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Why Are Pool Tables Green?

Posted by Watson's on Nov 16, 2020 4:19:06 PM

To find out why pool tables are green, you have to go back in time to the 14th century.

Origin of Pool

Pool used to be known by another name: billiards. Billiards wasn't like the pool game that we know and love today. Instead of playing on a table, billiards players would play outside on the grass.

Think of billiards as a hybrid game combining modern-day pool and croquet. Instead of leaning over the pool table as we do today, people had to bend down and knock the balls towards or through goals. Billiards caught on spectacularly with the higher classes, and many people loved the competitive nature of the sport and the fact that you didn't need to be very active to play it. The only problem was the weather.

During inclement weather, nobody could play billiards. It was not only challenging to maneuver the ball, but it was also unpleasant to be outside in the elements. They decided to revolutionize the game and bring it indoors, which was the beginning of pool as we know it today. Although the game’s history is a little hazy, the first modern pool table likely belonged to King Louis XI in 1470.

Modern Pool Tables

Unlike billiards before them, modern pool tables are built to be at groin height, so participants don’t have to fully bend over to play.

Today, there are different colored pool tables. You have probably seen deep red ones, and if you watch professional pool on television, you'll notice that the tables are predominantly blue. This is because television cameras have a hard time differentiating between the balls and the green felt surface of traditional pool tables. Televised pool uses a blue surface so the viewer can see the movements of the ball better. 

Even though television has evolved to pick up minute movements and pool ball angles, the finish is still blue due to viewer expectations instead of practicality. Blue pool tables are the standard for television these days.

The reason why pool tables are green goes back to the sport's roots. The green felt is a throwback to the times that nobility and higher classes played billiards out on grassy fields.

If you are looking for a new pool table to add to your game room, look no further than Watson’s. We have an impressive selection of pool tables for any budget.

Topics: Games and Rec - Pool and Billiards

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