Best Pool Tables for The Money 2017 Reviews & Guide

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Pool tables are the center pieces of life’s most casual, yet fun sport. You don’t have to run around, but you get to strategically make satisfying moves to defeat your opponent. If you’ve recently fallen in love with the sport, you may be interested in your own pool table. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of buying pool tables, what to look for before buying a pool table, tips on how to choose the best pool table for you, and other things to look out for when buying.

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 Fat Cat Frisco II 7.5-Foot BilliardMD Sports 84 in.Mizerak Donovan II 8’
 Fat Cat Frisco II 7.5-Foot BilliardMD Sports 84 in.Mizerak Donovan II 8’
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MSRP$$$
Lowest Price$$$Amazon See it$$Amazon See it$$$$Amazon See it
BrandsGLD ProductsMD SportsMizerak
TypesPool TablePool TablePool Table
Model64-012784 InP5223W2-parent
Weight231 pounds216 pounds312 Pounds
Product Dimensions89.5 x 50.5 x 31 inches88 x 52 x 7 inches31 x 55 x 99
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Pool Tables buying Guide

Benefits of Buying Pool Tables

Having your own pool table sounds like a luxury that you can’t afford. However, since they are so popular, their price has decreased. Thankfully, you can still purchase a quality pool table, despite their price dropping. One of the primary benefits of buying your own pool table is being able to play whenever you want. You won’t have to worry about making time to go out to your local pool hall after work, or being awkward and going by yourself.

Another benefit of buying your own pool table is lack of germs. For the germaphobes or the easily ill-stricken, having your own pool table reduces the number of germs you receive from others through contact of some sort. During colder seasons, your desire to play pool may not decrease, but your desire to go out when the flu has hit is at an all-time low. Thankfully, having your own setup is possible at an inexpensive price.

If you’re someone who is an amateur and is looking to go professional, or semi-professional at best, having your own setup is pivotal to your success. You can practice at all hours or when it’s convenient for you, without having to wait for a hall to open. You can also land your own trick shots by practicing time and time again. You don’t have to follow anyone’s hall rules but your own, and you can invite your friends over for a few drinks without them having to put for it.

In the end, your pool table will pay for itself, as you won’t have to pay hourly for your table or buy any inexpensive in-house beverages to accommodate your playing. When you make a one-time purchase, you’re able to spend more money on updated gear for playing.

What to Look for When Buying Pool Tables

Now that you’ve pinpointed why you want to buy a pool table, and the benefits of doing so, you’ll want to create a check-list of what to look for while searching and before buying. There are quite a few things you’ll want to research to ensure that you’re making the best choice possible. Some of these checklist items include the following:

Slate

Having a pool table that uses a slate will provide you with a smooth experience. Slate is a type of rock that provides pinpointed accuracy when you shoot. Alternatives of slate include honeycomb, permaslate, slatron, fiberboard, and many more.

Legs

You can’t play on a pool table without legs, duh! Legs make up support for around 90% of the weight of a table. If your pool table doesn’t have strong legs, don’t expect to be playing for long. The more stress-shots you take on non-sturdy legs, the more likely you’re going to see your table fall to its demise. There are “perfect” legs that are the most optimal, and two piece legs that are considered the industry standard. Those that are perfect are composed of solid wood and generally have slate all the way to the floor. As you use your table, you won’t have to worry about lowering because of perfect legs. Beyond this, there are two kinds of standard legs. Those that attach with anchors to the cabinet and another that uses a bolt and nut style combo.

You can’t play on a pool table without legs, duh! Legs make up support for around 90% of the weight of a table. If your pool table doesn’t have strong legs, don’t expect to be playing for long. The more stress-shots you take on non-sturdy legs, the more likely you’re going to see your table fall to its demise. There are “perfect” legs that are the most optimal, and two piece legs that are considered the industry standard. Those that are perfect are composed of solid wood and generally have slate all the way to the floor. As you use your table, you won’t have to worry about lowering because of perfect legs. Beyond this, there are two kinds of standard legs. Those that attach with anchors to the cabinet and another that uses a bolt and nut style combo.

Frame

A pool table is nothing without legs and a solid frame. A great table will have no sagging, cracking, or unevenness. Those with cross beams will have more support. It’s worth mentioning that the heavier and larger the slate you’ve chosen is, the more support you’re going to need because of the weight.

Cloth/felt

You know that pretty green material that you shoot the ball across? The felt is one of the most iconic pieces of a billiards table. Typically composed of wool and nylon, this material is easily distinguishable as durable due to the weight per yard. Those that have at least an 18-ounce weight per felt-yard is deemed durable.

Cushions and rails

While the rails give a sleek elegance to the design of a table, they also matter in terms of structurally stability and playstyle. There are synthetic and natural blends for materials, but typically rely on a type of clay filler for formation of the rails. When this happens, though, the clay dries and loses its bounce – otherwise known as a “dead rail”. Those that use natural materials are typically seen as superior.

Playing accessories

You can’t forget about the accessories! Pool table accessories include cues, sticks, balls, and bridge sticks. Cues are typically wood, but more modern pieces may be composed of blends of natural and synthetic pieces. It’s not uncommon for you to see the following materials used for cues: graphite, carbon fiber, fiberglass. Bridge sticks are usually a tapered wood, much like a pool stick.

How to Choose the Best Pool Table for Your Needs

Now that you’ve listened to the aforementioned pool table materials, you’ll want to know how to choose the perfect table for your lifestyle and play style. The first thing to consider is the size of the area you’re going to be playing in. Do you have a large all to yourself that you can fit a pool table in? If largeness isn’t an issue, this section may not be for you. However, here’s a small guide to help you out.

  • A 7-foot table is generally used in a room that measures 11 x 14
  • An 8-foot table is generally used in a room that measures 12 x 15
  • A 9-foot table is generally used in a room that measures 12 x 16

For the aforementioned measurements, the cue size you’ll be using is about 48 inches. Although rare, it’s possible to find. For those that are using a cue size just four inches larger, (52″), here are the measurements you’ll be looking at:

  • A 7-foot table is generally used in a room that measures 12 x 15
  • An 8-foot table is generally used in a room that measures 12 x 15
  • A 9-foot table is generally used in a room that measures 13 x 17

If you’re someone who is serious about the sport and plan to be a part of a team, you’ll want to make sure your measurements are accurate to tournament styled tables. Your gear also must be perfect for your height, as you don’t want your game play to be impaired due to wrong accessories. Before buying, you’ll want to make sure what your budget is, how much you’re going to be playing, and if it’s for serious business or just play with the friends. Learning all this will help you pinpoint the best pool tables in our reviews below.

Best Pool Tables Reviews

Fat Cat Frisco II 7.5-foot Billiard/Pool Game Table

Fat Cat Frisco II 7.5-Foot Billiard/Pool Game Table

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Classical in appearance, the Fat Cat Frisco II 7.5-foot Billiard Table is sleek, yet masculine in appearance with the traditional wooden features. It doesn’t matter if you’re home has bold décor or more traditional, as this table will fit in perfectly. Features of this gorgeous, yet simple pool table include:

  • K66 rubber bumpers
  • White diamond inlays on the 6″ rails
  • French-style drop pockets
  • Hidden leveling pads to move corners
  • Accessories included

Breakdown of the Features

With many attractive features to boast about, the K66 rubber bumpers are a step ahead of the competition. Giving a dash of aesthetics with practicality, you don’t have to worry about anything breaking or not enough bounce. The white diamond inlays on the 6″ rails are accessorized with veneer mahogany. For functionality and a gorgeous appearance. The French-style drop pockets add yet another classic feature to this table while serving its purpose.

The hidden level pads are our favorite those, as you can move the corners when you’re on unstable and unleveled ground. Having this as a feature allows anyone playing in an unleveled house to enjoy the game as intended. There are also a ton of accessories included within the contents of this package, including two 57″ cues, a high-quality set of billiard balls, a resin triangle, a set of two billiard chalk and even a seven-year warranty on the Accuslate surface.

Pros of The Fat Cat Frisco II 7.5-foot Billiard Table

While many of the features are already advantages of the product, we’ll highlight a couple of them here. One of our favorite features includes the hidden leveling pads that bring function and fun to those who may live in an uneven home. Those who are playing in the basement may see an uneven surface more, especially unfinished basements. Those in garages may also seem something similar, and having such will allow you to play no matter what.

The seven-year warranty is also very attractive, as the Accuslate surface is one of the most important aspects. Without, you wouldn’t have as seamless of a game. Because of their confidence in their product, you can take a weight off of your shoulders and know this product excels.

Downsides of The Fat Cat Frisco II 7.5-foot Billiard Table

The only disadvantage found of this product is that it’s a 7.5-foot table, rather than a 7 or an 8. For those who need an in-between, this is perfect. However, for those who are expecting something more towards 8-feet, you’ll have to look elsewhere as this may be a little too small.

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Playcraft Black Knight 8′ Pool Table

Playcraft Black Knight 8' Pool Table Style

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Manufactured by Playcraft, the Black Knight 8′ Pool table has a dash of modern casino mixed in with a traditional bar feel. Being an 8-foot table, you won’t have to worry about it being too small for your room. Features of this pool table include the following:

  • Sleek design
  • K66 rubber cushions
  • Ball return style
  • 3-piece Brazilian slate bed
  • Wide pedestal legs

Breakdown of the Features

Reminiscent of something you may find in a casino styled settled, the ball return is modernization of a classic game. The overall design is sleek, but without any real decorative features. For those who are more simple and enjoy this look, you’ll love the Playcraft Black Knight. The wide pedestal legs allow for maximum support and steadying, with a Brazilian slate bed. While this is a 3-piece, it performs its function well. There are duck feet levelers for those on an unsteady surface, and chrome corner caps to finish off the modern style.

Pros of The Playcraft Black Knight 8′ Pool Table

The design itself is an advantage, as not everyone wants a super traditional or classical appearance in their table. Having a modern, bar-inspired or casino inspired table is something some people yearn for. The ball return is one of the most attractive features you can have, as not everyone has small hands to dig deep into a pocket. However, a ball return also presents the opportunity to collect faster instead of one at a time.

Downsides of The Playcraft Black Knight 8′ Pool Table

The only disadvantage of this product is that it doesn’t come with accessories like many others. While it doesn’t come with any at all, they are inexpensive and allow you to customize your gear. In doing so, you don’t have to waste money on accessories that aren’t for your play style, height, etc. You also won’t have any extra taking up space in your house. Having full control over your table, you can customize the way you want.

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MD Sports 84 inc. Arcade Billiard Table

MD Sports 84 in. Arcade Billiard Table

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Retro in appearance with a striking color palette, the MD Sports 84 in. Arcade Billiard Table was meant to stop someone dead in their tracks and take a gander at its appearance. With a stunning crimson red felt, and an accent line on each leg, this retro-styled “arcade” billiard table will bring functionality and a bold staple piece in your game room. Features of the MD Sports billiard table include:

  • 194 lb. weight
  • MDF wood construction, rails and body feature are scratch resistant
  • Strong particle board
  • Custom levelers for the legsInternal ball drop pockets

Breakdown of the Features

For those who love the updated yet retro appearance, you don’t have to worry about any overly new features. The MD Sports billiard table has all of the traditional features with an updated look for those who don’t like to stray too far from their normal routine. Equipped with internal ball drop pockets and custom levelers for the legs, you can play without a hiccup in your game. With rails and a body draped in a scratch resistant PVC laminate finish, you can play on this table for years to come without worrying about the aesthetics wearing away.

The incorporation of customer levelers for the legs allow you to use this on uneasy and unleveled surfaces so you don’t have to worry about your game being affected. The strong particle board ensures that your table is able to take the use of the table consistently, and the weight of the table itself means it won’t be shifting around when learning in for a shot.

Pros of The MD Sports 84 inc. Arcade Billiard Table

A practical feature of this pool table is the ability to level it out despite having an uneven playing surface. While it’s not always necessary, those who have troubles in the future will find solace in knowing they are already prepared for this to happen. The internal ball drop pockets keep the classic way of obtaining the balls without too modern of a return-ball feature.

Downsides of The MD Sports 84 inc. Arcade Billiard Table

Speaking of a return-ball feature, those who like the design but not this aspect may not like this feature. However, this doesn’t affect the performance and the materials on the table whatsoever. While it doesn’t have a return-ball style like other types of tables, it does have a traditional aspect with a retro aesthetic.

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Minnesota Fats Westmont 7′ Billiard Table

Minnesota Fats Westmont 7’ Billiard Table

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We haven’t featured a 7-foot table yet, but now is the time! The attractive and simplistic Minnesota Fats Westmont 7-foot billiard table comes in a stunning Cherry finish on the apron, rails, and legs. With a professional wool blend cloth/felt that comes in a stunning color of midnight blue, you can step away from the traditional green-felt material and bring a bit of elegance to your home. Features of the Minnesota Fats Westmont include:

  • Cherry finish
  • Wool blend cloth
  • 1 “Dur-A-Bond” play bed
  • Rail integrated pockets
  • Hidden Leg levelers

Breakdown of the Features

The leg style brings a bit of modernization, as well as the rail integrated pockets. Having a Dur-a-Bond play bed allows you to functional as optimal as possible while playing, and you won’t have to worry about playing on an uneven surface. We say this because there are hidden leg levelers included when you purchase this table. You’ll also find an abundance of accessories, which we will discuss below.

Pros of The Minnesota Fats Westmont 7′ Billiard Table

Beyond the aforementioned features, accessories do come with this table, which is great for the price. Included in the contents of this package are 2 cues, a billiard ball set, brush, chalk, and a triangle for setup.

Downsides of The Minnesota Fats Westmont 7′ Billiard Table

You’ll need a lot of hands when carrying this in, as the weight of the table alone is 308 pounds. Very well-built and sturdy, this is both an advantage and disadvantage. With a higher shipping weight and deliverers typically doing curbside-only, you’ll have to have a few friends help you bring this bad boy in.

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Mizerak Donovan II 8′ Billiard Table

Mizerak Donovan II 8’ Billiard Table

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The gorgeous red cloth of the Mizerak Donovan II 8′ Billiard Table brings a very bold color choice to any home. With a black and modern structure, other features of this billiard table include the following:

  • Consistent rebound
  • Disk-style levelers
  • Slate or Slatron available
  • Breakdown of the Features

The sleek design of the red and black combination will bring a dash of wild side to a traditional home, or a piece that fits in perfectly with your home. There are also disk-style leg levelers for those who intend to play on an uneven surface pretty consistently. The consistent rebound allows for an optimal playstyle, no matter what and for years to come. With the structure of this table, you’ll be able to play without worry.

Pros of The Mizerak Donovan II 8′ Billiard Table

One of the biggest advantages of the table besides aesthetics include the option of having slate or slatron available. Another advantage includes the option for disk-styled levelers that bring security, and stability, no matter what surface you choose to play on.

Downsides of The Mizerak Donovan II 8′ Billiard Table

While an advantage and disadvantage, the slate is actually super heavy. While a good thing, you’ll still need a couple of extra hands to help you move this as you set everything up. You’ll also want strong tools to help build this, as the materials will wreck through any that aren’t strong. While the performance isn’t affected, it does increase the benefits of using this table over not.

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The Final Verdict

If you still feel overwhelmed and underprepared for making a decision, but you need to decide quick, you should check out the Fat Cat Frisco 7.5-foot billiard table. Not only does it feature an in-between option for those who want something larger than a 7-foot, but smaller than an 8-foot, but you’ll also be able to have all of the accessories you need included. Many tables don’t feature all of the accessories you need right out of the box, especially for the price. Well-worth the price slapped on this product, you can get started as soon as you put it together. You won’t have to search elsewhere for the perfect accessories that match the measurements of this table, and there are no untightened odds and ends.

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John Madison
Instead of constantly gaming and not working, I've decided to try and work in the world of gaming. While I don't design games, or write for them, I test accessories and gaming products out and bring quality content directly to you – in an unbiased fashion.