American pool – or billiards – is a skill game with a significant strategy element. Played on a flat table with cushions and six pockets, the purpose of the game is to pot your object balls and sink the black to claim victory.
Enjoyed in America for hundreds of years, billiards has seen a number of shifts in popularity – particularly during the 20th Century. Resurgence in popularity has often been directly attributable to the release of the 1961 movie, The Hustler and its 1986 sequel, The Color of Money. With young men across the world fancying themselves as the next Paul Newman, pool halls popped up all over the serve the demand for the social sport.
As a means of entertainment, pool offers a fantastic opportunity to meet with friends and enjoy contest without excessive expenditure. Table and equipment hire costs are typically low; especially when split between a group taking it in turns to play. Often combined with social drinking and food consumption, it is not unusual to find a pool table in bars and pubs. As an unwritten rule, challengers claim the next game by placing a coin at the edge of the table – usually the amount required for a new game – and the winner stays on. Develop your skills and you could very well find yourself enjoying hours of entertainment at the expense of inferior challengers.
Pool is not just for enjoyment in dedicated pool halls and noisy bars. Like snooker, pool is a gentlemans sport that can be enjoyed on your own table. American pool tables are slightly larger than their British counterparts are. However, both are far smaller than a snooker table making them a viable option for many homes. Historically regarded as a piece of furniture, pool tables come in a variety of styles and can be constructed from both traditional and contemporary materials. With a table to suit all budgets, there is a solution out there for most room sizes and styles.
To succeed at pool will require a full understanding of the rules and a degree of forward planning and hand eye coordination. Digest this basic strategy guide to learn how to read the table and aim your shots correctly. Finally, learn about the equipment you will need and you are ready to get started.