Standard table sizes are measured by the actual playing surface (from the cloth covered nose of the cushion rubber to the opposite cushion rubber). They are 44"x88" (8 foot table), 46"x92" (oversized or pro 8 table), 50"x100" (9 foot table). The Billiard Congress of America (BCA), the governing body for the sport of billiards in the US, states that it will "sanction Tournament Play on Home and Coin-operated tables produced sizes other than those recognized above if the playing area width is one half the length". American Heirloom produces all of their tables in these sizes as well as a 7 foot table with a playing surface of 39"x78" which is similar in size to most bar or coin-operated tables.

Room size is obviously a major consideration when choosing which size table you want. Another important consideration is playing skill. The larger the playing surface, the more challenging the game becomes. Most families prefer the standard 8 foot table. Serious players will prefer a 9 foot table but may have to concede to the oversized 8 due to room size. Ten foot tables are most often used for carom and snooker tables.

Most room size charts understate the amount of room you need to play comfortably and effectively. You must not only allow for the length of the cue stick but also at least 3 inches for stroke. Since a standard cue is 57" long, you should allow 57"+3" to each side of the table, or a total of 120" when playing with standard length cue sticks. For an 8 foot table, which has a 44" x 88" playing field, your ideal room size would therefore be at least 44"+120"= 13' 8" wide, and 88"+120"= 17' 4" long.

You can get away with less area if you use shorter cue sticks. Cue sticks are readily available in 52" and 48" lengths. If you are constrained in certain spots you can get away with 10" to 18" less space by switching to these shorter cues when necessary. In extreme cases, you could lop as much as 3 feet off the recommended room dimensions shown below by using half of a standard 2 piece cue. You can even buy caps to screw into the lower half of the cue.

A word of advice: Don't let the need to use shorter cues for a few shots force you into a smaller table than you would like. Be especially wary of settling for a 7 foot table when using shorter cues could allow you to accommodate an 8 footer. The game is very different on smaller tables. Unless you are accustomed to playing on small bar tables and really prefer that style of play, you will find the larger sizes much more challenging and enjoyable.

The optimum room sizes using standard 57" cues are as follows:

Table Size Playing Area 48" Cue 52" Cue 57" Cue 60" Cue
6' x 3' 66" x 33" 14'6" x 11'9" 15'2" x 12'5" 16' x 13'3" 16'6" x 13'9"
7' x 3'6" 76" x 38" 15'4" x 12'2" 16' x 12'10" 16'10" x 13'8" 17'4" x 14'2"
8' x 4' 88" x 44" 16'4" x 12'8" 17' x 13'4" 17'10" x 14'2" 18'4" x 14'8"
8' x 4' (Oversized) 92" x 46" 16'8" x 12'10" 17'8" x 13'6" 18'2" x 14'4" 18'8" x 14'10"
9' x 4'6" 100" x 50" 17'4" x 13'2" 18'4" x 13'10" 18'10" x 14'8" 19'4" x 15'2"
10' x 5' 112" x 56" 18'4" x 13'8" 19'4" x 14'4" 19'10" x 15'2" 20'4" x 15'8"
12 x 6' 124" x 62" 19'4" x 14'2" 20'4" x 14'10" 20'10" x 15'8" 21'4" x 16'2"

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