Over the weekend, I played some snooker at my local club and the following day, some pool (billiards) at one of the tables at a Tenpin bowling alley. Playing the two quite closely after each other opened my eyes to some of the differences between the two cue sports. Now, I am by no means an expert (or even adequate) at either sport; however, I have played both leisurely for quite some years and I think I provide the perspective similar to someone who is brand new to both sports.
For someone who has never played either sport, pool is definitely the easier one to play. I find myself potting ridiculous shots that I could never dream of on a snooker table. Cue action and technique is far more forgiving in a game of pool, as well are the pockets – which is probably why pool is such a more popular sport to the general masses.
On the other hand, potting a single shot in snooker is significantly more difficult than in a game of pool. The longer table and tighter pockets encourage a consistent, still cue action which can take a while to perfect. This can cause 2 complete novices to spend huge amounts of time trying to complete a single frame due to the difficulty in potting a ball.
Everyone will have differing experiences when it comes to both sports – and even when I played English Pool on a table at my old workplace, I found myself playing surprisingly well. But then I jump on a snooker table, and I can’t pot to save my life. Literally, I would be so screwed if I ever had to.
I’m not going to delve into which cue sport takes more skill because they both have their merits. Clearly, the editor for Snooker Shorts will have a biased opinion (although I think I’m remaining pretty objective so far) but I think stringing together a nice break in snooker is far more satisfying than clearing up a pool table. In my opinion pool is easy to learn, difficult to master; while snooker is difficult to learn, and even more difficult to master.
What do you think?