The Full Size Snooker Table, the Big One
A Full size snooker table is the big beast of the billiards world, along with Russian pyramid tables the full size snooker table is 12 feet long and 6 feet wide, so you need a big house or extension to put one in. Having said that the big snooker table is an imposing piece of furniture and is a joy to own (at least I think so). These tables are the ones used in all the big tournaments like the world championship held in Sheffield, but there are subtle differences between the snooker table in the home and the tournament tables.
The competition tables have tighter pockets 5 world snooker championship schedule so the balls are more difficult to pocket and the cloth on them is changed often to give consistent results for the professionals. How often have you heard the players complain about the tables, it is nearly always because the cloth is slightly worn or not ironed properly so the nap is not correct. Mere mortals like me wonder what they are on about, but a pro knows how the ball should respond on the table and such subtleties matter a lot to them, especially when there is big prize money involved.
The other difference is the cushions. They are backed with steels; a steel block is put behind the cushion rubber so the bounce is always the same, in theory, as the rubber is not glued onto a hard or soft piece of wood slightly altering the rebound of the ball from the cushion. Again most club players would not tell the difference.
And when it comes to the maintenance of the table, there is a world of difference, the table in competitions is ironed between sessions to maintain the consistency of the cloth nap, whereas most home tables never even see an iron.
The big name in full size snooker tables is of course Riley. Their tables are the ones used in all the big snooker competitions, the actual model used is the Aristocrat and of course they have the steels behind the cushions and the pockets are cut so they are very tight making it more difficult to pot the balls. So it is even more impressive when the pros get a 147 break. The legs are coloured silver for the benefit of the TV cameras (and no doubt to show up the sponsor’s name better). You can actually buy the tables used in the tournaments occasionally, so you can have a table the pros have actually used, but you had better be a good player with those tighter pockets and everything.
Before you purchase a full size snooker table for your home, be sure you have enough space; the minimum space required ideally is 22 foot long and 16 foot wide to allow for cueing all around the table. Also make sure the room is not damp as this will affect the cloth and wood. But to have the full sized snooker table in your home is surely one of life’s ultimate luxuries and will bring you hours of pleasure and will be worth the considerable investment, with prices starting from £2500 upwards.