Bar billiards is a historic game, widely thought to be based on bagatelle, the same game that spawned modern pinball tables. This particular antique table was originally produced by William Jelkes and Son; the manufacturers of the finest (and first) bar billiard tables in the world. Since its manufacture in the 1930s, it has been painstakingly restored by our craftsman here in Chertsey.
Far more than a table, the Jelkes Bar Billiards is an icon; a historic game from one of the most significant portions of British history. The product is a conduit for a game that was born when the British still controlled an empire that spanned a fifth of the globe. Its great age and peerless quality makes this bar billiards table a fascinating snapshot in the history of gaming.
A full length competition table, the Jelkes Bar Billiards is six feet long, outfitted with its original thick Welsh slate and an oak finish. It is sold with its original timer clock, wooden scoreboard, wooden skittles and a set of bar billiards balls, along with two premium cues. According to bar billiards rules, all shots are taken from one end of the table, making the game ideal for small locations. Its game-play considerations make size less of an obstacle for its installation, and it’s a perfect complement to any environment, be it public house or private residence.
Bar Billiards is played by potting balls into holes with varying points values. Its name derives not from its association with bars, but because a wooden bar drops after a timed limit, preventing any more balls becoming available for use. After the balls remaining on the table and are potted, the game is over. In England, games are allowed to last up to nineteen minutes. It’s possible for a skilled starting player to play for the entirety of the time available without allowing his opponent a shot. This is called running the clock out, and can result in some large breaks.
Our founder, Reginald Waldersmith, was attracted to Bar Billiards for its quintessential Britishness. Although he himself admitted he was far from skilled, he became a keen player after he was introduced to it in 1958, and ran the clock out for the first time in 1980, a feat he contentedly described as ‘my own personal Crucible.’ We’ve been selling tables since 1962, so know a thing or two about our products! Our showroom will gladly assist you on any questions you may have before or after you purchase any Games Room Company equipment.