The main difference, even to the untrained eye, between pool or billiards and snooker – aside from the color of the balls – is the size of the table.
Both snooker and pool are played on six pocket tables – one in each corner and one on each side in the middle of it.
Because it is an old game, derived from the times of the British Empire, the standard sizes of the table are in Empirical measurement. A pool table is normally between three and a half (3.5) to four and a half feet(4.5) in width to seven or nine feet in length. Pool balls usually have a diameter of two and a quarter inches.
Pool cues are usually 57 and a half inches long, but you can sometimes find ‘dummy’ short sticks for those awkward angles in pubs and bars.
Snooker uses a larger table and the standard size is 11 feet and eight and a half inches in length and five feet ten inches in width – that’s the height of an average man. In snooker, the balls are slightly larger than the ones used in pool and are usually two and one sixth inches in diameter. The cues used in snooker are slightly longer and narrower than the ones used in pool at 59 inches.
In both games, players use chalk to get more spin on the white ball resulting in a crisper shot with more control. Both games also feature the use of rests for those shots where the cue is not reachable. In pool the rest is short, but in snooker, it is extendable and there is also a spider rest so players can hit the cue ball on a different angle.
Pool tables have a rougher surface than snooker tables, which creates more drag to slow the balls down on a smaller surface area. Snooker surfaces are much smoother and result in longer strokes.