How to Evaluate Playability of a Pool Table

Rather read than watch? Read about Evaluating pool table playability below:

Hello and welcome to another edition of billiards basics brought to you by Ozone billiards. my name is James Roberts, I'm your instructor today. We're going to look at evaluating the key elements of the pool table such as cloth speed,rail speed,pocket size. Things that you want to know, particularly, if it's a table that you are not used to playing on. This is critical information come game time.

Testing Pocket Size

First, we test the pocket size by placing two balls in the pocket opening, looking for gaps of various size. If there is a gap in the balls fit then you have an average or larger than average size pocket opening which favors ball pocketing as opposed to safety and more defensive oriented play.

One Rail Test

Next we have the one rail test, hitting center ball to the second diamond should go dead cross side. If it falls short, you want to hit above center next time. If it goes long you want to pull the tip below center.


Three Rail Test

Next, we have the  three rail test. Same concept shooting center ball but I know my table banks short so I'm going to aim for the second diamond from the bottom and not the third which should take me to the opposite corner pocket.

Cloth speed

Next, you want to evaluate the cloth speed by basically practicing shooting your lag shot, and hey, if nothing else this will win you the opening break in your match at least in most cases, if a coin flip is not involved. Try shooting one tip above and one tip below center to see how the vertical spin affects the speed.  The idea here is to land the cue ball close to the short rail as possible, and those are the key elements you want to look for when evaluating and assessing a table that you haven't played on before or haven't played on very much. Assess the felt speed, the rail speed, and the pocket size. Do this each and every time and you'll be playing better pool in no time. From Ozone billiards, thanks for joining us, keep playing in the zone.