To decide what type of billiard table to buy, you need to first choose what type of game you will want to play on it. We will try to give a brief overview of the most popular billiard games, which are the following:
Russian billiards (also known as Pyramid) is the the best known and most played billiard game in Lithuania. The table styles called “Club” (3 m x 1.5 m) and “Half-Club” (2 m x 1 m) were popular throughout the territory of the whole USSR. Currently the size of the latter tables has grown to 8 feet and balls of 57.2 mm diameter are used to play on them. On tables longer than 9 feet, the balls used have a diameter of 68 mm. This game requires a high degree of accuracy, because the width of the pockets is barely 4–6 mm wider than the diameter of the ball. This game is popular all over the Russian Federation. A very similar type of billiard game is played in Finland.
This is a billiard game for the whole family, which can be played by people of all ages. The largest table is 9 square feet (2.54 m x 1.27 m), but in private homes the tables are more often 8 or even 7 square feet. This game is very popular among Lithuanian youth. The big pockets and the colourful balls make it possible to play a fast-rolling game, with all participants seeking a quick victory.
This is an English game, played on a snooker table of 6 or 5 square feet, like ordinary pool. The black ball, white ball and seven yellow plus seven red balls are pocketed according to the rules of 8 Pool. This game is popular in the United Kingdom, but not in Lithuania.
Like English pool, in which the players demonstrate great skill as they estimate how the ball will roll, snooker also requires graceful and accurate hits to achieve victory. Many snooker championships are broadcast on the world’s television sports channels, so you can admire the skill of this game’s professionals, evaluating their strategy and tactics. In Lithuania snooker is mostly played in the larger billiard salons.
Carambole or carom billiards is one of the more complex of the billiard games. When playing carambole, according to certain rules you have to hit another ball with your ball in such a way that it hits a third ball. This game requires precision from the players and also sturdily built billiard tables, with no pockets. These tables are constructed using slate that is 70 mm thick, which can be equipped with heating devices as required, in order to maintain a stable playing environment. Carambole or carom billiards is not well known in Lithuania. It is most popular in France, also to some extent in Italy and a number of Asian, African and Latin American countries.
Note: The official rules for playing the various types of billiard game mentioned above can be found on the Union Mondiale de Billard (World Billiard Union) website: http://www.umb.org/ .