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Differences Between Pool, Carom Billiards, and Snooker

To first understand what differentiates Pool, Carom Billiards, and Snooker apart from each other is to have a sound knowledge about what are their subtypes, and their gameplay strategies.

First, let me tell you what billiards is?

Billiard sports are a kind of indoor games that are played with the help of a cue stick which is used to strike at several colorful billiard balls on a clothed billiards table with pockets or no pockets on the table depending upon what game is being played.

Pool, Carom Billiards, and Snooker are all three sports or subdivisions of games that are branches of Cue Sports or more popularly known as “Billiard Sports.”.

Pool vs Carom vs Snooker

Pool vs. Carom Billiards vs. Snooker (Chart)

Pool Carrom Billiards Snooker
Balls 15 balls (7 solids, 7 stripes and a cue ball) 3 balls (red, white and yellow) 22 balls (15 reds, 6 colored balls and a cue ball)
Pockets Six None Six
Game Variants 8-ball, 9-ball, 3-ball, 1-pocket, Bank-pool, 15-ball. Straight Rail, Cushion Carom, Cushion Billiards. Frame, Century.

Pool Balls vs. Carom Billiards Balls vs. Snooker Balls

Difference between pool balls, carom billiards balls and snooker cue balls


Number of Pool Balls: Total number of balls being used are 16. The balls can be reduced to 8, 9, 15, or 3 depending upon which pool variant is being played. Out of 16 balls, 8 are solids, 7 are striped, and 1 is a cue ball.

Size of Pool Balls: Each ball is 21/4 in diameter.

Carom Billiards:

Number of Carom Billiards Balls: Total number of balls being used are 3: two cue balls (1 white, 1 yellow), and 1 red ball which is the main object ball.

Size of Carom Billiards Balls: Each ball is 27/16 inch in diameter.


Number of Snooker Balls: In snooker, generally 22 balls are used, 15 red balls, 6 colored balls, and 1 cue ball. Although there are other variants that have 9, 6, and 1 red ball etc.

Size of Snooker Balls: Each ball is 21/16 in diameter.

Pool Cue vs. Carom Billiards Cue vs. Snooker Cue


Size: Pool cue sticks on average are 58 inches long.

Weight: Pool cue sticks weigh anywhere from 0.48 kg to 0.60 kg.

Carom Billiards:

Size: Carom cue sticks are typically 54 inches to 56 inches long.

Weight: These cue sticks weigh anywhere from 0.47 kg to 0.52 kg.


Size: Snooker cue sticks ranges from 57 inches to 58 inches long. These cue sticks have a removable butt extension that can increase its length up to 6 inches.

Weight: These cue sticks weight anywhere from 0.45 kg to 0.51 kg.

Pool Tables vs. Carom Billiards Table vs. Snooker Table


Size of Pool Tables: Games are played on 7-foot tables (bar tables), 8-foot tables (recreational or home tables), 9-foot tables (tournament or professional tables).

Pockets: Pool tables have a total of 6 pockets.

Carom Billiards:

Size of Carom Billiards Tables: Carom billiards are also played on the same tables where pool games are played on such as the 7-foot, 8-foot, and the 9-foot tables.

Pockets: These tables have no pockets.


Size of Snooker Tables: Snooker tables are larger than both carom tables and pool tables. They are anywhere from 10-foot to 12-foot.

Pockets: Snooker tables have pockets. There are 6 pockets in total.

Differences in Rules of Pool, Carom Billiards and Snooker:


In pool, there are many variants, but the main objective is to pot all the balls before your opponent does.

Carom Billiards:

In carom billiards, the main objective is to score points by hitting the cue ball with the cue stick so that the cue ball hits the opponent’s cue ball and the other red ball.


In snooker, the main objective is to score the most points by first potting the red balls and then the colored balls. Once all the red balls are potted, colored balls are potted by the least valuable to the most valuable.

Types of Cue Sports and the Differences in Their Gameplay:

There are three fundamental types that have different gameplay and further types which are the following:

  • Pool
  • Carom billiards
  • Snooker

1. Pool:

The pool is the most popular type of Cue Sport. The strategies of the pool are simple and straightforward. It consists of a pool table with six pockets right next to the rails. There are several balls ranging from 8 balls to 15 balls depending upon what game is being played that need to be deposited into the six pockets of the table with the help of a cue stick.

Types of Pool Variants:

There are several pool variants with their name, some of the most popular pool games are 8-Ball, 9-Ball, 3-Ball, 1-Pocket, Bank Pool, and 15-Ball.


In 8-ball, there are a total of 15 balls, and a cue ball.

In the United States, the 15 balls are divided into 7 striped balls (half colored), as well as 8 solid balls (full colored balls), including one black ball called the eighth ball, hence the name as 8-Ball.

In the United Kingdom, the balls are divided into two colors, red and yellow. Striped balls are chosen, if the player deposits the striped ball first into the pocket then the other player automatically gets the solids. The same is with the red and yellow balls.

Players have to pot all their balls first and finally pot the black ball in the end. Player automatically lose the game, if the black ball is deposited into the pockets before the other balls.


In 9-ball, 10 balls are used with the addition of the cue ball.

Players have to pot the lowest number of balls first and reach the 9-ball. Both players play initially with 9 balls on the table.

If one opponent pots all 8 balls, and can’t pot the 9-ball, then the other player can win by just potting the 9-ball in the pocket.


3-ball game is played with three balls with the addition of the cue ball.

Any number of players can play. The game is to be played by potting all the balls in as fewer shots as possible.


In this game, both players choose only one pocket each to pot all the 8 balls in to win the game.


In this game, 9 balls are used, most commonly, but a full rack can be used to play it as well. The first player to pot 5 balls, when playing with 9 balls, wins the game.


A rack of 15 balls is used to play this game.

2. Carom Billiards:

Carom Billiards is a type of Cue Sports that is played without any pockets on the table, instead of pockets, the table is covered with rails. Three balls are used to play this game. Two players can play it.

Out of three balls, which are red, yellow, and white, two balls can be used as cue balls; white and yellow balls are used as cue balls while the red is used as an object ball. The key objective of this game is to hit the other two balls with the help of the cue ball in one shot.

Types of Carom Billiards:

Carom Billiards has many games, the most popular ones are straight rail, cushion caroms, three-cushion billiards.

Straight Rail:

In straight rail, the player scores a point when the cue ball hit the other two objects consecutively in one shot.

Cushion Caroms:

In cushion caroms, the cue ball has to hit the first object ball and then hit on the cushion once before hitting the other object ball.

Cushion Billiards:

In this amazing game, the player has to hit the first object ball with the cue ball and before hitting the second object ball, the cue ball has to hit the cushion three times to score a point.

3. Snooker:

Snooker is the longest type of Cue Sports. The game is generally played with 22 balls, with 15 red balls, 6 colored balls, and 1 cue ball , although there are many variants of the game where the red balls are limited to 9, 6, or 1, etc., commonly, the accepted rule is to play with 15 red balls.

Two players can play this game. The rules are quite simple; both players start by hitting the 15 red balls. If at least one red ball is deposited in the pocket, the player can then take a shot at one of the six colored balls and try to pot it, if potted, the player gets points, but the ball is placed back on the table until all red balls are potted. Once the red balls are all potted, the colored balls have to be potted by order of the least valuable to the most valuable.

Points of Each Ball:

  • Red: 1 point
  • Yellow: 2 points
  • Green: 3 points
  • Brown: 4 points
  • Blue: 5 points
  • Pink: 6 points
  • Black: 7 points

The objective of this game is to score the most points.


It is important to understand the difference between pool, carom, and snooker because having good knowledge of the cues, balls, tables, and the rules can help potential fans relate much closer with the game. Hence, they can play different types and find out which type resonates with their talents and skills, ultimately helping people who are interested in it to excel and enjoy the sport more.

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