What's The 'Official Pool Table' Size, And Does It Matter?
Billiards is one of those sports that is guided by multiple rules and regulations. Despite this, there isn't actually a single official pool table size, which is why you might have noticed variations in the sizing of pool tables at your local club, bar, or billiards shop.
That said, the most common size for commercial and competition-style billiards tables is 9' by 4.5', and players often mistake this measurement as being the official pool table size.
It's All About The Ratio
Billiards is a game of angles, which is why the ratio of table length to width tends to be relatively standardized across both commercial, competition-grade pool tables and ones that are designed for home use.
Generally speaking, pool tables are designed with a 2 to 1 ratio, with the sides of the table being twice as long as the width.
Find The Table That Fits
While there are certainly practical limits in terms of how small billiards tables can be and still be usable, finding enough floor space to accommodate not only a 9' x 4.5' table but allow for room to play is tough for most homeowners, club managers, and others who want to add a pool table to their space.
These days, it's relatively rare to find a 'full-sized' pool table in a private home, with most players opting to buy billiards tables that are proportionate to the space they have available. The trend towards smaller tables also extends to pubs and commercial spaces, especially in settings where the business owner wants to fit in more tables to boost their profits.
Check Your Space
If you're in the market for a pool table, start by measuring up the usable floor space that you have available, and be sure to factor in enough space for players to bend over and make their shots. Don't forget to leave space for players who are waiting for their turn, and consider the location of your cue rack and scoreboard.
Once you've mapped out the dimensions you have to work with, think about the size of billiards table that you'd like to look for. Ideally, you'll want to shop for billiards tables which offer the largest possible play surface (without exceeding that mythical 'official pool table size' of course) while allowing lots of space for comfort and flexibility.
Consider Multi-Use Pool Tables
Many homeowners struggle with the idea of investing in a pool table, especially if space is at a premium or there are only one or two players in the household. If this sounds familiar to you, you might want to compromise by considering a convertible pool table.
Also called 'multi-use' pool tables, these tables are designed to be used for a variety of applications, making them a solid choice for settings where you can't commit a big area to your sport full-time. Convertable pool tables can serve double-duty as everything from a ping-pong table to a dining room table thanks to features like interchangeable covers.
Remember, when you're looking for pool tables, there's no such thing as an official pool table size. Focus on finding a table that offers the idea 2 to 1 ratio, fits your space, and offers design features that suit your style and budget.