How to Rack a Pool Table Like a Pro

Pool is a game with many different variations, but one thing that stays the same is that a game starts with someone racking the balls. As a result, learning how to rack a pool table is essential for any player. Without racking the balls, you can’t play the game at all.

This is a game that is loved by millions of people around the world. It’s played in bars across the globe. Additionally, although it’s a popular recreational sport, there are lots of professional players that compete to be the best every year.

Although pool is very well known, it’s possible that you don’t know what it is. So before you learn how to rack a pool table, let’s cover that.

What Is Pool?

Before you learn how to rack a pool table, we’d like to make sure you know what the game is, so let’s get into it. Although you may think of it as a specific sport, it isn’t. Instead, pool is a classification of cue sports played on a table with six pockets that you try to knock balls into.

There are several variations of pool, but the most popular game is eight-ball. Eight-ball is the game you likely play at the bar with friends. But people play several other variations every day.

The History of Pool

Before we teach you how to rack a pool table, we’d like to talk about the history of pool a little bit. We think that understanding pool’s history is essential. So, we’ll share a little bit of that information with you before getting into how to rack a pool table.

There are records of some forms of pool dating back to the 15th century in Northern Europe. It originated as a game for royalty. Additionally, it started as an outdoor game that players played alongside croquet.

In the late 1600s, the cue was perfected and was more or less made into what we have today. Before then, you would hit the ball with something that resembled a mace. It was also around this time that chalk started to be used to increase friction between the cue and the ball.

Initially, the pockets were hazards that were supposed to make it more difficult for players to strike another ball. However, they were quickly changed to be the targets to hit the balls into.

Furthermore, although pool is now the name that categorizes many cue sports, it originated as a term that referenced betting. Billiard tables were another thing to bet on at horse racing events.

What Do You Need to Play Pool?

We’re almost ready to teach you how to rack a pool table, but there’s another thing we need to cover. We need to discuss what you need to play.

If you only plan on playing at the local bar, there isn’t anything you need to bring. All the equipment you’ll ever need is at the bar. However, if you want to set up a pool table at your home, there’s some equipment you’ll want to purchase.


Set of Aska L2 Billiard Pool Cue Sticks, 58″ Hard Rock Canadian Maple,…

  • 5 (Five) Pool Cue Sticks Set, One of Each – Black 21-Ounce, Blue 20-Ounce, Brown 19-Ounce, Green 19-Ounce, Red 18-Ounce.
  • Cue Length is 58″ (standard cue length). Canadian Hardrock Maple 29″ Shaft.
  • Stainless Steel 5/16×18 Joint

You will obviously need the pool table, the cue sticks, and the balls, but there are a few other things that you’ll want to purchase.

Firstly, you’ll want to get a cue case. This isn’t essential, but having a little extra protection for your cue could save you money in the long run.

Additionally, getting a cue cleaner might be necessary. Pool cues get dirty quickly, especially when you use chalk on it frequently. As a result, getting a cleaner will keep your cue from getting gross over time.


Iszy Billiards Pool Table Billiard Ball Set, Marble/Swirl Style

  • Grade A deluxe quality – 2 1/4″ regulation size and weight
  • Made of polyester resin – 6 ounce balls Marble / swirl style makes a great addition to a table
  • Price shown is for full set of balls including cue ball

Extra Accesories

You’ll also want hand towels available to you if you’re taking the game seriously. It’s easy for your hands to get sweaty when playing, and this can hurt your game. Having hand towels to wipe off your hands will undoubtedly be useful.

Lastly, if you’re playing in competitions, you’ll need some sort of pocket marker. In eight-ball, you need to call your pocket before you sink the eight ball.

Although in many situations you can get away with calling it verbally, having a pocket marker will settle any disputes you could have before they start. It’s also a rule of the American Pool Association for players to use a pocket marker.

How to Play Pool

As we mentioned earlier, there are several types of pool. As a result, before you can learn how to rack a pool table, you should know how to play the game. Here we’ll discuss five of the most popular types of pool.

American-style eight-ball

In this type of pool, the players use the standard 16 balls used in most games. One player breaks the balls. Once a player gets a ball into a pocket, they are assigned either stripes or solids, depending on which type of ball they got in the pocket.

Once the ball types are assigned, the players alternate shooting until one player gets all their balls into the pockets. If you get a ball in a pocket, you get to take another shot.

The one exception is the eight ball. The eight ball does not count as one of the solid balls. Instead, players pocket it last.

Once a player gets all their balls in, they need to sink the eight ball to win. If a player sinks the eight-ball before this, they lose immediately.

Straight pool

Straight pool is one of the variations of pool that takes the longest. In this game, the players try to get any ball on the table into a pocket. Players need to call the ball and pocket when they take a shot.

Each ball a player sinks is worth one point, and games are played to 100 or 150 points. As a result, the balls need to be re-racked several times in a game. This makes learning how to rack a pool table essential for straight pool.

Carom

Carom is very different from many other types of pool because there are only three balls. There is a white cue ball for each player and one red ball. Additionally, you play Carom on a pocketless table.

The goal of the game is to hit your ball off the red ball and your opponent’s cue ball in one shot. How many points you need varies from game to game, but the most common number of points to win is 50.

Snooker

Snooker has 22 balls in total. There is a cue ball, 15 red balls that are each worth one point, and six differently colored balls with an increasing number of points.

A snooker table is significantly larger than a standard pool table. It measures out to be 12 feet long and 6 feet wide. However, it still has six pockets like a standard table.

A game of snooker starts by the players pocketing any red ball. They then try to pocket the other numbered balls in ascending order. The player with more points at the end of the game wins.

English billiards

The final game we’ll be looking at is English billiards. This is another game where there are only three balls in play. There is a white cue ball, a yellow cue ball, and a red object ball.

When playing English billiards, there are three ways to score. Firstly, you get two points when a cannon happens. A cannon is when your ball hits both other balls.

Hitting your opponent’s ball into the pocket is also worth two points. Finally, hitting the red ball into the pocket is worth three points.

The player with the most points wins the game. The points can be different from game to game, but typically players will play to 300 points.

Learn How to Rack a Pool Table like a Pro

Now that you have a good understanding of pool and many of its variations. It’s time to learn how to rack a pool table. The first thing you do in any game of pool is rack the table, so it’s an essential skill to learn.

Eight-ball game

In an eight-ball game or any game that uses the standard 16 balls, you start the game by racking all the balls except the cue ball. You begin by placing the one-ball at the front of the rack. The front is also called the apex.

Next, you need to ensure that the eight-ball is at the center of the rack. The center is the third row from the top.

Once the eight-ball is in position, you should make sure that the bottom two corners are a stripe and a solid. It doesn’t matter which corner is which, but they need to be different.

Line it Up

Then you can place the rest of the balls in the rack randomly. It’s a common misconception that stripes and solids can’t touch, but this isn’t true. Stripes and solids can touch each other as long as you follow the instructions above.

Once you place all the balls, you should line the apex up with the middle diamond on the side of the pool table. The diamond should be about a quarter of the length of the table away from the edge. Sometimes the table will have a dot instead of a diamond.

Then, before you remove the rack, make sure you’ve packed the balls together tightly. Now you can gently lift the rack off the balls. If you’ve done this successfully, you’ve learned how to rack a pool table correctly.

Nine-ball game

Nine-ball games are rare, but if you ever play one, you’ll need to know how to rack a pool table for this game. Firstly, you’ll need a diamond-shaped rack instead of the usual triangle.

Like in the eight-ball game, you should place the one-ball at the apex of the rack. However, instead of the eight-ball, the nine-ball should be at the center. You can then set the rest of the balls in the rack randomly.

If you’ve followed the instructions above, you’ve successfully learned how to rack a pool table for a nine-ball game.

Straight

A traditional straight pool rack with the 1 and 5 balls at the bottom corners, and all other balls placed randomly

In straight pool’s first frame, the fifteen object balls are racked with the center of the apex ball placed over the foot spot. Traditionally the 1 ball is placed at the rack’s right corner and the 5 ball is placed at the rack’s left corner for visibility, though there is no such rule requirement. Other balls are placed at random and must touch adjacent balls.

The unique feature of straight pool is the racking that is played when one ball remains. These intra-game racks have a specific set of rules; when the rack is supposed to be replaced, if neither the cue ball nor the object ball remain in the rack area, the balls are replaced with no ball at the apex. At this point, the aim is to pot the remaining ball and carom into the pack of balls, allowing a shot on the next ball to continue the run. Additional rules apply when either ball is in the position where the balls would usually be racked.

Other Versions

As we stated above there are lots of different versions of this game. We didn’t cover cairom, snooker, or english billiards. These versions are different than standart 8 or 9 ball or straight, and some have different racking rules. Not all versions require racking, but if you try out a different version that does use a unique racking method, refer back to the above how to videos for help!

Get Started Playing Pool Today

Now that you’ve learned how to rack a pool table, you can get started playing pool today. You won’t need to waste time figuring out how to rack the balls every time you go to the bar. This way, you can spend more time playing and less time trying to figure out the rules. We hope this guide has been heplful to you as you embark on this journey and adopt this classy and refined game for people with taste.

What’s your favorite type of pool to play? Do you understand how to rack a pool table correctly? Let us know in the comments!

3 Best Pool Table Choices in 2022 | Reviews and Recommendations

What is The Best Pool Table for Your Money This Year?

As we all know, a game of pool is a relaxing social activity that people of all ages play and enjoy a lot.  Having a pool table in your own home will provide you, your family, and your friends with countless hours of fun. However, buying one requires some thinking and planning. This is a very significant purchase that you must approach carefully.  Pool tables can be expensive, and it is important to find one that is well-made and reasonably priced. Moreover, you need to consider space, lighting, accessories, etc. Finding the best pool table for the money is not an easy feat and it takes more than a quick Internet button-clicking operation to get it.

To help you find the best pool table for your home, this buyer’s guide will explain the most important considerations when choosing a table.  Then, we will suggest a handful of 8-foot pool tables that are both well-made and come with excellent value for money!

Things to Consider When Buying a Pool Table

Here are a few things to consider before purchasing your pool table for the home.

What is the best size for a pool table?

Pool tables come in a variety of sizes — from massive 10 x 5-foot carom billiards tables to tiny 3-foot pool tables designed for children.  Before choosing the size of your pool table, carefully measure your game room.  Remember that you must leave enough space around the table for people to play their shots.

You might also want to check out our guide on how to match your room size with a pool table. As we said on that occasion, the size of the room, the table, what type of pool you want to play, the size of the cues, the number of people playing at the same time at that table, the furniture you already have in the room, and even the floor type matter. You need to consider all these factors before you decide to go hunting for the best pool table brands available on the market.

Pool Table Sizes Depending On What and How You Play Pool

If you are going to be playing pool competitively, choose either a 9-foot by 4.5-foot or 8-foot by 4-foot table.  These are the officially approved pool table dimensions from the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA).  However, billiards and snooker players often compete on larger tables.  There are certain advantages associated with pool tables of different sizes:

Smaller pool tables (7 feet or shorter):

  • An excellent choice if you have children that you want to teach and play with inside the house or players with mobility problems
  • Easier for beginners to learn on
  • Games can sometimes require more strategy because the balls are sharing a smaller space
  • Ideal for some traditional British pool games like Bank Pool and 1-Pocket.

Larger pool tables (8 feet or longer):

  • Better for common American pool games like Ten-ball
  • More challenging and demanding of players
  • Better for anyone wishing to play competitively

Most home pool players consider 8-foot pool tables to be the “sweet spot” in terms of size.  They are suitable for competitive play but don’t take up a substantial amount of space in your games room.  Children can also play on a table of this size, which is useful for families.

Pool Table Construction

Check the material and construction of the table bed

The pool table bed is the flat playing surface of the table.  Most high-quality pool tables use slate for the bed.  Slate is a type of rock that can be carved in large, flat segments.  It is very durable and remains perfectly flat for many years if the table is treated well.

Some modern tables use slatron — a man-made surface constructed from resin-reinforced fibers. Slatron is 20-times denser than particleboard and lighter than slate.  Cheaper tables may use timber for the beds, which are prone to warping if exposed to moisture.

Consider the pool table legs

The legs of the pool table must be very sturdy and well-built to support the heavy weight.  Well-constructed legs are particularly important for slate tables, because of the substantial weight they carry.

Also consider, some pool tables come on wheels. This is ideal if you have a place to store your pool table when you are not playing. Some might think that wheels are tacky, and not conducive to the elegant appeal of such a sophisticated game like pool. That being said, there is an undeniable convenience in having such a large and heavy piece of furniture on wheels.

Make sure the frame uses strong materials

Having a strong frame is essential for the longevity of your table.  If the table frame begins to fail, your expensive slate top can warp, crack, or become uneven.  A high-quality frame will use wood or metal with cross beams to support the top.  The number of beams used in the table will depend on the size of the table and the number of slate pieces used to form the bed.  You can ask the manufacturer of a table for more information on the frame’s construction.

Durable cushions

The pool table cushions surround the bed.  They are typically made from synthetic materials or natural gum rubber.  The quality of the cushion material will determine how reliably balls bounce off the table cushions.  Ideally, choose a natural material over a synthetic one — natural materials are usually better at retaining their elasticity over time.

Pool Table Extras

Pool table accessories

You should also consider the types of accessories that come with the pool table.  Some tables include pool balls and cues while others are “barebones” tables. Often, pool tables come with cues and balls, but they don’t normally come with a rack to hold those items when they are not in use. Some players like to keep a table cover over their pool table when it is not in use. This could be to keep dust out, for aesthetic purposes, or to use the table for other things when not playing. Either way, this might be an option for you too. Consider these additional costs that come from accessories when purchasing the table. You can check out our guide on the best pool cues to help you play like a pro or ask for recommendations from your seasoned pool-playing friends.

Best Lighting

Now, this is a tricky one, as you do not want to design and build a pool bar, but add a pool table in one of your house rooms. However, the fact that you have some light in the room does not mean you will benefit from all the advantages pool table lights have to offer. If you are serious about creating a pool-friendly space in your home, pool table lighting is crucial. Here are some tips on how to pick the best pool table lights!

  • Your ceiling lamp will not probably do, so consider investing in a pool table light shed set.
  • Call a professional electrician to install the pool table lighting before you bring in the pool table itself to the room. You need to make sure your electrical system supports such lights, the installation is risky if you don’t have the skills, and you do not want to have the table first, only to realize you need to break and fix your ceiling over the new pool table.
  • Make sure you install the pool table lights at the right height. You don’t want to bump into them with your head or hit them with the cue.
  • Remember how a few rows above we said you should first fix the lights and then bring in the table? We will say it again, as you need to make sure the lights are centric to the table and you don’t have to worry about odd shadows or poorly lit areas on or around the table.
  • Now it’s time to also answer the above question regarding what is the best lighting for a pool table. Look for pool table lights able to generate 60 watts. If you feel that such bulbs are too powerful for your eyes, make them 40 watts. The main idea here is to enjoy not-too-bright and not-too-dim light at the same time.

Didn’t we say that creating a pool parlor in your home was not an easy challenge?

Now that you know how to go about these logistical and administrative issues, it is time to see the best pool tables for the money you can enjoy this year!

The Best Pool Table For the Money in 2022

The following pool tables have an excellent build quality and are guaranteed to give you years of great performance.

MD Sports Billiard Table with Included Game AccessoriesMizerak Donovan II 8′ Billiard TablePlaycraft Charles River 8′ Espresso Slate Pool Table w/ Leather Drop Pockets
Style:
Multiple Styles
Style:
Modern cabinet design
Style:
Classic
Table Bed:
Wood
Table Bed:
Slate or Slatron
Table Bed:
Slate
Felt color:
Slate Grey
Felt color:
Red
Felt color:
Black
Manufacturer:
MD Sports
Manufacturer:
Escalade Sports
Manufacturer:
Playcraft

MD Sports Billiard Table with Included Game Accessories – 7.5′

pool table

This pool table has a modern design with sleek metal legs and a timber frame.  This sleek appearance makes this table suitable for any high-end games room.  The silver and black is beautiful together and it has been manufactured with exceptional attention to detail.

Playfield is made of 18 mm thick laminate felt, ensuring strength, durability and a flat roll; the aprons, rails and base are made of sturdy medium-density fibreboard (MDF)

The MD Sports Titan Billiards Table is constructed with K818 specification wood bumper guards for a consistent bounce and standard style drop pockets for an authentic look

The bed consists of three pieces of thick slate covered in 35% wool and 65% polyester felt.  The pockets are traditional parlor style.  The pockets are deep enough to hold 2 balls.

It is a sturdy table that looks beautiful.  The MD Sports Modern Billiard Table comes with all of the accessories you may require including 1 set of official balls, 1 table brush, 1 wooden triangle, 2 wooden pool sticks, and 2 chalk cubes.


Mizerak Donovan II 8′ Billiard Table

pool table

The Mizerak Donovan II has a very sleek and modern design.  It features a polished black cabinet with chrome accents and red felt.  This design would be at home in the most technologically advanced games rooms.

The bed is available as slate or slatron.  The 3-5/8” rails are made from K66 nose rubber, which gives the table a consistent rebound.  This rail material will provide you with many years of regular use.  The pool table legs include legs levelers, which are useful if your home has a slightly uneven floor.

The Mizerak Donovan II comes with a range of accessories including 2 cues, billiard balls, triangle rack, felt brush, and chalk.


Playcraft Charles River 8′ Espresso Slate Pool Table w/ Leather Drop Pockets

pool table

The Playcraft Southport has a traditional pool hall design that all experienced pool players will instantly recognize.  This table is commercial quality, meaning all components are highly durable and designed for constant use.

This table features a 1” Brazilian slate bed that is honed to 1/1000th of an inch.  This level of accuracy makes the table perfect for competitive players.  The slate is well supported on all sides by Playcraft’s intelligently designed sub-frame.  The table’s frame is covered in beautiful Cherry timber and has Cabriole legs with carved ball and claw feet. This table is a great choice for pool players who are slightly more serious about their pool playing.  It has been designed to stand up to the rigors of everyday use and will give a homeowner many years of use.


How to Install a Pool Table?

Now that you have the best pool table for the money and your playing needs, it is time to install it, isn’t it? Well, to help you out with this task, here is a video on how to assembly and install a pool table.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a full size pool table?

The most common size for a pool table sold in the United States is 44 x 88 inches. Or, at least, that’s the standard size for non-tournament pool tables. As for the standard tournament-sized table, that usually falls in the range of 50 x 100 inches.

Is a 6 foot pool table too small?

Most players will prefer an 8-foot or 9-foot long table, but a 6-foot table can work great as well. Six-foot tables are great for tighter playing spaces, so you should really consider one if your home isn’t all that big. Professional players might not like these smaller tables, but they work just fine for casual players and people who are just beginning to learn how to play pool in real life.

Are slate pool tables better than wooden ones?

While heavier and more expensive than wood, slate ensures that the play surface remans smooth and level. Wood, as well as table tops made from synthetics, can warp quite easily. Because it is so durable and known to last, many manufacturers will provide a lifetime warranty for a slate pool table.

How far does a pool table need to be away from the wall?

You should install the pool table in the center of the room to leave as much space around it as possible so you won’t have trouble scoring tricky shots. The bare minimum distance that the table needs to be away from the wall is five feet. Anything less than that, and your experience will be greatly hindered.

Can you move a pool table without taking it apart?

You can move it as long as the distance is short and you’ve got some people to help you out. We also recommend furniture sliders if you plan on moving the table without taking it apart since it can leave scratches on the floor.

If you dont mind being a little unclassy, there are pool tables that come on wheels for easy mobility. These are not manny players first choice, but can be helpful if you are in a situation where you will often need to relocate your table.

Final Thoughts

Now that we presented you with our guide on how to buy the best pool table for your home and needs, together with our top three choices of 2022, it is time for you to do some sharing as well. First, do you know what is the best way to level your table? In case you don’t, we have a quick guide for you. If you do and you have done it before, we’d love to hear some tips, tricks, and advice from seasoned players!

So, this was our guide on getting the best pool table this year, for the money, and for your needs. Make sure you put aside some budget, not only for the table itself, but also for the lighting, accessories, the electrician maybe, and other unforeseen expenses. We hope this helped. In case you have other questions regarding pool tables, the pool game itself, or how to buy pool accessories, feel free to leave us your comments in the section below!

How Much Room Do You Need for a Pool Table? | What You Need to Know

How much room do you need for a pool table? Well, it depends on a lot of factors. Many people love the idea of having a nice game room, and pool tables are a staple of a good game room. They’re big and unwieldy, though. If you’re wondering how much room do you need for a pool table, take heart. There’s an excellent way to figure this out before you even purchase your table.

Speaking of pool tables, we have a refined selection of best pool tables to buy this year. However, it is crucial to consider the pool table dimensions relative to your room before you get your hands on the table itself.

How Much Room Do You Need for a Pool Table?

How much room do you need for a pool table? Well, it depends. You have to ask and answer a lot of questions before you can determine how much room you need.

Things like table size, the type of games you want to play, the length of the cues you use, and more, all factor into deciding how much room you need for your pool table.

Table size

The first and probably most obvious consideration is table size. Pool tables come in several different sizes. In the United States, standard pool tables come in 3 sizes: 3.5 by 7 feet, 4 by 8 feet, and 4.5 by 9 feet.

There are also oversized tables, so you might want a table that’s listed as 7-feet+ long. That would be an oversized 7-foot table. You’ll mostly find 7-foot, 7-foot+, and 8-foot tables in homes.

You can also get 10-foot and 12-foot-long tables, but you don’t often find these in houses simply because there’s no room.

People also generally use tables that big for different kinds of billiards than that which we use standard pool tables. Unless you want to learn and specialize in those games, you don’t need a 10 or 12-foot table.

What kind of pool do you want to play

However, depending on the type of pool you play in, if you have space, you may well want a table that’s 4.5 by 9 feet.

Why? Bigger tables help you better hone your skills. If you have space and money for a 4.5 by 9-foot table, get that, especially if you want to break into a competitive or professional pool.

Also, you will want a table with regulation proportions, which is any pool table that’s exactly twice as long as it is wide. So if you don’t have space or money for a 9-foot table, a 4-foot by 8-foot table or 3.5-foot by 7-foot table will still give you the proper proportions.

Cue length matters

Pool cues are generally anywhere from 48 to 58 inches long. If you’ve ever played pool in a crowded pool hall or bar and had problems with hitting walls or other people with your cue while setting up and taking your shot, you know how irritated you get when you don’t have enough space.

Now, imagine having that problem in your otherwise perfect game room. How are you going to enjoy yourself if you’re always trying to avoid the walls?

Not only do you need to account for space the table itself requires, but you also need to consider the length of your longest cues.

Measuring your space

Now really, how much room do you need for a pool table? You know all the factors for the table and your game, so now it’s time to measure your space.

Take the measurements of the surface of your ideal pool table and add twice the length of your longest cue. For a table with a playing surface of 50 inches by 100 inches and a cue length of 58 inches, you’ll want to use this equation:

  • It’s 50 + 58(2) x 100 + 58(2). You should get 166 inches and 216 inches, respectively. Divide each number by 12, and you’ll get a minimum space of 13.83 feet by 18 feet.
  • Keep in mind that’s the absolute minimum space you’ll want for a pool table with a playing surface of 50 inches by 100 inches, which is generally a 4.5-foot by 9-foot table.
  • You probably want more space than that if you can. Something like 15 feet by 19 feet would work better for a table that size.

Also, you might have a tight corner unless you can place your table in the center of the room. That’s where you’ll usually just use a shorter cue.

There’s a reason people tend to locate their pool tables in finished basements or other designated rec rooms. They require a lot of space.

The key is ensuring you’ve got the maximum amount of space available to actually play. One tight corner isn’t going to ruin your fun, but tight spacing on most sides will.

What about other furniture in the room?

foosball

What else is in the room? Other game tables, like a foosball table? Your dining room table? A home theater? Maybe just a secondary living room or your regular living room?

You can move things like other game tables around to accommodate your pool table. You can move standard furniture around, too.

If you need to, you can rearrange the whole room, so long as everything in it is mobile.

However, things like home theaters and other amenities are built-in features of your house. You can’t move those around to accommodate your table.

Keep that in mind when you’re measuring your space.

Think about how many people will play

two men playing billiards

Do you frequently have guests over who would use the table? How much room do you need for a pool table if you typically have a lot of people playing?

Your guests want to have fun and be comfortable. If you’ve ever played pool with several others in a crowded place, we’re sure you’re aware of how annoyed you can get.

So take that into account as well. You may find you have to go down a table size for it to fit where you want it.

What if the table is for your kids? You can get a smaller, shorter table for them. If they’re the ones who will use it the most often, that gives you more flexibility in your space.

In all cases, though, you should be very mindful of the space you really have available in your house for a pool table.

Other considerations and frequently asked questions

You have a few other things to think about before you buy a pool table, too.

  • Moving the table through your house
  • Light fixtures
  • Floor décor

We talked about these issues when we presented you with the best pool tables to get this year. Pool table lighting and having enough space to move around your room are crucial aspects you need to consider even before measuring the table or the room.

As FAQs go, before we wrap up this article, let’s take a look at some of the answers people want the most when it comes to creating a pool room in their homes!

What size room do you need for a 7ft pool table?

The ideal size room for a 7ft pool table depends on the cues you want to use. So here are some pool table dimensions in relation to the pool cues’ length and room size to determine what works best for you:

  • 7ft pool table with 48″ cues – the room should be about 13′ x 16′;
  • 7ft pool table with 58″ cues – the room should be about 14′ x 17′.

The most significant consideration besides finding out how much room you need for a pool table is how you’ll get it where you want it.

You have to get it through your door, around corners, and possibly up or down some stairs.

Hallways and interior doorways play a significant role, too. When you’re taking your measurements, measure everything through which you’ll have to move the table to get it where you want it.

Keep in mind the fact that even if the legs of your pool table come off, you still have to move the entire tabletop through these areas and around obstacles. So before you purchase your table, do your best to ensure you can get it into and through your house.

Nowadays there are many pool tables that come on wheels for easier storage and movement. If you get a table with wheels the width of that table is more important than ever. It would be a shame to buy a mobile table just to discover it won’t fit through any doorways.

Light fixtures

You’re most likely going to ensure you have proper overhead lighting before you buy a pool table.

But what about wall fixtures? That matters, too. If you have light fixtures on your walls, you need to take those into account when measuring your space. And if you’re still working on your area, install your light fixtures before you measure the space for the ta

You might have the coolest area rugs or other décor on the floor where you want your pool table to go, too.

However, if it doesn’t have a non-slip underside or you haven’t put a non-slip pad underneath, you might find yourself in some trouble. Be sure your rugs don’t slip on your flooring before you bring your pool table home.

If all of this seems like too much for an answer to, “How much room do you need for a pool table,” you can always call an expert to come and take a look.

Search for a business that specializes in moving and placing pool tables. They’ll not only be able to accurately measure your space, but they’ll also be able to evaluate doorways, stairways, and more, to see if you’re going to have problems getting the table into your space.

How far should be a pool table from any wall?

It is a matter of common sense to place the pool table in the center of your newly created pool room. Make sure you have at least 5 feet distance from the table (margins and corners) to any wall. This space should be lengthier than 5 feet in case you have some cool tricks on your sleeve and you want to show them to your guests. In any case, a minimum of 5 feet around the table to all corners should be enough to allow you to play pool and position your cue so you don’t hit the walls.

What is the most popular pool table size?

In most pool bars, halls, and tournaments, the standard pool table is the 9ft one. However, it might be a tad larger for your living room or basement. If you consider remodeling a room for pool games, you should choose a 7ft pool table. You could also go for the 8ft type, but you need to get the room sizing perfectly. Here are the ideal room size dimensions in case you want to bring home an 8ft pool table:

  • 8ft pool table with 48″ cues – the room should be about 14′ x 17′;
  • 8ft pool table with 58″ cues – the room should be about 14′ x 18′.

Can you install a pool table in a carpeted room?

Technically, hardwood floors are the best ones for a pool table and its players. If you leave the carpet, you will have to adjust it frequently,  not to mention vacuum and clean it regularly. On the other hand, floors with rugs also work well with pool tables as they protect the floors from traffic, bumps, balls falling on the floor, and all other accidents.

So How Much Room Do You Need for a Pool Table? Bottom Line

pool table in the living room

How much room do you need for a pool table? Like so many other things, it depends. The size of the table you want, the lengths of your cues, the number of people you want playing, and your overall space, all factor into how much room you need.

And remember, you don’t have to figure all of this out yourself if you don’t want to. You can find experts who will help you answer “how much room do you need for a pool table,” and even help you move it into your house.

Another option you could consider is getting a dual-use table. There are many different game tables that can be used for pool, then add a top piece and the table can be used for puzzles, board games, or card games. If you are willing to dedicate a space in your house to a pool table, it might as well be for multiple uses! This pool table, for example, can be used for pool, air hockey, and ping pong. A table like this might just make the sacrifice of space feel a little bit more worth it in case you weren’t already convinced you should give up the space.

Regardless of the direction in which you go, just keep in mind that you need a lot of room, even for a small pool table. However, you’re now equipped to figure out just how much space you need. So if a pool table is what you’re after, now you know how to be sure you have the space for it. Just remember that playing pool is not as easy as it seems! Check out our guides on how to rack a pool table like a pro, how to buy and install the best pool table for the money, and what cues are the best to boost your game!

Have questions or ideas? Do you want to play pool at home this year and want to learn more about organizing the room? Let us know in the comment section below! Also, tell us more about your experiences with choosing and installing a pool table in your home!

Winter Sports That Will Keep Your Kids From Becoming Hermits

The conveniences of modern life make it easy for your kids to withdraw during winter when the snow flies and the temperatures chill your bones.

Why bother getting out of bed when all you’re facing is a frigid blanket of white?

We have two words for you: Winter Sports.

Though it takes a greater investment of time, money, and effort than summer soccer and baseball, the world of winter sports offers unique experiences for the whole family to enjoy.

And not just through competition.

The thrills of skiing, skating, sledding — and, yes, even ice fishing — expose kids to aspects of the outdoors they won’t get from a television or computer screen.

And at the same time, winter sports help kids stay active, develop their growing bodies, learn discipline, have fun, and much more.

Indeed, winter sports may be the best possible antidote to the winter of a family’s discontent. So let’s leave the blankets behind and go get some fresh air.

Winter Sports 101

Before we venture out to the rink or the slope, a little background is in order. Most winter sports fall into three main categories of activity:

  • Skiing

  • Skating

  • Sledding

Each of these has evolved variations over time that open new challenges and new experiences for youth and their families alike.

For example, downhill skiing led to the more free-flowing (and daredevil-like) sport of freestyle skiing, which emerged in the 1960s and then became an official Olympic sport in the early 1990s.

Ice skaters can focus on artistry as they carve the ice with figures, or on speed as they race around the oval.

Sledding expanded to include snowboarding.

And with every new activity, someone is looking to push the envelope further.

For most families, though, you won’t be sending your kids off the ski jump anytime soon. Or maybe ever, and that’s okay. You don’t necessarily have to be a competitive spirit to have fun participating in winter sports. Skiing, skating, and sledding are all viral recreational activities, easily done at the hill behind the school or at the little rink down the block.

The Snowsports Industry Association estimates that as many as 100 million Americans are active in various activities in the wintertime.

Those numbers are spread out across multiple forms of skiing (downhill, freestyle, alpine, and cross country) along with snowboarding, snowshoeing, and sledding. (Skating was not part of SIA’s survey.)

Here’s the takeaway:

While the numbers for winter sports don’t quite compare to participation in soccer and baseball, you’re still in quite good company.

Snow sports, as you’ll see, will bring not only positive social interactions but other benefits for you and your children as well.

Benefits of Winter Sports for Kids (and You)

As with anything in life, it’s always the first step that’s the hardest. For winter sports and kids, that first step is fundamental:

Getting dressed and getting out the door.

Once you’re out there and getting warm, you’ll find an environment that’s very different from any other time of year.

The white blanket of snow, the crisp cold air, and the jagged pattern of icicles: all combine to create a time of wonder.

And in getting active, you’re doing something a good percentage of the population isn’t. But besides the intangibles, there are specific benefits in store for you and your kids.

Have a look:

Cardiovascular Fitness

All of us, no matter our age, can use more physical activity. We’re a sedentary society, attracted as we are now by our computers, phone, and large TV screens.

Just about all the winter sports (save, maybe, for ice fishing) offer the chance to get your heart pumping and your lungs expanding.

You’ll be burning calories, get some sunshine in the darker parts of the year, and more. If you choose to make winter sports a family activity, then these benefits will expand to the whole family.

Fast fact:The number of calories you burn while skiing depends on how vigorous you are. Experts say that light effort will burn 250 to 300 calories per hour; moderate effort, 340 to 400 calories per hour; and aggressive skiing,475 to 600 calories an hour.

Build Confidence and Leadership Skills

Go the competitive route with your kids for winter sports, and you’re opening them up to new possibilities for personal development.

Being part of a team requires discipline, preparation, and teamwork.

Even individual sports such as skiing calls for a level of commitment you just don’t get sitting at home.

It’s not only the courage it takes to speed down a hill with skis on your feet. Learning appropriate techniques and challenging yourself against the clock are all worthwhile ways of building self-esteem.

New Experiences

One of the main upsides to winter sports is it forces you to go outside.

And when you do, depending on the sport and how adventurous you are, you might find yourself experiencing aspects of nature you wouldn’t otherwise experience.

The best ski and sledding hills tend to offer gorgeous scenes as you head off the road less populated. Many resorts are built around the attraction of winter sports and market those attractions to get visitors.

But let’s be serious:

When is the last time you played soccer with this as a backdrop?

person standing on his ski is looking at the hill covered with ice

Image by​ Pexels

Family Bonding

You may want to pursue winter sports in a non-competitive way. And that’s totally OK. Doing so makes it easier for the whole family to participate and reap the benefits.

Go skiing, skating, or sledding together, as they offer the perfect choice for family outings. It doesn’t necessarily have to cost money.

Pro tip:

The parents who engaged with this writer shared their ideas for winter sports activities that can be done on the cheap. Here are a few examples:

  • Walking and exploring our neighborhood and skating in one of Toronto’s free ice rinks. We also enjoy sledding.
    — Kari Marie Svenneby

  • During the week we love to go on micro adventures close to home.
    — Tanya Koob

  • We like to geocache, and sledding and snow fort-building is our go-to.
    — Heather Gardiner

A Word of Caution

Sounds great, right? But, you might be thinking:

Sliding across the ice with sharp blades on my feet? Or down a big hill on skis?

Or sitting on a frozen pond around a hole in the ice, waiting for fish to bite?

No.

Every sport, including those in the winter, has its risks. No game can give you a foolproof guarantee that nothing bad will happen.

And later, we’ll talk a little about some of the protections you can take specifically to each activity.

But teach and follow some necessary precautions, and your children will be able to navigate their chosen activities without a hiccup.

The Basics:

  • Dress warmly. That means using layers. But don’t overdo it.

  • Use sunscreen. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean the sunburn can’t get you. Consider sports sunglasses.

  • Know the rules. We’re talking about basic etiquette. If everyone is skating clockwise, don’t you go off around in a clockwise fashion?

  • Take at least one lesson. Nobody is a wizard at anything the first time out. Bonus points: if you can get a friend to come with you, and your instructor is a penguin, you’re set.

How We Chose the Sports

Our first step in studying the possibilities for winter sports for kids was to define our terms.

We decided that we were looking for sports you could do for fun or for competition. Not everyone wants to be the next great downhill skier.

With those categories in mind, we poured through lots of lists from parent magazines, lifestyle magazines, and sport association publications.

We also studied a little of our Winter Olympic history.

Fantastic Winter Sports for Kids

In choosing our list of the best winter sports for kids, we stayed very close to a traditional set of activities. Winter sports, unsurprisingly, mostly seem to revolve around a certain muscular motion:

Sliding.

Sliding across the ice.

And sliding down hills.

And sliding over snow-covered landscapes.

Just to be different, we added one activity to the list that can be done sitting still — although ice fishing sure requires plenty of prep time. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll come home with dinner!

Fun Facts:

Did you know? Marie Antoinette, Napoleon, several Kings of England, and famed German writer and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe were among the earliest skating fanatics after the sport was invented.

My mother introduced me to many different things, and figure skating was one of them. I just thought that it was magical having to glide across the ice.”  

– Olympic figure skater Debi Thomas, the first African-American to win a medal in the sport.

Skating

You don’t have to be a champion figure skater to feel the thrill of gliding across the ice. You just need a pair of skates and a an ice rink.

And a good sense of humor, for when you start skating, you will fall:

More than once.

Nevertheless, skating at any level can give children and their families a grand sense of joy and accomplishment. Interestingly, the act of skating didn’t initially begin as a sport.

Fun Facts:

Did you know? Figure skating is the oldest sport in the Winter Olympics, first competed in the London Games in 1908.

According to the International Olympic Committee, figure skating developed as a more graceful way of allowing people to get from point to point.

The IOC points to the Dutch as the “earliest pioneers” and notes that interest in the sport quickly grew and reached England, where kings became participants.

Getting started in skating doesn’t require much, says the U.S. Figure Skating Association. Specifically, you need “a little determination, a lot of practice, and no fear of falling down!”

professional ice skater dancing and doing exhibitions on a skating rink

Image by Pixabay.

The basics

Don’t think you need to learn the artistry of Dorothy Hammil, Brian Boitano, or Peggy Fleming to be a skater.

An alternative to figure skating is speed skating, which offers more of a one-on-one competition format.

In speed skating, you race against the clock and other competitors to cover a specific distance in the shortest period.

Interest in skating in general hovers at around 10 million people in the United States. But figure skating seems to be in a growth mode.

The U.S. Figure Skating Association had about 200,000 members in 2018, up from 165,000 just five years ago.

  • What ages can play: Can start at age 4
  • Attributes required: Attention span, balance, and coordination, strong legs
  • Equipment needed: Properly-fitted skates, warm clothes including hat and gloves, safety helmet
  • Where do you play: Neighborhood rink, public ice arena; schools
  • Time commitment: Learn-to-skate classes run 30-45 minutes, and up to an hour or two for serious skaters.
  • Things you’ll have to buy: Anywhere from $5 to $15 for classes, skate rental or skate purchase, travel costs, related safety equipment, and warm clothes
woman doing a figure skating on ice

Image by ​Pixabay

Why it’s fantastic

It’s all about the beauty and the artistry — even if you just do it for fun.

Figure skates are intricate dances on the edge of the skate blade, which is why the sport has attracted such international attention.

If you’re at the recreational level, it’s still quite a feat to make your way around the rink and stop when and where you need.

Glide on, as Debi Thomas advises!

Ice hockey

“Ninety percent of hockey is mental and the other half is physical.” 

Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky.

a hockey hall of famer wayne gretzky is doing a thumbs up to his fans

Image CC3, by Troy Parla via Wikicommons

As someone who was scoring 1,000 goals by the time he was 13, Gretzky would undoubtedly know. And who better to describe the nature and importance of hockey than Gretzky himself?

Hockey is a fast-moving game played on skates on an oval-shaped rink of ice.

Each team gets six players: One goalie, with the rest, divided up between offense and defense.

Recent research suggests that hockey traces its origins back to the early 1800s and Nova Scotia. The game was played by the Mi’kmaq Indians.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the first organized hockey game took place in Montreal around 1875 — spurred on through the adoption of various rules from field hockey.

It even seems to be able to be played on a Lego rink!

The basics

Ice hockey teams chase a flat, rounded piece of rubber (called a puck) around the rink and try to score on the opponent’s goal. Every one of them is wearing skates as the game is played on the ice.

As with general skating, kids can go two routes: competitive, or recreational.

Organized hockey takes a much larger commitment than just a recreational game with friends.

As rinks are not as plentiful as soccer fields, and participation rates are different as well, signing up for hockey probably means travel.

It involves travel if you want to test yourself against some of the best.

Whether recreational or organized hockey, you’re also signing up for an investment in protective gear. You’ll need helmets and safety goggles.

Getting hit by the puck is no joke.

Hockey is plenty popular and growing at the organized level. USA Hockey estimates that it has more than 560,000 registered members, up about 10 percent from 5 years ago.

  • What ages can play: Ages 5 and up

  • Attributes required: Stamina, balance, coordination, determination

  • Equipment needed: Skates, hockey sticks, protective helmets and eyewear, pads

  • Where do you play: A rink

  • Time commitment: Substantial to play in leagues, including travel and multiple games per weekend, plus practice three to four times a week for an hour each time

  • Things you’ll have to buy: Hockey skates ($100 to 1,000) Helmets, protective gear such as pads and shin guards, league dues, and don’t forget about travel.

Fast facts:
Truly getting involved in youth hockey can be enormously expensive. This writer for ESPN added it up to an amount that comes close to $50,000. (This doesn’t have to be your experience.)

Why it’s fantastic

Fast-moving and fluid, hockey is a great game to both play and watch. The players are almost part of a ballet or choreographed dance.

You also have to love hockey for the sportsmanship. Even at the end of professional games, teams line up and shake hands to congratulate each other.

And then there is the history. How can you not love a game that gave us the greatest sporting moment — ever?

Remember The Miracle on Ice?

Curling

“Curling has been in my family for many generations, starting with my great-grandpa and continuing on with my grandparents and my parents. As a child, I would tag along with my parents to watch them curl, and it wasn’t until I was 6 years old that I tried it for myself.

Cassie Potter, Olympian and U.S. national champion in curling

four circular stones being used to play curling during winter

Image via Pixabay

To the uninitiated, curling looks like a strange game.

Players slide and then follow a giant round stone down a long rectangular piece of ice, seemingly clearing a path in front of the stone with a broom.

The players who love the game, though, are unequivocal:

You must try it!

Here’s why:

Curling is most often compared to a game of shuffleboard, played on ice. Players try to score points by sliding stones, so they stop nearest to a bullseye painted on the ice.

(Just a note though, so you don’t accidentally identify yourself as a newbie: The bullseye is referred to as “the center of the house” in curling.)

Other curling terms you might want to brush up on:

  • Blank end
  • Burning a rock
  • Button
  • Cashspiel
  • Delivery
  • Eight-ender

We were going to challenge you to look up each of those terms, but that’s probably not playing fair. Check out their definitions here at Curling for Dummies.

The closest stone to the house scores a point. It’s possible throughout a round for a team to score multiple points if they place all their stones closest to the house with no opponents any closer.

group of men playing curling on a national competition

Image by Pixabay.

The basics

More so than in almost any sport, the technique is crucial in curling. And one skill within the sport probably catches your attention more than any other.

What’s with the players and those brooms?

It’s all about simple physics, according to the World Curling Federation. Let them explain in their own words:

“Sweeping with a brush, also known as a broom, reduces the friction between the ice and the stone’s surface, ensuring it curls less. It also creates a thin layer of water that helps the stone glide across the surface, allowing the stone to continue the momentum in its intended direction.”

One of the main reasons for kids to participate in curling is: It’s more about finesse than it is about capability.

You don’t have to be faster or stronger or taller. You just have to read the ice the best and work with your teammates closely on strategy.

And you can get all the same benefits from winter sports that you would otherwise on the rink or the slopes.

  • What ages can play: Ages 5 and up. (Junior curling uses a lighter and smaller stone)

  • Skills required: Balance; upper-and-lower body strength; strategic thinking

  • Equipment needed: Curling shoes, broom, stabilizer, delivery stick, stones, a stopwatch

  • Where do you play: On a curling rink. Find one close to you here

  • Time commitment: Most games run between 2 and 3 hours

  • Things you’ll have to buy: Shoes (between $120 and $300), brooms ($85 and $200), rental of ice time

equipment and stones needed to play curling laying on an icy floor

Image by Pixabay.

Why it’s fantastic

Any sport with its own language ranks high with us.

Seriously, it has to be one of the more unique games, as witnessed by the attention it gets during the Olympics.

And you must love a sport where just about anyone can participate.

a polished granite stones or rocks used for curling

Image by Pixabay

Skiing

“It’s hard to give tips to skiers if I don’t know how they ski, but I think the most important thing in skiing is you have to be having fun. If you’re having fun, then everything else will come easy to you.”

Olympian Lindsey Vonn

lindsey vonn raises her hand after winning the skiing competition

via Twitter

If you don’t like gliding, then how about some sliding?

Skiing introduces the thrill of the wind in your face as you’re going downhill, or the satisfaction of effort if you prefer the cross-country version of skiing.

Skiing is perhaps the oldest of the winter sports, according to the International Skiing History Association.

Evidence points to the use of skis to get around as far back as 5,000 years ago. Today, it’s a sport for all ages!

In more modern times, it gets complicated and things move quickly as far as the development of ski technology that enables some of today’s athletic accomplishments.

Check out this extensive timeline of ski history.

The era of modern competitive skiing may have been launched on a worldwide basis in 1924, with the first Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix, France.

Downhill or Nordic skiing will take an investment of time and money.

Skiing down the hill at your local school will only get you so far, and then there’s the issue of getting back up to the top.

So hopefully you live near a ski resort if this is your chosen sport for your children. If not, you may have to make skiing a special family outing.

The basics

There is always the option of cross-country skiing, which can take place almost anywhere: on a golf course, the grounds of a school, or even down an empty sidewalk.

Cross-country gives you an excellent workout but may not get the same level of excitement from kids as cruising down a hill at a high rate of speed.

Still, it’s an option.

Besides being one of the oldest winter sports, it’s also the most popular.

The Snowsports Industry Association estimates that more than 12 million people ski each year, while another 5 million made treks cross-country.

icy race tracks perfect for doing winter sports

Image by Pexels

In contrast to some of the other sports, you’re most likely to want to tackle skiing as a recreational activity.

More schools are likely to have ski clubs rather than ski teams, just because of the proximity of appropriate ski facilities.

  • What ages can play: No earlier than 3 years of age. Skiing requires a pretty good sense of balance.

  • Skills required: Balance, body control, weight distribution, and bravery

  • Equipment needed: Skis, poles, bindings, boots, ski jacket, ski pants, goggles. Here’s a great video to explain what to wear.

  • Where do you play: To maximize your time and effort, you need to find a ski resort.

  • Time commitment: For recreational skiing outings, you can devote as much time as you please. Skiing is prime time for weekend trips.

  • Cost: Skis can run anywhere from $150 to $1,500. Besides your equipment and other winter gear, the price of a lift ticket will add to your expenses. Teton Gravity Research calculated the cost of an outing at various resorts, including ski rentals, and lunch. They range from $178 to $450.

Why it’s fantastic

This one’s easy. Let’s go back to the imagery.

people skiing on a skii track viewing the steep mountains covered with ice

Image by Pexels.

Need we say more?

Ice fishing

“Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.”

Herbert Hoover

photo of Herbert Hoover who is the 31st president of the united states

Image by Wikicommons

Recognizing that some people just don’t feel like sliding or gliding their way through a winter day, we sought out at least one activity that requires a bit less in terms of energy output.

Some might say it’s not even a sport.

But then they’d be missing the point.

The sport? It’s ice-fishing.

Ice fishing involves making your way out onto a frozen pond with a sled packed with gear. Once you find your spot, you set up and go to work.

You’ll drill a hole in the ice. Then you’ll take a chisel and widen it, cast your line, and let the games begin.

people catching fish during winter are fixing their nets on the sea side

Image by Pixabay

The most critical point to remember is that ice fishing comes with some detailed safety rules. You’re not going to want to send the young ones by themselves.

And you have to take special care to test the ice thickness.

Another critical point to make with kids on ice fishing outings: Be careful where you walk. You don’t want to trip on or into your fishing hole.

Dress warm, of course: ski pants, warm coats, hats, and line gloves are all in order.

You can also consider going ice fishing with a shed or hut, where you can take shelter from the cold air.

Pro tip:

For any activity, you should stay off the ice when the thickness is 2-inches or less. Some say that you need the ice to be 8-12 inches thick to support a car or pickup.

If a lake or pond has a lot of fish when the weather is warm, it will be an active fishing spot even in the wintertime. So you can ice fish almost anywhere.

If you need tips, though, spend some time on iceshanty.com, a community of ice fishermen. Or check with your state Department of Environmental Conservation, such as this one in New York.

The basics

It may initially strike you that ice fishing for most kids may not hold the same excitement as a downhill ski run.

That’s a fair point.

But this activity appeals to a different type of youth: someone who loves the outdoors and the companionship of a day well spent.

This author in Popular Mechanics does a great job at explaining the allure.

Or, as another tried-and-true fisherman writes:

“The first thing you need to internalize is kids will be kids. And don’t be scared to be a kid yourself. Sometimes us old-timers have to remember that catching fish is not the be all, end all.”

  • What ages can play: Depends on their maturity as the youngest will likely get bored quickly

  • Equipment needed: Rods, reels, tools for drilling into the ice, and rope in case of emergency

  • Where do you play: Any body of water that’s home to fish and freezes deeply enough to be safe

  • Time commitment: Plan on a half-day at least

  • Things you need to buy: Rods and reels ($100 to $300), shelters ($300 to $700), augur (up to $500), skimmer

Why it’s fantastic

Any sport in which you head home with dinner — or, better yet, that gets you an instant lunch — is one worth considering.

Then there’s the satisfaction of the outing and the bonding time with your family. And that’s what this writer for Vice found out.

man holding a big fish covered with ice he caught while fishing

Image by Pixabay.

Indoor Sports

Getting outside and getting moving is important for your kids, but sometimes it just isn’t in the cards. If your family has struck out with hokey, skating, skiing, and sledding, sometimes you have to settle for something else. In this case, you need another way for your family to stay active, but not necessarily go outside. Consider your local community center. They typically have indoor courts for racquetball, pickleball, and tennis.

First track down your local community center’s website. Then view their different available courts and reserve one. If you are interested in learning to play racquetball, view our beginner’s guide. Other games like pickleball are not only quick to learn but are also generally hosted by your local community center. These centers typically have a coach that can teach you and your family, and if you pick it up, then you could join any weekly or biweekly friendly competitions. Plus, if you pick it up during the winter, you could keep it up during the summer!

Wrapping Up the Winter

child wearing winter sweater and hats to protect his body from the cold temperature during winter

Image by Pexels

So: What’s the best?

Only you and your children will be able to answer that, based on their maturity level and interests.

And despite the effort that many of these activities require, being active and embracing the outdoors is definitely a way of getting through what can seem like a long, cold, unfriendly winter.

Featured Image via Pixabay

The 7 Best Pool Cues For Sinking Every Shot In The Game

Purex HXT15 Walnut-Stained Birds-Eye Maple with Black and White Divided Diamonds Technology Pool Cue

Do you really need the best pool cues?

Up until recently, I didn’t think so. As a casual pool player, I use what’s available at the local billiards hall.

A buddy of mine, however, insists that using the best pool cues can make a difference in your game. So, like you, I started reading up on the best pool cues, hoping that it would improve the way I play.

​Table of Comparison

What Is a Pool Cue?

best pool cues on a pool table

​If badminton has its racquets, then pool has its cues. These pool cues are sticks used to strike the cue ball.

You cannot play a game of pool without one. It’s a simple piece of sports equipment, yet you have to consider several things when choosing the best pool cues for you.

​What to Look for When Choosing the Best Pool Cues

close up photo of pool cue and ball

​When selecting a pool cue, your first consideration should be your budget. You can pay a premium for an excellent pool cue, or you can choose from the best pool cues that fall within your budget.

If you’re going to use it at home, opt for a one-piece cue. In other words, these pool sticks do not come apart, so they’re not something that you can bring anywhere.

One-piece cues are more affordable, but they may easily warp over time. Conversely, if you are using the pool cue for competitive play or if you take it with you when you travel, then get a two-piece one, which often comes in a carrying case.

​Consider your height

​Weight matters

​Wrap

​Cue tip

​How We Chose the Best Pool Cues

To come up with our list of the best pool cues, we took into consideration the many factors that you need to look for in the best pool cues.

Then we researched various products and narrowed down the list of recommended products, so you don’t have to sift through them.

We chose only the highest rated products with excellent customer reviews.

The Best Pool Cues You Can Buy Right Now

​If you’re looking for the best pool cues, then you don’t have to wade through the avalanche of products. You can limit your search to our recommended products and save time.

1. AB Earth Pool Cue Stick Billiard


AB Earth 2-Piece 58″ Pool Cue/Pool Stick Ergonomic Design Hardwood Canadian Maple 13mm Tip 18-21oz Billiard Cue B1S

  • ADVANTAGE: Scorpion Decals Ergonomic pool cue.
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN GRIP: Canadian hard maple butt which hand-polished into a wavy shape. Compared with linen butt, our wavy shape butt is more outstanding in anti-slip function and service life.
  • UNIQUE SCORPION DESIGN: The sleeve features 2 metallic silver scorpions pattern. Silver overlays also appear on the handle. Its a pretty unique looking design.
  • SPECIFICATION: Durable 13mm leather tip. 58″ in length. 18 – 21oz in weight. 5/16 x18 pin. Made of Maple. Skidproof ergonomic design painted grip.
  • WHAT YOU GET: 1 ergonomic design pool cue.

The B Earth Pool Cue/Pool Stick with Ergonomic Design and Hardwood Canadian Maple Billiard Cue is 58 inches long and weighs anywhere from 18 to 21 ounces. One set comes with six two-piece pool cues with a decal maple butt and skidproof linen wrap.

If you are concerned about the tip, then rest easy because it’s easy to replace it. You can choose between screw-on or glue-on tips. The pool cues also have a solid brass ferrule that makes them more durable than similar products with fiber ferrule.

This product is affordable, and it serves the purpose for casual pool players. More than doing the job, this pool cue also excels in the looks department, so much so that it makes a great gift.

However, sometimes the packages come with some of the tips damaged. This might be a problem because there are no extra tips included so you would need to buy them elsewhere.

​PROS

  • ​Pool cues look great

  • ​Suitable for casual players and as house cues

​cons

  • ​May be prone to warping over time

  • ​Poor quality material used for the shaft

  • ​No replacement tips included in the package

​​​2. Viper Signature


Viper Signature 57″ 2-Piece Billiard/Pool Cue, Hot Pink

  • Constructed from quality hard Canadian Maple wood on the shaft
  • Designed with a 2-piece billiard cue, allowing for easy transportation and storage
  • Features lightweight ABS joints which help provide consistent feedback during play

Billiards and pool are no longer a man’s sport. According to the College Foundation of North Carolina, one in every three billiard or pool player is a woman.

The Viper Signature might be an excellent choice for women who love playing pool and who love feminine colors rather than the drab and boring blue, black, and green that most pool cues have.

This Viper pool cue has a hot pink color and weighs 19 or 20 ounces. It comes with a hard tip.

The manufacturer used top-quality Canadian maple wood for the shaft. Plus, it features a leather tip and a nylon wrap.

This product delivers top performance that can rival that of more expensive pool cues. You will also like the vibrant colors and the quality of the materials used for these cues.

​PROS

  • ​Vibrant colors and material

  • ​Works as well as more expensive cues

​cons

  • ​The hard tips are not easy to replace

  • ​There are complaints that this product warps easily

​3. Aska Set of Five Wrapless L3 Billiard Pool Cues


ASKA Set of 5 Wrapless L3 Billiard Pool Cues, 58″ Hard Rock Canadian…

  • Wrapless 5(Five) 2-Piece Pool Cue Sticks Set, One of Each – Black 21-Ounce, Blue 20-Ounce, Brown 19-Ounce, Green…
  • Canadian Hardrock Maple 29″ Shaft. Cue Length is 58″ (standard pool cue length)
  • Stainless Steel 5/16×18 Joint, Black Rubber Bumper

If you want to spruce up your game room, you can buy this set of five pool cues from Aska. Each cue in the set comes in a different color: blue, brown, black, green, and red.

Each one of these cues also has a different weight from 18 to 21 ounces. These Canadian hard rock maple cues measure 58 inches long with a 29-inch shaft.

Even serious players who bought this set are amazed at how good these cues are. Plus, these cues are very well-made and have the perfect finish.

The quality of these cues exceeded their expectations. It may not be something that a professional will use, but they are great house cues.

​PROS

  • ​Well-made

​cons

  • ​Not professional quality but good enough for casual players

​​4. PureX HXT15


Purex HXT15 Walnut-Stained Birds-Eye Maple with Black and White Divided Diamonds Technology Pool Cue

  • 12.75mm HXT Low Deflection Technology Shaft topped with a 10-layer laminated leather Kamui Black soft tip
  • Stainless steel joint collar with 5/16 x 18 pin for a rock solid hit
  • Solid black genuine double-pressed Irish linen wrap for a classic, slip-free grip
  • Available in 18 – 21 ounces in half ounce increments
  • Lifetime warranty, even against warpage

There are two things that you should know about this product from Purex. First is that it comes with a Kamui Black soft tip.

The Kamui Black tip has high elasticity, which gives the ball more spin with less force. It allows you to control the cue ball with more precision.

Second, it has a low deflection technology shaft. This shaft is designed to be lightweight and thus gives you better accuracy and feedback.

Plus, the product is covered by a lifetime warranty. The manufacturer even replaces your cue if it warps.

You will like the technology, craftsmanship, and performance of this cue. It’s a great starter cue.

​PROS

  • ​Uses a Kamui Black tip

  • ​Looks great, works well

  • ​Has good craftsmanship and playability

​cons

  • ​Finish may have a ripple

​​5. CUESOUL 58-Inch 2-Piece Maple Billiard Stick Pool Cue


CUESOUL 58 Inch 19oz 1/2 Maple Billiard Stick Pool Cue Set 11.5mm/13mm…

  • Including:1*Pool Cue Stick; ;1 Hard Billiard Stick Carrying Case;1*Joint Protector; 1*cue cleaning towel
  • Wrap: linen thread;13mm Glue on tip?length:58 Inch ; weight about:19 Oz
  • Canadian Maple Wood with union design decal butt

CUESOUL uses maple for its two-piece pool cues. This particular product measures 58 inches long and weighs 19 ounces.

The manufacturer also offers the same quality pool cues in different colors, including red, blue, and orange-brown.

You can use this as a breaking cue. It works as advertised and the quality is excellent.

At the very least, these cues are straight and well-balanced.

​PROS

  • ​Well-balanced and well-made

  • ​Comes with a carrying case, joint protector, and cleaning towel

​cons

  • ​Not perfectly straight, but it can do the job well

​​6. Viper Junior


Viper Junior 48″ 2-Piece Billiard/Pool Cue, Realtree Hardwoods HD…

  • Constructed from quality hard Canadian Maple wood and features edgy tattoo style graphics down the length of the cue
  • Designed with a 2-piece billiard cue, allowing for easy transportation and storage
  • Features lightweight ABS joints help provide consistent feedback during play

The Viper Junior is lighter than standard cue sticks, weighing in at 16 ounces. This makes it perfect for kids or those who like a lighter pool cue.

If you want to impress with edgy designs on your cue stick, then get the Viper Junior. This product has high-definition camo visuals.

As a two-piece cue, you can take this everywhere you want. It’s easy to store as well.

It uses lightweight ABS joints, a Le Pro leather tip, and a nylon wrap. Also, the product also features a rubber bumper.

You will like how straight and lightweight this pool cue is. Plus, because of its shorter length, you can use this cue stick for tighter spaces.

​PROS

  • ​Good looking cues

  • ​You can use this for shooting in tight spaces

  • ​Great for kids

​cons

  • ​The design might be different from the product description

​​7. PureX HXT4


PureX HXT4 Midnight Black with Snakewood and White Double Star Graphic Design Technology Pool Cue, 19-Ounce

  • 12.75mm HXT Low Deflection Technology Shaft topped with a 10-layer laminated leather Kamui Black soft tip
  • Implex joint collar with 5/16 x 18 pin for a firm hit
  • Sleek wrapless handle for a smooth feel
  • Available in 18 – 21 ounces in half ounce increments
  • Lifetime warranty, even against warpage

The PureX HXT4 Midnight Black with Snakewood and White Double Star Graphic Design Technology Pool Cue has a mix of modern and traditional looks. For instance, this product also has the latest enhancements, including the Kamui Black tip and the super low-deflection ferrule.

Second, this walnut stained maple cue has an Irish linen wrap. In addition to this, the manufacturer also covers this product with a lifetime warranty for non-wearable parts.

Even serious billiard players are impressed with this product. It’s probably one of the best pool cues you will use.

​PROS

  • ​It can exceed your expectations as it performs better than less expensive cue sticks

  • ​Balanced and straight

​cons

  • ​Warps after a short time of use

  • ​May not be as durable as you would like

​​Buy the Best Pool Cues to Help Improve Your Game

person holding pool cue

Not even the best pool cues can magically turn a terrible player into a world champion. In conclusion, it can certainly help you advance your skills.

Try any of these best pool cues on our list, and you’ll be certain to play in style.

Have you decided on the best product for you? Tell us all about it in the comments!