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What to Know When Buying a Pool Table

High quality pool tables, like those sold by Game Room Guys, are often passed down from generation to generation and with dozens of games to play, owning your own pool table is a great entertainment investment. From 9-Ball to Snooker, there ís a game for everyone and every skill level. But what do you need to know when buying a pool table? If you're overwhelmed by all the options out there, look no further then this handy guide to buying the perfect pool table!


There are 2 basic styles to choose from, with various features: furniture style and bar/tavern style. The big distinction between these 2 is that furniture style tables have drop pockets, while bar/tavern tables have a ball return system.

  • Furniture- These are made to order and require assembly after delivery, are highly customizable, and are usually measured in feet. Some furniture models, such as those by Aramith, can double as a dining room table to maximize space in your home.

  • Bar/Tavern- This style tends to be bulkier, comes pre-assembled, often has a coin mechanism, has limited customization options, and are generally measured in inches. You have probably seen a Shelti Pool Table at your local bar or pool hall.

Table and Room Size

Your room may be big enough for the table, but it also needs to be large enough to PLAY on the table. Below are the (minimum) ideal room sizes for each table size.

Minimum Room Size
Table Size (playing surface) 48" Cue 52" Cue 57" Cue (standard)
7' Bar 11'3" x 14'6" 11'11" x 15'2" 12'9" x 16'0"
8' Standard 11'8" x 15'4" 12'4" x 16'0" 13'2" x 16'10"
8' Professional 11'10" x 15'8" 12'6" x 16'4" 13'4" x 17'2"
9' Tournament 12'2" x 16'4" 12'10" x 17'0" 13'8" x 17'10"


More important than style is the quality of the playfield. The playfield can either be wood or slate, with slate being the surface preferred by the pros. Slate can either come in 1 or 3 pieces. While 3-piece slate is easy to use and preferred by the pros, it also requires more work to make sure the seams are level; which is done by mending the seam with beeswax. A 3-piece slate also makes it easier to transport a pool table and get it into rooms that may only be reachable via narrow halls or stairways. Playfields can vary in thickness, with better pool tables being 1" thick. Thicker slate is more reliable, less likely to break, provides added weight when leaning on the table, and provides a smoother roll for your ball.


While not often associated with pool tables, there are a few themed tables out there, including a stylized Pac-Man edition by Namco and sport team themed tables from game maker Holland Bar Stool.


Pool tables allow their owner a lot of options to customize their table. See the list below for options to look at when checking out different brands.

  • Stain- many tables are available in different stains or paint colors
  • Cloth- there are a plethora of colors and patterns to choose from, including custom design options!
  • Sights (see image below)
  • Pockets
  • Accessory Drawers
  • Dining Tops


There are accessories galore for pool table owners. There is a beautiful pool cue to fit anyone's preference and billiard balls for all tastes (including Harley Davidson, marbled, and even a white 8 ball). You can show your style and finesse with the perfect pool table cover, ball racks, and cue chalk in every color.

BONUS: Room Accessories

Owning your own pool table is a lot of fun and so is decorating the space in which it is placed. You can put a classic or sport themed billiard light over your table, hang a cue rack on the wall, or install a bar to really entertain your friends.

Now that we've explored all of these features, take a moment and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will you need to go through narrow door or hallways?
  • Will you need to make a sharp turn around a corner?
  • Are there stairs that you will need to bring this 700+ pound table up or down?

If you answered yes to even one of these questions, you will probably need to focus on furniture styles with 3-piece slate. If you have an easily accessible room with a slider or garage door, you are only limited by the table and room size.

Pool tables offer a uniquely customizable option for your game room. Make sure to get the most out of your purchase and explore all of the features discussed here. If you're looking for a high quality pool table with sleek design and multifunctional use check our selection from Shelti and Great American.

And remember, if you have any questions, the friendly and knowledgeable folks at Game Room Guys can help you out. Give them a call and start taking your game room to the next level.

Game on!