The 8 Best Pool Ball Sets
8. Epco Rocco
- look very cool when rolling
- smaller than traditional balls
- hard to identify stripes and solids
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
7. Felson Billiard Supplies SFELS-002
- makes a good backup set
- good for periodic recreational use
- finish scratches easily
|Brand||Felson Billiard Supplie|
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
6. Action Bumper Set
- roll like traditional pool balls
- feel evenly weighted
- perfectly round with no blemishes
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
4. Iszy Billiards e41205
- good to show off to company
- consistent marbling across the set
- have a very high end look
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
3. Aramith Tournament Set
- cause minimal felt wear
- made from duramith resin
- give a crisp clean hit
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
2. Yves Empire USA Deluxe
- polished to perfection
- look more expensive than they are
- tend to chip easily
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
1. Diamond Billiards Cyclop
- made from phenolic resin
- same balls as used in tv tournaments
- cool cyclops eye on the cue ball
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
Drills & Tips To Improve Your Pool Game
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 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 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."