Resources | Legacy Billiards – Tagged "Billiards / Pool" – Page 3

Resources — Billiards / Pool


Can I Afford a Pool Table for My Home? 0

A pool table is a wonderful investment for your family, providing hours of enjoyment.  It is a much needed alternative to television, video games and electronic entertainment.  Imagine the quality time spent with family and friends around a pool table and the conversations, laughter, and healthy competition that can be a part of your home. 

When you think of purchasing a pool table, you may feel you have only two options.  Most people think of the expensive and ornate heirloom quality tables or the relatively inexpensive toy tables offered at discount or department stores.  Many don’t realize there is a basic table option that provides similar quality as an heirloom table for a lower investment.

The Basic Table – Quality You Can Afford

A basic table is built to last for years in your home.  Using a solid wood construction with a sturdy frame and slate playing surface, a basic table is available typically for under $2,000.  The slate playing surface will not warp or deteriorate like plywood, making this table a quality investment for your family. 

Basic tables are plain and simple, without the detailed carving and fine finishes of an heirloom table.  Designed for durability and quality play rather than as a piece of furniture, these tables are still attractive additions to any home.  The simple lines save money without compromising function.

New versus Used

A new table offers your family the best possible value.  Pool tables tend to hold their value so a used table is often nearly as expensive as a new table but does not have the same guarantees as new.  A pool table is often damaged when moved making a used table more likely to have an uneven playing surface or other structural issues.  The small amount of money you save can be quickly used in repairs or maintenance.

Purchase a Basic Table from a Reputable Dealer

All things are not equal when purchasing a pool table.  It’s important to understand exactly the details of your purchase.  A reputable dealer will provide complete pricing.  Other dealers may not include the cloth, table installation or a warranty in the original purchase price.  These hidden costs can quickly multiply and eliminate any cost savings you anticipated.  Here are things to look for when purchasing your pool table:

  • Assembled at the Factory:  Select a pool table that is assembled at the factory.  This means that the slate is attached to the frame in a factory setting.  Why is this important?  When the slate is attached the manufacturer can ensure the playing surface is level and solid and that there are no structural defects or issues with the table itself.
  • Installation and Delivery:  Some dealers charge a separate installation and delivery fee above the price of the table.  Be sure to consider the cost of this service when buying your table and compare prices accordingly.
  • Cloth:  The cloth, known as felt, that covers the playing surface is essential to play.  You would naturally assume cloth is included in the table price, right?  Be careful.  Some dealers add the price of cloth to the quoted table price. 
  • Accessories:  Basic accessories like billiard balls, cue sticks and a rack should be included in the purchase price of your table.  Ask, and make sure you factor these items into the total pricing.
  • Warranty:  Purchasing a basic table is cost effective because of the lifetime warranty.  Rather than replacing the table after a few years, your investment will serve your family for a long time.  Make sure you purchase a basic table with this type of warranty. 


A Pool Table is Affordable for Your Family

By shopping around and making a wise and informed selection, you can afford a pool table for your home.  A basic table is a sound investment that pays off in hours of enjoyment for your friends and family.  When you consider the costs associated with other, more electronic forms of entertainment a pool table is a wise choice.

What’s the Best Deal on a Pool Table? 0

You’ve decided to purchase a pool table for your game room at home.  Great idea!  Investing in a game room that includes a pool table is an excellent way to encourage quality time with family and friends.  With thought and planning, you can select a table that meets your needs both now and in the future.

The best deal on a pool table is about more than just price.   It is about purchasing the right table for your needs.  The size, quality, and appearance of the table must be right for your home and your purpose.  The least expensive table available may appear to be a good value, but only if the table is durable enough to require little maintenance and give you the type of enjoyment you want.

Avoid a Toy Table

Be careful when shopping to understand what you are purchasing.  Department stores will often offer pool tables at a low price, presenting them as the ideal solution for your game room.  In fact, these tables are considered toy tables.

They are often constructed using a slate alternative as a playing surface.  Designed to last a few years at most, tables like these are easily damaged by players who are just enjoying a good time with friends.  People sitting on the rails or spilling a beverage on the table can cause damage that impacts the quality of play.  While these tables appear to be a good value, replacement costs make them unsuitable for more than occasional play by children in a kid’s rec room.

Essential Components of a Basic Table

A basic table is a sound investment, ensuring reliable play for years.  A sturdy, basic table begins at around $1,500 with design finishes and other details adding to the cost.  There are some basic components that you should look for as you select a basic table.

  • Slate not Wood – Slate is the preferred playing surface for a pool table.  Wood can warp and deform over time and are subject to humidity and weather conditions.  Slate will stay true over time and provide the best surface for play.  A one inch slate surface in three sections rather than one large piece is ideal and provides consistent play over time.
  • Frame and Cabinet – The frame supports the weight of the slate playing surface and must be strong enough to hold up without warping or allowing the slate to shift.  While solid wood is the best, there are other materials that can provide strength as well.  Make sure the slate is screwed into the cross pieces of the frame to provide the most strength and stability.  It’s best to purchase a table that is assembled in the warehouse.  This allows the manufacturer to correct errors before the table arrives in your home.
  • Cloth – A basic table has at least recreational quality (18-ounce) cloth.  This cloth, often known as felt, is relatively durable although it will wear over time.  For home use, select a table with 80/20 wool to nylon fabric and at least an 18-ounce weight.
  • Cushions – Look for rubber cushions backed with canvas.  Make sure the cushions are parallel with the table and free from warping.
  • Rails - Stable rails are crucial to playing pool.  Solid hardwood rails are preferred and are worth the additional expense.
  • Legs – Much of the visual design of a pool table comes from the legs.  Appearance is less important than stability, though.  Before selecting a table, bump up against it.  A good table should never be wobbly or unstable, no matter how pretty it is.


Basic or Heirloom – It’s up To You

A basic table will provide years of quality play with minimal maintenance.  When you design your game room, a basic table is the minimum investment you should consider.  If you want a pool table that is a piece of furniture and a centerpiece of the room, an heirloom table may be a better selection for you and your family.

An heirloom table is typically made of solid wood with a beautiful finish and lovely legs.  A table like this has the best quality materials including high grade cloth and lively rubber cushions to ensure a high quality game.  A table like this can cost thousands of dollars but is designed to last for generations.

Basic or heirloom quality, to get the best deal on a pool table you must understand your purpose for the table itself.  Selecting the appropriate table for your needs and desired play guarantees the best value and years of enjoyment for your entire family.

Are You Familiar With These Pool Game Varieties 1

If you are a regular pool player you are probably most comfortable playing 8-ball or 9-ball.  These games are the most commongames played in American homes, bars, and pool halls.  You may not realize, however, that there are many variations of pool that keep the game interesting and challenging for even the most experienced players.

Straight Pool

If you’ve seen the movie “The Hustler” you’ve seen straight pool.   Straight pool was the game of choice for decades and in the movie Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason play straight pool for money and bragging rights among other things.  This game is a part of our culture and heritage.

Straight pool is played with all fifteen balls in the rack.  Players must “call” the ball and designate the pocket they plan to shoot it into.  The point is only awarded if the ball goes in the designated pocket.  A player may continue to shoot until missing or causing a foul.  Play continues until someone reaches an agreed upon point total.

When fourteen balls are pocketed they are racked again with the fifteenth ball left in its position.  The next player must then sink that ball in a way that disturbs the other racked balls for play to continue.

One Pocket

One pocket also uses all fifteen balls in the rack.  Players are each given one of the corner pockets at the foot of the table as the one pocket that will be used through the entire game.  Balls are sunk into that pocket only.  The player or team who sinks the last ball, or in some variations the 8 ball, is the winner.


Cutthroat is a popular pool variation when three people want to play together.  Each player is assigned five of the fifteen balls and play begins.  The game gets its name from the ruthless way the game is played.  The object is to sink all the other player’s balls while one of yours remains on the table.  When a player “scratches” and sinks the cue ball he must place a ball from each other player back on the table.


Imagine going to a pool table to play golf?  Seems strange, doesn’t it?  In this game each player has only one ball and must sink it into the pockets in a designated order.  If a player makes a shot his opponent then “spots” the ball (sets it on the table wherever he wants) and the player may move on to try and sink it in his next designated pocket.

Pill Pool

Pill pool is an interesting variation that is even more ruthless than cutthroat.  In pill pool a bottle holding fifteen numbered chips is shaken and each player draws one pill.  The ball with the same number is now the player’s object ball.  To win a player must sink his object ball.

The complexity comes with the play.  In pill pool the cue ball must first hit the lowest numbered ball on the table as a part of each shot.  Your opponent can “kill” you by sinking your object ball during their turn.  If that happens you must resign from the game.

The Variations are Endless

These games are just some of the recognized variations played on a pool table.  Games like these require controlled shots, complex strategies and often a strong competitive spirit.  The opportunities to place bets are equally endless.  Money often doesn’t even change hands since bragging rights are more important.

Why Should I Get High-Quality Billiard Balls?

Why Should I Get High-Quality Billiard Balls? 0

One billiard ball is just like another one, right?  Wrong.  The quality of the billiard balls you use has an impact on the quality and accuracy of your game.  In fact, most experienced players will tell you it isn’t always a defect in the table that makes a shot go awry.  Sometimes it’s the fault of the billiard balls themselves.

History of Billiard Balls

Billiard balls were originally made of stone but were eventually replaced with balls made of wood and clay due to the weight of the stone itself.  These balls were used until the 1600’s when ivory billiard balls became popular.

Ivory billiard balls were expensive and time consuming to make.  Each tusk yielded only 4 or 5 balls.  The balls themselves had to be cured for years to make them durable enough to withstand the stress of play without cracking or chipping.  Many balls were rejected due to inconsistent density or defects in the ivory itself.  As the elephant population in the world thinned it became obvious that billiard balls from another material were needed.

Today billiard balls are made from a combination of resin and plastic.  This material is moldable and uniformly dense, perfect for high quality billiard balls that offer top quality play.  The best balls are made in Belgium by Saluc and are made of phenolic resin.

Important Factors in Billiard Ball Selection

There are three main factors that affect the quality of a billiard ball.  The first is the diameter tolerance held by the manufacturer.  The diameter tolerance determines the perfect round shape.  As a ball is machined, the diameter of the ball is set.  High-quality balls are held to a strict tolerance, meaning variations are not tolerated.  You can count on these balls to be as close as possible to perfectly round.

The same is not true of lower quality balls.  Instead a tolerance is set for the diameter. These balls are machined to appear round and to approach perfect roundness.  Their shape, however, is not guaranteed to be perfectly round.  There is a tolerance for error that is allowed in the interests of saving costs during manufacturing.

The second factor is consistency of density.  A billiard ball with a consistent density rolls true and straight.  The weight of the ball is evenly distributed allowing the ball to roll evenly no matter where cue strikes it.

Billiard balls with an inconsistent density play erratically.  They don’t bank properly.  They zigzag while rolling at times because the weight is unevenly distributed.  When you notice a ball rolling strangely it may not be the fault of the table, although it is often blamed on table roll.  More often it is uneven weight distribution that causes erratic ball behavior.

The third factor is elasticity.  Elasticity is the transfer of energy from the strike ball to the object balls during play.  Ideally a ball will transfer 100% of its energy to the next ball during a stop shot.  In fact, a stop shot gets its name from this elasticity factor.  If you notice your strike ball continuing to travel after striking another ball evenly you are noticing a lack of elasticity.  While this can be caused by wear and tear, it is more common with lower quality billiard balls.

Select High-Quality Balls for Optimal Play

High-quality billiard balls are a worthy investment for you and your family.  A fine set of balls costs between $100 - $200 but lasts much longer than the $20-$50 set you find at the local department store.  The high quality balls withstand enthusiastic play without losing elasticity or damaging the cloth of your table.  They roll true and allow your entire family to learn skilled shots without having to compensate for ball roll caused by uneven weight or dimension.