What’s the Difference Between Pool and Snooker Cues?
To the untrained eye, the games of pool and snooker might appear close to identical, however, to a seasoned player they are two exclusively separate pursuits, requiring vastly different cues to play effectively.
Pool and snooker cues do have their similarities, both tend to be made of North American straight grained ash, which is a solid and stable wood, light in colour with a contrasting dark grain. The butts are usually made from ebony which is a dark and dense wood with minimal grain. Alternatives for the butt include rosewood which produces a redder look with a more prominent grain. So, likenesses aside, what sets the two types of cues apart?
The Physics Bit
In any game involving a ball being hit by a stick (yes that’s pool and snooker), the stick needs to be three and a half times the weight of the ball in order to execute the force required to make the ball accelerate. For the science geeks amongst us, the formula is force= mass x acceleration (F=ma), that’s courtesy of the OG Sir Isaac Newton. Here’s where the main difference occurs… in pool, the balls are larger and heavier creating the requirement for both a heavier cue and a larger diameter tip.
The next most important factor in determining the difference between a pool and a snooker cue is the player’s hand positioning. Snooker players like to feel the cue in the bridge of their hand in order to line up the shot accurately. Conversely, pool players need to feel the cue on their grip in order to apply the correct force on the cue ball. As a result, pool cues are heavier in the grip and snooker cues in the tip.
Pool cues are also manufactured to be far more flexible than their snooker counterparts because players focus more on the throw. Snooker, however, is all about precision and accuracy, so cues are made to be stiff.
Whilst both snooker and pool cues are designed with one task in mind- hitting balls around a table, their main difference lies in the length and weight of the stick, constructed in accordance with the size and weight of the balls respectively. Despite your playing style, build and height it’s prudent to stick to a cue designed specifically for your discipline. In if doubt seek guidance from a professional, they will advise on the best features to suit you and your individual form.