What is British 8 Ball?

Balls set up for a game of 8 Ball
British Pool is a game developed for the typical British pub. In the 1960s Attempts were made to put American Pool Tables in British pubs, but as most drinking establishments have limited space - there was not enough room to accommodate full size American Pool Tables. The scaled down versions which retained the original American pocket & ball sizes made the game too easy, especially for players used to playing Snooker. So if pool was to catch on in the UK, something had to change.

The table was redesigned and became a sort of hybrid of British and American Pool. The pockets and balls were made smaller, and the cue ball was made a different size to the object balls so a ball return mechanism would work on a coin operated table.

Pocket size on a British table
Many variations were tried, but over time a standard emerged.

The standard ball sizes are: 2 inches for object balls, with a cue ball of 1 plus 7/8 of an inch.

The standard table size is 7ft long, but 6ft and 8ft tables are not uncommon.

The pocket sizes varies slightly from different manufacturers, but corner pockets are generally around 3 inches across.

The games played on these tables are usually variations of 8 Ball Pool, played with red and yellow object balls for clarity. The black ball retains its number 8 markings for traditional reasons.
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