Last updated: August 11, 2021

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The billiard balls are the main tool of the well-known game. They are numbered spheres that must be inserted into the holes located on the sides of the table, a table covered with cloth raised to the height of the players' waists, who must use cues to push them.

Here you will find all the information you need to bet correctly on a product before you decide to make a purchase. In this way, you will avoid unpleasant moments when purchasing your merchandise, avoiding that it does not meet all your expectations.




The most important things first

  • Balls are one of the elements that make up the game of billiards, but not the only one. This article explores only these pieces of equipment. Despite this, sets of balls can include extra artefacts that enhance their quality.
  • The product has multiple defining characteristics: the dimensions and weight of the balls, the material with which they are made and coated. The very paint with which they are painted is an element to be observed.
  • The sets vary from 8 to 16 balls, and almost all of them include the cue ball. This is used to push the other balls. Moreover, it is white and not numbered. Its presence in the set is indispensable.

The Best Billiard Balls: Our Picks

Buying guide

Balls are one of the elements that make up the game of billiards, but not the only one.
(Photo: Goran Bogicevic/ 123rf.com)

What are billiard balls and what are their advantages?

The protagonists of the game, apart from the well-known billiard table, are the billiard balls. They are 16 balls that are paired inside a triangle and are hit with a cue ball until all of them are inserted into the holes. The player with the most points wins.

The fittest players are those with the best spatial skills. These spheres can suffer various types of damage: dents, fragmentation, scratches, among others. This is due to the fact that the characteristics of the game itself make them subject to frequent knocks, so one of the main needs of such a product is to be made of high quality materials.

The resin and guarantee are indispensable elements to determine the efficiency of the same, because it is thanks to these characteristics that they prolong or lower their useful life. Depending on how many times they are played with, the best set will be determined.

Advantages
  • They allow easier cleaning of the table
  • They circulate around the table more quickly
  • They offer greater resistance to the cues
  • Their weight makes them comfortable to play with
Disadvantages
  • They may require constant renewal
  • It is difficult to find high quality balls
  • Few sets are complete

How is billiards played and how has it evolved?

Billiards is a high-performance table game that combines strategy and spatial skill. The game consists of inserting as many balls as possible into the holes, located on the sides of the table, by hitting them against a white sphere that is pushed by the billiard cues.

The game was associated with casinos for many years, but its growth and expansion to various fields of life allowed it to be accepted in society in general, which is why it was recently included as a sport and allowed it to compete as such in the Olympic Games.

Balls with or without regulatory triangles - what to look out for?

Billiard ball sets can include a variety of extra products: from brushes and cleaning fluids to the game cues. However, the most important detail of a good set is the presence of a regulation triangle, an essential element to play with.

Without triangle With triangle
There is no way to start the game The density of the balls can be regulated
It is impossible to balance the balls before playing Thanks to its organisation, the game can be started

The absence of a regulating triangle in the set leads to two options: the impossibility to play, or the need for the player to use the one from another set or the one that was previously available. In both cases, it is best to pay attention to whether or not the set comes with it.

Other elements to pay attention to are the resin material, the presence of cleats and the existence of brushes. This allows to prolong the life of the billiard balls. It is important to remember that the importance of these parts depends on what the user is looking for.

The product has multiple characteristics that define it: the dimensions and weight of the spheres, the material with which they are made and covered.
(Photo: yanukit/ 123rf.com)

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different models of billiard balls

When purchasing a product, there are two things that the customer regularly expects from it: high durability and high quality. The former refers to the lifespan of the product, how long it can be used before needing repair or purchase of a new one; the latter to the aesthetics and warranties of the product.

Accessories

Good billiard ball sets include additional accessories that enhance the performance of the product. Among them are the brushes, the cues, the metal tips, the triangle, among others. These products help the game, but also help the product to last longer.

Manufacturing materials

From 1970 onwards, the balls were no longer made of ivory. It is after that year that they started to be made with phenolic resin, a material that is considered to be of high quality. To recognise which kit is manufactured correctly, so that the phenolic resin and the proportion of the ball is correct, is difficult.

However, we recommend buying from reputable brands, such as Aramith. And, if you don't want to buy one from those companies, make sure of these characteristics: if it is perfectly spherical, if it has intense colours and doesn't look dirty. This way, you will get something long-lasting.

The sets vary from 8 to 16 balls, and almost all of them include the cue ball.
(Photo: petkov/ 123rf.com)

Weight and dimensions of the balls

Billiard balls are subject to international regulations that determine their weight (which should be between 156 and 170 grams) and dimensions. The diameter of the balls, on the other hand, depends on the type of game. If it is a carom billiard ball, the diameter of the balls must be 61.5 mm.

For the American game, they are required to have a dimension of 57.15 mm. Leaving us with the following game: snooker ball, whose balls have to measure 52.5 mm.

Despite this, a multitude of manufacturers make them with their own stamping. It will depend on what the consumer is looking to satisfy: to acquire a completely genuine product or one that is subject to international rules.

(Featured image photo: petkov/ 123rf.com)

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