What is the difference between snooker, pool and billiards?

Cue sports are typically controlled under the top level organisation of the World Confederation of Billiards Sports. The confederation represents the three sports: snooker, pool and carom.


Carom is controlled by the Union Mondiale de Billard. These sports are played on pocket less tables that measure 5 x 10 ft. They use 3 or 4 balls, depending on the exact game, and the balls are 2.42” in diameter and usually weigh 7.5 oz. The objective is to use the cue ball and contact two of the other balls with some requirements on the number of cushions that must be hit.

Pool or Billiards

Pocket billiards or pool, is controlled by the World Pool-Billiard Association.

They cover sports such as 8-ball, 9-ball, 10-ball, and pool. These sports are played on tables with 6 pockets, usually with angled openings, sized at 4.5 x 9 ft.

The games utilize up to 15 numbered balls and a cue ball that are 2.25” diameter and typically weigh 6 oz. The objective is normally to shoot the cue ball into an object ball and pocket the object ball. The target object ball is defined by the game and could be any of the balls (straight pool), the lowest numbered ball (9-ball and 10-ball), or a ball of a certain group (e.g. solids or stripes, 8-ball).

In pool, the objective is to pocket a eaxct number of balls first. In 8, 9, and 10 ball, the objective is to legally pocket the 8, 9, or 10 ball first, respectively. In eight ball, the shooter must clear their group first whereas in 9 or 10 ball, the shooter can contact the lowest numbered ball on the table but still pocket the 9 or 10 ball via a combination or carom or other means and win the game without having cleared the rest of the table.


Snooker is controlled by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Snooker is typically played on a 6 x 12 ft table again with six pockets but with rounded openings. There are 15 red balls worth one point, six coloured balls worth 2 to 7 points, and one cue ball that are ~2.0625” in diameter.

Their weight is unregulated.

The objective is to shoot the cue ball to consecutively pocket a red ball and then a colored ball earning the points of the chosen balls. The colored balls get re-spotted after they are pocketed so a player can endure their “break”. The high score at the end wins the frame and winning a predetermined number of frames will win the match.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *