American pool and English pool might sound like similar games to the layman, but even a casual look closer will tell you they’re very different games indeed! Each one bears the clear hallmarks of its nation’s cultural influences, and as you might expect, traditionally it’s been the English version of the game that’s flourished in the UK.
American pool did enjoy a resurgence in the 1980s and 1990s, before its popularity waned slightly. Now, that popularity is surging once again, as you might have gathered from the extensive range of American pool tables we stock here ourselves at the Games Room Company! So, what explanations are there for its meteoric rise?
It’s accessible, and open to all
Some people think of American pool as the easier version of the game, which might be doing it a bit of a disservice. As we covered in our recent post on the key differences between English and American pool, both games are distinct in very unique ways, but tend to level out in the difficulty stakes.
With that said, the American version of the game does use bigger pockets, which means that casual games can often be more forgiving for inexperienced players – making them a popular option in both private and commercial settings. Individual customers might outfit their games room with an American pool table to provide some accessible entertainment for visiting friends and family, while pubs and clubs are starting to favour them more often as they don’t discourage people who wouldn’t normally define themselves as ‘serious’ players.
Now, here’s where we should say that there are several variants of American pool. 8 ball is one of the most widely popular, but there’s also a 9-ball version that’s the preferred choice for tournaments and professional players, due to its faster-paced nature. This is why we wouldn’t describe American pool as ‘easy’ as such – while you might find that some shots are easier, don’t forget that the same often applies to your opponent. Just watch a championship game for a quick example of what we’re talking about!
Customers increasingly have more space for them
We tend to find that when outfitting their games rooms, once customers have chosen their favourite jukeboxes, pinballs, and Coke machines, pool and billiard tables tend to be next on their agenda. One of the core appeals of the English version of the game has always been that the tables tend to be smaller, so that they can be more comfortably played when space is at a premium. However, if customers have got the room, many are more than willing to dedicate the space to a table which makes a bolder, more eye-catching spectacle. Especially since…
The design options are almost limitless
You don’t have to know us well to know that we love tradition here at the Games Room Company, but there’s a lot to be said for the customisation that modern American pool tables can accommodate. Personalised designs and liveries always appeal to customers looking to mould their games room to a very exacting vision or aesthetic, however niche or outlandish.
The same broadly applies to pool halls and similar venues in the UK, although in this case it’s for more commercially-oriented purposes. Managers and owners often like to fit the designs of their pool tables into the carefully-cultivated look and atmosphere of their bar, lounge, café or nightclub, enhancing their image and brand. What’s more, it makes for a stunning centrepiece that creates a talking point, which is always brilliant for attracting new customers.
Whatever you’re looking for in your American Pool table, you’re sure to find it amongst our inventory here at the Games Room Company. Tables such as the 8ft Venetian have always been popular for projecting a distinct taste of class into interiors, while our very own Straker combines the functions of table tennis and pool table into a single sleek and sophisticated package. Feel free to browse our inventory for yourself, or alternatively if you’ve got any questions or need any advice, you can give our Weybridge showroom a call on 01932 568 414. We’re always happy to help!