What are the Parts of a Billiard Table?

A billiard table, which is similar but larger than a pool table, consists of several key components:


  1. Table Frame:

    The foundation of the billiard table is a sturdy wooden or metal frame that supports the playing surface. It is designed to provide stability and ensure that the table remains level.

  2. Playing Surface:

    The playing surface of a billiard table is typically made of slate, although some lower-end tables may use alternative materials like MDF or plywood. Slate is preferred because it offers a very flat and consistent playing surface. The slate is covered with a special cloth, traditionally green in color, which provides the necessary friction for the balls to roll smoothly.

  3. Cushions:

    Surrounding the playing surface are the rails that are typically made of wood or composite materials. The rails have rubber cushions or bumpers attached to them. These cushions are essential for the rebounding action of the balls when they hit the rails.

  4. Pockets:

    Billiard tables have six pockets, one at each corner and one in the center of each long rail. The pockets are typically made of leather or rubber and are designed to catch and hold the balls when they are pocketed during gameplay. Some types of tables have no holes.

  5. Ball Set:

    A standard billiard table is typically used for various cue sports, including eight-ball and nine-ball. Each game has a specific set of balls, but a common set includes 15 numbered balls (1 through 15) and a cue ball. The cue ball is the white ball used to strike the other balls during play.

  6. Cue Sticks:

    Players use cue sticks to strike the cue ball and send it into the other balls to make shots. Cue sticks are typically made of wood and have a tip made of leather or another suitable material to provide precise control over the cue ball’s movement.

  7. Chalk:

    Chalk is used to apply to the cue tip before each shot to increase friction and prevent miscues. This helps players maintain better control over the cue ball.

  8. Bridge Stick (optional):

    In some cases, players may use a bridge stick, also known as a cue rest or a “crutch,” to support the cue stick for hard-to-reach shots.

  9. Triangle Rack:

    A triangle-shaped rack is used to arrange the 15 balls in a tight formation before the start of a game. The rack is removed once the game begins.

  10. Scoring System (optional):

    Some billiard tables may have built-in scoring mechanisms or electronic scoreboards to keep track of scores during games.


These components work together to create the playing environment for various cue sports, including pool, snooker, and billiards. The exact specifications and materials used may vary depending on the quality and style of the table.