If you're creating the game room of your dreams and love shooting pool, take careful room measurements before you search for local pool tables for sale or hang a cue rack. Buying a pool table that's too large for the room doesn't have a great solution. Players will constantly be bumping the walls and struggling to make their shots. A pool table generally needs 5 feet of clearance on all sides if you're playing with standard-length cues, though even more space is better.
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Standard Pool Table Size
There's not one standard pool table size since tables are available in various sizes, but pool table dimensions always have a 2-to-1 ratio. In other words, a standard indoor pool table is exactly twice as long as it is wide. A 7-foot table is the smallest standard table. Commonly considered "bar size," these tables measure 7 feet by 3 1/2 feet. A professional-size table measures 8 feet by 4 feet. Nine-foot and larger tables are also available, but 7-foot and 8-foot tables are the most common choices.
Standard Pool Cue Lengths
The length of the pool cues you use may affect the amount of clearance you need around your pool table. People of average height typically use 58-inch pool cues, but taller players may prefer to buy 61-inch cues or use cue stick extensions to get more length. Longer cues are also useful for making shots on the far side of the table without having to use a bridge.
However, shorter sticks are also available for children and other short players, and they can be useful if your game room is on the small size. Keeping 42-inch pool cues in your rack is a good idea if you don't have any extra clearance around your table. A short cue makes it easier for a player of any height to make a shot from a tight corner.
Clearance for a Pool Table
The general rule of thumb when you play with 58-inch cues is to allow 5 feet of clearance on all sides of a pool table, which makes it easy to calculate how large a space you need for the table you're eyeing. Simply add 10 to each measurement of the pool table's dimensions. So a room should be at least 17 feet by 13 1/2 feet in size in order to fit a 7 by 3 1/2-foot table with enough clearance space for players to use standard pool cues. An 8-foot table requires at least 18 by 14 feet of room space. Of course, having more space is even better, especially if you like to have a group of people over to shoot pool.
If your room is on the small side, you may still be able to play with a 7-foot table as long as you stick with shorter cues.