Ultimate Pool Table Buyers Guide | Game Dribble

August 31, 2020 6 min read

Ultimate Pool Table Buyers Guide | Game Dribble

Pool Table with balls, triangle and two cues.

Best Buying Guide For Pool Tables

Table of Contents:

  • Type of Pool Tables
  • Sizes and Dimensions
  • Construction Materials and Durability


The types of pool tables that are going to be reviewed here are: Furniture style, Bar style, Portable and Mini. 


Furniture style pool tables are highly customizable. They come disassembled, which means it is easy to bring it to a place where you want it to be. Due to their wide variety of design they look amazing and easily fit in with your home decor. 



Gold Standard Games Bayside Charcoal Home Pool Table


Check Price #1

Here you see the Gold Standard Games/Shelti Bayside Home Pool table. Featuring a magnetic cue ball separator previously only available on coin-operated tables. A rugged high-pressure laminate exterior, die cast corners and massive legs help this table withstand nearly anything - just like similar models installed in taverns and pool halls across America.


Bar style pool tables are heavier in construction. These ones are pre-assembled with most of them featuring coin collection systems. Avoid bar style tables if there’s a tight space where you need to get the table to. 


Valley Panther ZD-X Coin Operated Pool Table


Valley Panther ZD-X Coin Operated Pool Table


Check Price #2
The coin collecting system is highly sophisticated. Featuring Accounting and Auditing functions to help Operators find what options were most popular in the location.


Portable pool tables save space first and foremost. Although, due to their lighter construction they are best played by children. It can be an excellent budget friendly option for your kids’ developing passion for the game.


Hathaway 40" Table Top Pool Table in Red

Hathaway 40-in Table Top Pool Table - Red
Check Price #3
This here's a Hathaway 40" Table Top Pool Table in Red. It's constructed with durable CARB certified MDF playfield with high-quality, blended, polyester/wool red felt. Table is sturdy enough for children to play.

Mini pool table is lots of fun for anyone. From kids to adults, everybody likes a go at this type of pool. But keep in mind that in no way this type of table can help learn to play actual pool other than the kids. Though, the construction is very light, doesn’t require assembly and can be stored even under one’s bed. 

Sizes and Dimensions

Pool table in red fetl

Playing pool requires the players to have extra room for movement and self-adjustment. Provided here is the usual size and weight dimensions for the aforementioned pool tables: 

Furniture/Home tables usually come in these dimension: L 93” / W 53” / H 32”; Weight: 710 lbs.

Bar pool tables (coin-operated) : L 93” / W 53” / H 32”; Weight: 710 lbs.

Portable tables can be around: L 55" / W 29” / H 25”; Weight: 43lbs.

Mini tables : L 20” / W 12” / H 4”; Weight: 6lbs.

So, use these reference measurements to be knowledgeable of what dimensions you should be considering before purchasing a pool table. 

Construction Materials and Durability

There are different types of materials used in pool table construction. Below you will find the best kinds of these materials which vary in privileges. 


Frames are an integral part of a pool table. The type of a frame needed is dependent on the playfield material. Let’s take a slate playfield as an example to illustrate my point. A slate playfield is a polished and perfectly leveled piece of a large rock. The minimum thickness it can have is ¾”.

Now this means that you would need only two cross beams in the frame. However, thicker the slate, like 1” and above, means that you need to make sure that frame has quad beam construction in it. The reason for this being a better choice is that the playfield sooner rather than later will not sag and become uneven. 

Additionally, look for loose screws and wobbly leg joints. These are negative signals, which tell you that long term service is not in this table’s plans. 

As for Portable and Mini pool tables, they are usually made of lower quality materials. However, this does not mean that the game is unenjoyable. For example it is likely that you will not find a slate for the playfield, but rather a solid wood playfield.

Remember that portable and mini pool tables are made only for having fun, learning a bit and not playing professionally. If you use usual force on these tables like you would on a standard sized pool table then you will most likely damage it irreparably. 


It is no surprise that a standard or any other heavier pool table needs a sturdy leg construction. They hold the whole thing steady. Aside from the playfield weight, an extra weight is added when a player leans or sits on the side of the table to make a shot.

Now, there are two types of legs: post and two-piece legs. Post legs are solid wood from the playfield all the way down to its feet. These kinds of legs are reliable even for the long term play. There are two types of two-piece leg system: a single anchor and quad anchor. A single anchor has only one nut and bolt connecting the leg to the frame. This type gives overall less weight, however, is weaker than the quad anchor system. The latter has four nuts and bolts to keep the table as steady as possible. 

Portable pool tables usually come with foldable legs, so that the compact space idea is preserved. Consider the scenario where inside the home there actually is no place to put a portable pool table only in the garage. At home you can store it with folded legs, which eliminates the need to disassemble it.  


Hathaway Fairmont Portable 6-Ft Pool Table

Hathaway Fairmont Portable 6-Ft Pool Table


Check Price #4

Hathaway Fairmont Portable 6-Ft Pool Table is not only portable but also features folding legs with leg levelers as well. An excellent pool table for home use.


Mini pool tables sometimes do not even require legs! You can put it on a table and play right away. But the ones that do come with their legs it is not recommended to lean or put too much force on the table sides. The same goes for the portable pool tables, unless of course children are using it. 



Pool Slate

The playfield material is a highly important component of the pool table. What you will find on the market is usually a slate, wood, honeycomb, plywood, slatron or some other materials used for the playfield. However, as it turns out the professionals have elected 3 piece slate as the best playfield available today.

A slate, as explained above, is a piece of volcanic rock which is after being quarried - polished and perfectly leveled to fit the standards of modern pool/billiards gameplay. A 3 piece slate is easier to transport and get it into a room where you need it.

A slate playfield varies in thickness. The smallest thickness you can find is ¾”, whereas the standard thickness is 1”. The heavier the slate is the more support the pool table needs from the bottom. That is where the quad beam system comes into picture.

Also, heavier slate playfields are harder to break so they are extremely durable and are the exact type used in tournaments and championships. 


Pool balls and green felt

The best felt for pool tables are wool and nylon combos coated in Teflon. The latter material introduces an almost frictionless surface, while wool and nylon are high in friction. So this combination of materials results in a certain balance which is ideal for striking billiard balls across the table with the right amount of friction. 

Be on a look out for above mentioned felt materials for optimal gameplay. Although, it has to be noted that some mini pool tables usually have lower quality wool embedded in them. 


Pool table cushions

The best kind of rails are natural gum rails. These types last as long as the entire table itself, while maintaining the original bounce rate of the ball. There can be found synthetic materials for cushions and rails as well, however, they do not last as long. Resulting in the balls bouncing off in unpredictable directions. Although, they can come in various colors which in turn can give style to your table. 



Pool Ball collection system
A pool table has six pockets, a.k.a drop pockets. Typically what you find in a given pool table are ball collecting systems, nets or plastic pockets. The collecting system is the best kind, however, it increases the overall cost of the table. Plastic drop pockets fill up quickly, so immediate removal of the scored ball is advised. The net pockets are prone to quick damage and are reaped with too much weight. 
Dynamo Sedona DBA Pool Table
Check Price #6
Dynamo Sedona DBA Pool Table features a special kind of ball collection system - it makes almost no sound. The ball travels a quiet journey after it's dropped into the pocket and goes towards the retrieval bay.   

Portable and mini pool tables usually come with plastic and net drop pockets. These are more easy on the budget options. There can be found ball collector systems on these types of pool tables, however, they cost more. 


We at Game Dribble, hope that you have a comfortable experience while browsing our catalogs and blogs. Now that you know more about the specifics of pool tables, you are more knowledgeable of what to look for in a decent pool table.  

Gega Gogibedashvili
Gega Gogibedashvili

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