What are pool balls and table made of you should must know

While hitting the pool balls with the cue stick towards a definite pocket of the pool table, have you ever thought what materials used to make these balls are? Actually this pool balls are made of Phenolic Resin or Bakelite, which is a kind of plastic.

If you have a little idea of the pool game, then you might know that the three main types of equipment that are needed to play a pool game are a pool table, cue stick, and pool balls. You need to pocket the ball with the help of the cue stick along the surface of the pool table. Now in this article, I’m going to discuss what materials are used to make pool balls and pool tables.

what are pool balls made of

Pool balls

You can’t imagine playing a pool game without having pool balls on the pool table. You need 15 pool balls to play this game. There is another extra ball which is the cue ball. The balls used in pool games are smaller than those used in a billiards game.

Number of balls

The number of pool balls differs depending on the type of pool game. There are three types of pool games. These are 3-ball pool, 9-ball pool and 8-ball pool. The first type of game consists, 3 balls in the ball, whereas the second type needs 9 balls. 15 balls are used in 8-ball pool game and this is the most played type of pool game.

The dimension of the balls

The balls contain a similar weight as the billiard balls. But the size is not the same. These balls are a bit smaller in size than those of billiards game. The pool balls measure 2-inch to 2.20-inch in diameter. 

Color of balls

7 out of these 15 balls are striped and the other 7 balls are solid in color. And the remaining ball is black in color.

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What are pool balls made of

The same kind of materials have been used to make billiards, pool and snooker balls. These balls nowadays are made of a kind of plastic that is known as Phenolic Resin or Bakelite. When pool games were newly introduced games, then the pool balls were not made using the same materials as now. That time, pool balls were made of wood. It was quite easy to make and also very cheap.

But as soon as the popularity of the game rose, the wooden pool balls were not appropriate anymore. So another new type of balls was introduced. Those balls were known as Ivories. These balls are far better than wooden ball.

Then to increase durability in the pool ball and increase the excitement of the game in the beginning part of the 19th century, a new type of pool balls was introduced.

These balls were made Bakelite, which is a kind of plastic. Most of the pool balls during the 1920s were made of using this Bakelite. From that time till now, pool balls are made of Phenolic resin or Bakelite.

What are pool tables made of

This depends on what kind of pool table you are looking for. I have already mentioned 4 kinds of pool tables above. The best material for making a pool table is slate, which is a kind of volcanic rock material. This kind of pool table offers a swift flow of the ball and is mostly used ones. Another material that can be used to make the top of the pool table is wood. It offers durability.

Metal pool tables are not fully made of metal; mainly, the leg part and frame are made using metal like aluminum. For increased durability of the pool tables, rubber pool tables can be a good option also.

Pool table

To play a pool game a pool table is as necessary as pool balls. Pool balls are hit towards the pocket through the surface of the pool table. Without a pool table you can’t imagine pool games.


The pool tables are different from billiards tables for having 6 pockets or holes in it. It has four pockets in the four corners of the table. And the remaining two pockets are designed in the middle of the two lengthy parts of the table. The tables are covered with a felt. Typically green colored felt is used on the surface of a pool table.


The pool tables size are rectangular in shape with a ratio of 2:1. Although the size is rectangular each and every time, but there is a variation in the size regarding the type of pool game. Basically, there are three types of pool tables you would find for pool gaming. These are 7 feet, 8 feet, and 9 feet. But sometimes you will see gamers using 6 feet pool table and sometimes 10 feet pool tables also. 

So the shape is always the same with rectangular, but the size varies depending on the type of the pool game.

Kinds of pool table

There are four kinds of pool tables you will find in the market. These are slate pool tables, metallic pool tables, rubber pool tables and wooden pool tables. It depends on your demands that which kind of pool table is appropriate for you. Of course, pool tables for professional use and pool tables for homely use are not going to be the same. 

So these are the materials that are used to make a pool table. And in the first part of the article, I have also discussed what are used to make pool balls. Hopefully, you guys have got your answers.

Trusted source

1. Bakelite

2. billiard ball dynamics pdf

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