The Pool Table
Bars and recreation venues in rural or urban areas offer to their visitors the excitement and the sportsmanship of a famous table-played game, called pool or billiard. On the billiards table’s totally flat surface, pool game fans strike, with the use of a specially designed long wooden stick known as “cue stick,” colorful balls moving them around the table’s area. Pool games attract a variety of publics from around the world, who enjoy the exhilaration of calculating angles and estimating how many strikes it will take them to accomplish their winning goal.
Pool tables are mainly separated into two categories, called carom and pocket tables. In fact, the word “billiards” when standing alone refers to the carom games played on a table without pockets, as opposed to games played on pocket billiards which people recognize as “pools” or also known as “snooker” tables. In Britain and Ireland though, the word “billiards” denotes the “English billiard” exclusively, which is the version of the table with the ball pockets. The difference between the two types is that carom billiards tables do not have six openings –four at each table corner and two at the middle of each of the table’s largest sides– in which the pool player is called to direct the colorful balls on the surface of the table by striking each one of them, or more than one at a time, with a white ball. The white ball acts as the “mediator” between the cue stick’s point and the round surface of the colored ball the striker aims to hit. If the striker manages to hit the white ball with the right speed and from the right angle then it will in turn hit the colored one which will be directed to fall into one of the tables’ holes. Pool table fans generally refer to pocket billiard games, such as 8-ball, 9-ball, straight pool and one-pocket.
Found in many sizes and styles, billiards or pools are tables in a rectangular shape and are generally twice as long as they are wide. When someone refers to the number of a pool table’s foots this actually denotes its longer sides’ length. Mainly a function of space, the pool table’s length varies. English billiard tables, for example, are 12 feet long, while bars typically offer 7-foot tables. Pool halls tend to have 9-foot tables for more professional players, whereas the once commonly found 10-foot tables are now considered collectible items. Finally, the “felt” or “baize” is the cloth that covers the pool table’s exposed surface and he higher its quality the faster the balls run on its completely flat surface.
While the word “billiard” has presumably originated from the French word “billart,” which means “mace”–an implement that was the predecessor of the modern cue–the game did not remain constricted in Europe. Evolving from an outdoor to an indoor game, billiard became known as “pool,” which originates from “poolrooms” where people gambled off their money betting on horse races. Since billiard tables were commonly found in this type of venue, pools became a synonym of billiards and gained fanatic supporters in every continent.
About the Author: John Gibb is the owner of pool table resources
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