Pool Table Pockets

Written by James McLean
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If you aren't an avid pool player, you may not spend much time looking at the pockets on most tables. People who are new to the sport tend to assume that a pot is a pot, and spend little time admiring the craft that goes into the construction of these leather parts. In fact, they can be the crowning touch on a stunning table when you work with good artists.

Most drop pockets (remember: ball return is for bars) use one of two designs: a shield or a fringe. Depending on the design you have chosen for the rails and legs, each can either work well or wreck the overall visual effect of a well-crafted table. Choosing properly can produce a cohesive whole that is a wonder to behold.

Stains and Shapes

Don't be misled into thinking your pocket design has much to do with playability. With few exceptions such as tight pockets, all pool tables offer the same regulation shape and depth for pockets. Because the inner edge is padded, you can expect an accurately struck object ball to cede momentum and drop nicely, no matter what kind of table you buy.

What these choices are about is the look of the table, particularly its level of ornamentation. Some people prefer fringes in light colors that give the entire surface the appearance of old world epaulets. Others opt for more subdued shields in a variety of crests and stains. Whichever you go with, it helps to work with a builder who will take time to listen to your feelings on all matters pertaining to your table.

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