Billiard tables are a type of table that allow for different types of cue sports to be played. The table is usually made of quarried slate with the top being covered with cloth. The rails or cushions as they are known are made from a vulcanized rubber. The table is raised to a certain height off the floor so it can be played standing up.
The cushions on the table are placed on the inner side of the wooden rails. These are sometimes called rails or bumpers. The reason for the cushion is to cause the balls to rebound off without losing much of the speed it has. The shape of the cushions depends on the type of table that is being used.
The cloth covering the slate and rails on the table is sometimes called felt. This cloth is a wool and nylon mixture and usually is green in color. This is true because it represents a lawn from which it originated. The thickness of the cloth affects how fast and how much curve can be given to the balls.
There are three main categories that are included in the cue sports. Carom billiards, snooker, and pool are the most popular recreational games. These games are played throughout the globe and are enjoyed by many people each day.
Carom billiard tables are unique because they are pocketless. These tables are used for such games as artistic and three cushion billiards. The slate table has to be heated a few degrees above room temperature so that moisture will not hinder the balls. The heating of tables has been practiced since the Queen Victoria era.
A snooker table is the largest of the tables. It has six pockets and the cloth is made of worsted wool. The raised part or nap of the cloth can have a big affect on how the balls roll. This is especially true for the more finesse shots. The snooker table has the nap running from the baulk to the top of the table. In most cases it is always brushed and ironed in this direction.
There are many different markings that are used for this game that differ from other cue sport games. The area of the table called the baulk is a line drawn twenty nine inches from the bottom cushion. A D is then drawn from this line to show where the cue ball must be placed to break or when the ball is potted.
The most popular cue sport in the United States is pool. Pool uses a standard seven to nine foot table with the six pockets on the rails. The pockets are usually lined with plastic or leather and can have either a bag to catch them or a ball return that sends them to a certain spot under the table. Many times there are diamonds on the railing to aid with bank shots in the game.
There are also other types of billiard and novelty tables used for specific games. These usually come in other shapes that include zig zag, circular, and hexagonal.
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