks, the most common type of wood used to construct them is maple.
It is not uncommon for cues to contain other materials as well. The composition of a pool cue can vary. Often, materials used can include fiberglass, graphite, and carbon fiber.
The balls used to play pool are different from the ones used to play snooker. Pool balls weigh more. This is why the pool stick is usually a little heavier as well.
What is a Snooker Cue?
Despite looking somewhat similar, snooker cues are different from pool cues. A player uses a snooker cue to play a game with smaller balls than are used for pool.
Therefore, the cues are a little smaller in weight than a standard pool cue.
Despite being less heavy, snooker cues are the same length and sometimes even longer than pool cues.
Snooker cues usually feature a smaller tip and are made with different materials. The ferrule contains materials such as brass. The type of wood used in a snooker cue is also different. Most snooker cues contain materials like ash.
Pool Cue vs Snooker Cue
Those are some of the basic differences between a pool cue and a snooker cue. You may not have been aware that there were so many differences considering their similar appearances.
Let’s dive into some of the more detailed factors that make a pool cue different from a snooker cue.
Ferrule and Color of the Cue
Some more visual differences between a pool cue and a snooker cue are the length of the ferrule. If you look closely and pay attention to details, you can tell whether it is a pool cue or a snooker cue.
The ferrule on a pool stick is much longer than the ferrule on a snooker cue. As mentioned before, the materials used to make the ferrule are different for each. Therefore the color of the ferrule is different as well.
The color of the cue itself is also usually different. Due to the materials used to make each type of cue differing, the color of a pool cue vs a snooker cue is different.
You can expect a pool cue to be a light tan color, while a snooker cue is typically a tan and dark brown color.
These differences may not be as obvious if you look at each cue separately. However, if you put them side by side, these differences will stand out. It should be a lot easier to tell them apart when you have them both together.
Exact Sizes of Pool and Snooker Cues
We mentioned that the sizes of pool cues vs snooker cues are different. However, we also mentioned that these two cues can look similar. Here we will detail the exact sizes of pool cues and snooker cues. Doing so will help you gain a better understanding of these differences in size.
The length of a pool cue is approximately 56 to 59 inches in length. A snooker cue is a bit longer. It ranges from 57 to 59 inches long. The length of these two cues may not seem very different. However, there are some noticeable size differences between these two.
Even though the cues are both about the same length, a pool cue tip is larger than a snooker cue tip. A pool cue tip is a little less than half an inch. Usually, they range from about 0.47 to a little over half an inch, or about 0.51.
A snooker cue tip is usually between 0.3 inches and 0.4, just under a half-inch. The reasoning behind this size is all due to the kinds of balls used in each game. While snooker balls are just a tad over two inches, pool balls are about 2¼ in size.
Another difference in the size of a pool cue vs a snooker cue is its weight. A pool cue is heavier than a snooker cue. The difference is only about one or two ounces. Nevertheless, it’s enough one to make a difference in the two games.
Can I Use Either One in Either Game?
It may seem like there aren’t a ton of huge differences between these two cues. You may be asking yourself, can I use a pool cue for a snooker game?
What would happen if you used the wrong cue for a game? The advice we have about this: probably don’t do it. Unless you aren’t that invested in your pool game and have found yourself in a pickle with equipment, interchanging the two cues isn’t the best idea.
When you use a snooker cue for a pool game specifically, you probably won’t play as good of a game. The snooker cue is not designed to be used in games with pool balls and vice-versa.
Also, using a cue that is either lighter or heavier than it should be for the game you’re playing can hurt your playing skills. You can get used to the wrong weight of the cue. You may struggle to switch back without having negative effects on your shots.
With pool cues, you also have a better idea of your shot. The material the cue is made of allows players to get a better feeling of their shot. When you hit a pool ball with a snooker cue, you won’t feel the shot as much. This is because ferrule materials are heavier-duty than those of a typical pool cue.
That can also contribute to a player experiencing a decline in performance. They may no longer get the same sense of feeling that they should get with a pool cue.
However, someone might use a pool cue with a snooker ball at the beginning of a game to “break” the balls. The reason for this is that a pool cue can withstand better impact than a snooker cue can.
When you use a snooker cue to break, you risk damaging your cue due to the impact. The materials in a pool cue can stand more heavy-duty hits. Therefore, in this scenario, a pool cue may be useful in a snooker game.
Differences Between the Games
Besides the differences between a pool cue and a snooker cue, there are differences in other equipment used in these games. It may be useful to know, so you may better understand the reason these cues are different.
Typically, pool tables have six pockets and are smaller than snooker tables. Snooker tables have the same number of pockets as pool tables do. The difference is that snooker tables have pockets to accommodate the size of the game’s smaller balls.
The number of balls used in each game also differs. In snooker, you play with 15 unmarked balls, six additional balls that contain numbers, and one cue ball. In contrast to that, a game of pool is played with just 15 balls or less and a cue ball.
There are several different types of games of pool you can play. Snooker is a specific game.
There may not be extreme physical differences between a pool cue and a snooker cue. However, the differences that exist make a significant impact on the games they are used to play.
Educating yourself on the differences between these two pieces of equipment and games helps you play your best and avoid damaging your cues.
It is also a great way to avoid looking foolish if you are playing with more advanced players.
Now you know the fine details that make each of these cues unique. You will be able to tell the difference between a pool cue and a snooker cue the next time you are at the pool hall or snooker hall.
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- Can You Play Snooker on a Pool Table?
- Billiard Table vs. Pool Table
- Snooker vs Pool Difficulty – Which Game Is Harder?