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What are The Parts of a Pool/Snooker Table?

You might be playing billiard — snooker and pool — for a long time, but have you ever given it a thought? What are parts of a pool table called? Or maybe, when you went out to buy a new part for your billiard table, the shopkeeper asked you which part you need but you couldn’t name it.

As a billiard enthusiast, people expect you to know all about billiard. Not just the rule but also part names of the table. Today, I’m going to walk you through one by one each part of your pool table. So the next time, you don’t have to face this embarrassment.

List of Pool/Snooker Table Parts

Snooker and Pool tables have the same components/parts. So whatever I’m highlighting below, will remain the same for both.

1. Cushions

You’ll find them inside the rails where the balls bounce off of. These are cloth-covered bumpers that can impact your game if they are dead.

You’ll find different types of cushions upon researching online.

  • U22
  • K55
  • K66

Combined with rails, these cushions are also called bumpers.

Normally, it’s determined by your cushions in your table what cushions would fit in it. You can’t switch to any other form.

This means, if your table is made for k55 cushions, then only k55 cushions can be used in it.

2. Rails

Rails are an integral part of the table as they are attached with cushions all around the edges of the table. Actually they are a piece of wood with whom we attach our cushions.

Different Names of Rails

Each of the rails has different names.

  • Short or Foot Rail: This rail is located at the bottom or foot of the pool table.
  • Short or Head Rail: This rail is located at the top or head of the pool table.
  • Top Rail: This rail is at the head of the table. It’s also called the top of the pool table.
  • Long or Side Rail: Known as long and side rails, they are found encompassing the length of the table.
  • End Rail: Found at the end of the table, also known as the shortest rail.

Rail’s Interior

Each rail has some type of interior which combines with the cushion and the table.

  • Rail Hardwood: It is used in the upper section of the rail.
  • Rail Softwood: While pine or poplar used for the lower section of the rail, also known as softwood.
  • Nose: Protruding part of the cushion is called the nose.
  • Rail Apron: A piece of horizontal timber, which is used for support, is called rail apron.

3. Pockets

There are six holes or pockets all around the table. Four at each corner and two in the middle.

The pocket size can vary in English and American pool tables.

  • In American pool tables, corner pockets are straight cut between 4.5 inches and 4.625 inches.
  • In English pool tables, they are rounded shoulders between 3.2 inches and 3.4 inches.

Similarly, there are drop pockets and a return system.

  • Drop pockets are the simple pockets used, when a ball goes into the pocket, it’s left in place until the end of the frame.
  • In return system, the potted balls travel down a series of gravity-fed tracks and gutters installed beneath the playing surface. And depending on the type of the ball, it either comes out or stays in.

4. Slate

In simple words, you can call it a bed of the Pool table. Over which we place the felt. It is made of heavy, finely milled rock.

There are three kind of slates:

  • One-piece slates
  • three-piece slates

The difference is an obvious one. If you have a one-piece slate, it can be difficult to maneuver.

Whereas, if your slate is a three-piece one, you can move each slate in turns, hence, finding it easier to move around the slates at times of repairing, service, etc.

However, in terms of getting the slate leveled so the playability on the table is even, one-piece slates are considered better.

Three-piece slates are hard to get leveled as each part has to be neatly aligned in order to make sure there is no uneven surface where the slates connect.

Parts Under The Slate

Slate is not the end if you go deep. You’ll find lots of more important parts of a table underneath it.

  • Particle Board Bed: It’s a board under the slate that forms the bed underneath it.
  • Bed Shelf: It’s a framework that supports the bed of the pool.
  • Support Slate: This is a slate attached to the bed shelf. You can find it underneath the particle board in your pool table.
  • Center Brace: Center brace is a brace that goes lengthwise in the center of the bed shelf.
  • Glue Block: It’s a piece of wood whose job is to support the corner joints.
  • Opening: It’s a hold that is found on the side of the table for retrieving the balls going in the pockets.

5. Legs

All snooker/pool tables have four legs. And the quality of the material they are made of determines how long your pool table is going to last. Because if legs are fragile, they might wear out soon.

Different Types of Billiard Table Legs

There are three main types of billiards table legs:

  • Post legs: These legs are also known as floor to slate legs. They are made of solid wood from the frame to the feet.
  • Pedestal legs: They are quite common in modern style tables and tables used in professional tournaments. In this style, the table frame sits directly on top of the two legs.
  • Antique legs: These legs are also known as standard legs. In this style, legs are bolted to the underside of the frame on every corner of the table.

6. Felt

Over the slate, a felt/cloth is laid out on the table which serves as the playing field.

Normally this felt is of green color. However, in recent years, we have seen blue table felts becoming popular.

7. Cabinet

Cabinet is the large wooden rectangular frame you’ll find on the table. It is made of thick planks of hardwood. This basically goes right over the legs, and most of the weight supported by the legs come off this cabinet.

Therefore, these cabinets must be durable enough to withstand such weights.

8. Diamonds

Diamonds and white markings on tables are quite common on American tables. They are used to give you a geometrical look of the table so you can perform calculations and reach precision while taking a shot.

In American pool tables, they are considered an integral part.

  • Center String: Center string is the line that starts from the second diamond if you count from any of the two side pockets and it goes right across the center of the pool table.
  • Head String: The next line is the head string line which passes between the second diamond on the long rails going through the head spot.
  • Foot String: Likewise, Foot string is a line that runs horizontally from the second diamond of both the long rails on your table.

9. Footspot

This is the place where the play begins. It’s where the center ball is placed in the rack.

10. Triangle Apex

The triangle rack has a top, which is called the triangle apex.


That’s all your precious billiard table consists of. From top to bottom, left to right, and from head to foot, all parts of your snooker/pool tables have been covered in this detailed article.

Hopefully, now you know all the names of different parts of your billiards table and can easily talk about them without having to refer to their position but by taking their names!

About Maryam Shaw

Hello Everyone! I am Maryam, the reason behind creating this website is to help people with the detailed information and reviews about sports products