Nearly all entertainment joints have pool tables nowadays. The game that started as a base for people to bet on horses in the 19th century has evolved to the extent that some people have private pool tables. International pool competitions are also a thing. Whether you like to play it as a pastime or are a professional, the following pool game facts will blow your mind.

1. Captain Mingaud Asked for a Longer Prison Sentence to Better Understand the Game of Pool

Captain Mingaud is definitely one of the best pool game players. The former infantry officer in the French Army invented the leather cue tip and was an excellent pool player. When Captain Mingaud was imprisoned during the French Revolution, he organized for a pool table to be installed in his cell. He loved the game so much that when he completed his sentence, Captain Mingaud requested to extend his prison stay so he could finish his study of the pool table.

2. 8-Ball is the Most Popular Pool Game

While there are tens of pool games, 8-ball is the most popular. In the game, one player focuses on the stripes and the other on the solids – the last player to pocket the 8 ball wins. 8-ball is especially common among newbies as it is easy to play and has simplified rules.

3. Pool Balls Were Once Made of Ivory

When the pool game was invented in the early 19th century, the balls were strictly made of ivory. Unfortunately, Asian elephants were hunted for their tusks as they had the only suitable material to create perfect-sized, strong billiard balls. It took some time before the ivory balls were ditched in favor of the current ones, which are purely made from synthetics.

4. Pool is One of the Safest Games in the World

As far as sports go, the pool game is one of the safest. Rarely will you meet a pool player who has sustained major or fatal injuries.

5. Billiards was the First Game to Have a World Championship

In 1873, billiards became the first game to have a world championship. The game became massively popular as soon as it was invented.

6. At One Point, a Game of Pool Only Cost a Penny

In the early 1900s, the first coin-operated pool table was patented. As the pool tables were distributed across Europe, players had to pay a penny for every game. The prices have since changed as more inventions have been made.

7. The Church Has Never Been a Big Fan of the Game of Pool

For a long time, the Church has had a negative opinion regarding the game of pool; they view it as sinful and immoral. In the past, the disdain for pool was so profound that it was once banned in some parts of the world. A good example is Virginia, where Thomas Jefferson was forced to keep a secret pool table in his home.

8. No One Knows Who Invented the Game of Pool

Historians have never been able to identify who invented the pool game. However, King Louis XI of France was the first person to be associated with the game; he had a pool table in his house. While it’s true that the monarch popularized pool game in Europe, its origin can be traced back to the 13th century.

9. John Quincy Had a Pool Table in the White House

John Quincy, the sixth president of the United States, had a pool table installed in the White House. Unfortunately for him, the idea wasn’t popular, especially within his political nemesis. The matter was hugely politicized, especially in the period leading to the 1828 elections.

Besides John Quincy, Dwight David Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States, also installed four pool tables at Camp David. Abraham Lincoln often described himself as a “billiards addict,” while Ronald Reagan was considered one of the White House’s most talented pool players.

10. Pool was Initially Played with a Mace

During the earlier years of pool games, players used mace made of wooden sticks and a large head to shove the balls into the pockets. Though powerful, the mace was a bit impractical, especially when hitting balls near the rail. Luckily, the cue stick was invented, improving the players’ experiences.

11. There is a Version of the Pool Game Known as Speed Pool

Speed pool is a variation of pool game where a player has to pocket all the balls on the table as fast as possible. While it may seem easy initially, speed pool can be quite challenging and requires years of practice. The 8 ball is usually pocketed last. Thanks to its rapidly growing influence and popularity, there are international speed pool games, including the International Speed Pool Challenge, once broadcast on ESPN.

12. Pool is a Game Played by Both the Aristocrats and the Masses

Most sports and games usually naturally lean towards a specific mass. For example, golf is prevalent among the elites or high-class society. However, pool game cuts across most barriers – anyone can play it. It doesn’t matter whether one is an aristocrat or belongs to the masses.

13. Pool Tablecloths are Made Out of Wool

Although pool balls have witnessed significant changes in the materials that make them, wool has remained the go-to material for pool tablecloths. It offers superior durability and enhanced playability – it always provides a consistent roll.

Categorized in:

Lifestyle, Sports,

Last Update: April 19, 2024