The 10 Best Pool Ball Sets
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in September of 2015. Whether you are an occasional player who enjoys a few games with friends or you take it very seriously on your home table, one of these pool ball sets will be perfect for you. They come in a variety of traditional and unusual designs to suit any taste, and at price points that make them good for everything from family fun through to tournaments at your local billiards hall. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
October 30, 2020:
Since the last update, the GSE Games & Sports Expert and the Iszy Billiards E41210 have become currently unavailable. We replaced the former with the Collapsar Deluxe as it sported a similar marbling effect and came in at almost the same price. The latter was replaced with the Iszy Billiards Modern as it's produced by the same manufacturer and neatly fulfills the criteria of a good-looking ball, made to reasonably high specifications, and given an affordable price tag.
We got rid of the Epco Rocco Clear, for even though it was quite a nice concept to have transparent balls, they were made from a resin that was too light for regulation weight and far too overpriced for what they offered. Instead, we used the free spot to offer the Aramith Pro-Cup 2 Ball, as some of the players viewing this list will play their pool on the slightly smaller English table that's typically found in pubs and billiard halls around the UK.
The Viper Billiard Master was also removed as it didn't really offer anything different from the other budget sets in this list like the Iszy Billiards Modern and the Felson 002. Instead, we added the Aramith Super Pro-Cup TV for players that want to recreate the feeling of competing in a televised tournament. This is the only item where for purposes of TV, the standard maroon of the 7 and 15 has been swapped for a light brown, and the deep purple of the 4 and 12 is changed to pink. This new combination of colors mixed with the famous cooper black style font also gives a great retro look to this set.
November 21, 2019:
Any serious billiards player can tell you that the equipment you use seriously affects how well you perform. Though even the best pool ball sets can't make up for a lack of skill, a poor-quality one can hamper your efforts at improving your game because you may not get consistent action from every ball in the set. Even a single ball may roll differently every time it is hit if it isn't perfectly round or evenly weighted.
For those serious about their game, we have included a few tournament-quality options that are regulation size and weight, built to exacting tolerances, and offer a true roll. Though you'll pay a pretty penny for the Aramith Tournament, Diamond Billiards Cyclop Hyperion Television, and Cue & Case Sales Brunswick Centennial, they are the best choice for someone who has hopes on competing one day.
If you play often enough that you consider yourself an avid billiards enthusiast and have spent the money to buy your own pool cue so you have something decent to play with on your home table or at the local pool hall, but don't have dreams of going pro one day, then you will probably be satisfied with the Aramith Premium, which has many of the same features of this well-respected company's tournament sets, just at a slightly lower price point.
For the casual players, we have included two kinds of sets: ones that offer a striking visual appeal, like the GSE Games & Sports Expert; Japer Bees Pearl; and Epco Rocco Clear, as well basic, bargain-priced sets like the Viper Billiard Master and Felson Billiard Supplies SFELS-002. The latter variety of these are perfectly suited to family game rooms in homes where there aren't any serious players and there may be teens or young kids who will be overly rough on the balls, and the former are great for those who want to impress their friends and guests with something that looks beautiful, even if they don't handle like regulation size and weight balls.
Ozone Billiards Custom Pool Balls Set This custom set can make a fun addition to any home table. They can be personalized with any text, logo, or photo image you choose; are regulation size; and have the classic color scheme of the sets you are used to seeing at your local billiards hall. ozonebilliards.com
Drills & Tips To Improve Your Pool Game
One by one, you'll want to use the cue ball to knock the other 12 balls into one of the corner pockets.
If you want to get better at pool it helps to play as often as possible, to seek out different opponents, and to experiment by trying different sticks, different chalks, and different variations of the game.
Between those games, you'll want to sharpen your skills by practicing. The most common practice drill in billiards is what is known as the cue ball concentration. To complete this drill, organize a dozen balls in a straight line running across the foot string. Once you've done that, set up the cue ball somewhere along the head string, as if you're about to break. One by one, you'll want to use the cue ball to knock the other 12 balls into one of the corner pockets. The idea is to master how and where the cue ball makes contact, while taking note of how the other balls respond.
If you'd like to focus on hitting balls so that they respond by moving in a straight line, set up the cue ball a few inches away from one of the corner pockets, then set up an eight ball midway across the table at a 45-degree angle. If you've done this correctly, you should be able to draw a straight line from the cue ball, through the eight ball, and directly into the furthermost pocket. The more you practice knocking the eight ball into that pocket via a straight line, the more your shots will benefit from additional discipline and control.
Of course, not every shot will be that simple. Whenever a ball is sitting at an inconvenient angle, for example, you'll want to imagine a straight line moving outward from the center of a desired pocket directly through that ball. Whatever point that line exits the ball at represents the exact point where you'll want a cue ball - or any ricocheted ball - to make contact. This strategy, used consistently, will help you to understand how geometry and physics can determine the arc of any ball.
How to Clean A Pool Ball Set In 15 Minutes Or Less
Most billiard balls are crafted out of an extremely dense combination of plastic, polyester, or phenolic resin; the outer shell of which is nearly impossible to break. While billiard balls are durable, they are also prone to staining, especially if they've been subject to chalk, or unclean surfaces. The good news is that cleaning a set of billiard balls is relatively easy. All you need is a sink, a magic eraser, a bottle of bleach, a dish rag, a pair of cleaning gloves, and a 16-oz cup.
Once each pair of balls has been rinsed, wipe them down with a magic eraser.
Once you've gathered these materials, place the stopper in your sink's drain, and then fill the sink with a full cup of water and a full cup of bleach. Next, drop a pair of billiard balls into the solution (for best results do not clean more than two balls at a time). With your gloves on, roll both balls around in the solution for three minutes. If your balls are dirty, you should see the solution beginning to turn a mixture of yellow, brown, and blue (depending on whether you use chalk).
Once each pair of balls has been rinsed, wipe them down with a magic eraser. Assuming the bleach and water have broken up some of the dirt, you should see the balls becoming shinier within a matter of seconds. You should also see a dark-colored film appearing along the front end of the eraser.
It's worth noting that there are specialized ball cleaners on the market, and that certain enthusiasts might even recommend using rubbing compounds and a buffer to simonize any set of pool balls. While these agents might provide a little extra glimmer, average players can achieve a fairly similar result (for a lot less) by simply following the process that we have outlined above.
How The Game of Billiards Became Known As 'Pool'
The concept of pocket billiards - that is, using a stick to knock a ball into a hole - was conceived as an extension of the French lawn game jeu de mail during the 15th Century. The idea was to place several balls upon a wooden surface, the length of which would be covered with a green cloth (the cloth was meant to represent green grass.) The term "billiard" was derived via two French words - "billard," meaning a curved stick, and "bille," meaning a ball.
The green felt surface combined with elastic bumpers - and the introduction of chalk - led to slick, and sometimes innovative, play.
The modern cue stick wasn't invented until the 1600s. Prior to that players had been using a blunt piece of wood called a mace to nudge the ball, as opposed to striking it. A mace was considered too thick for negotiating tight corners around a billiard table. As such, it was replaced with a smooth and narrow cue, the rounded point of which allowed for more dynamic shots.
Billiard tables became more refined during the Industrial Revolution. The green felt surface combined with elastic bumpers - and the introduction of chalk - led to slick, and sometimes innovative, play. In America and England, a lot of betting parlors soon began to install billiard tables so that their patrons could pass the time between horse races. These parlors were unofficially known as "pool rooms," given that every gambler would need to fill out a racing form, or a "pool," to place his bets. Thus, pool became a slang term for playing pocket billiards, and the betting parlors eventually gave way to more legitimate "pool halls."