6 Differences Between a Regular And Bumper Pool Tables – 2024 Review

Billiard and pool have been around for a really long time and although a lot of people think that these sports are the same things, there are some major differences between them. The differences usually revolve around the gameplay and other features, however, there are some major variations when it comes to the tables these games are played on.

So, if you have ever watched a billiard tournament and realized that the table featured on the screen is completely different from the one you have at your house, this guide can help you understand why. Let’s take a closer look at the list of 6 differences between the regular and bumper tables:

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  1. The Number of Balls Are Different

One of the first differences you’ll probably notice is the number of balls used for each of the options. When it comes to traditional games, there are sixteen balls used – one white, one black, seven solid, as well as seven striped balls. However, a bumper pool is a little bit different.

If you take a look at some of the games you can play, or if you go through some guides and tutorial videos, you’ll see that the game is played by using a set of eleven balls – five white, five red, as well as one marked ball in each set. Of course, the games are completely different, which is why there are differences in the number of balls used.

  1. The Number of Pockets Vary

With traditional games, you’ll have six holes – one in each corner of the board and two in the middle rails, opposite of one another. However, the other option only has two pockets which are located opposite one another, placed at the center of the two rails. Why are there variations in the number of pockets? Well, in most situations, a bumper stand is quite smaller than a regular one used for billiard and the gameplay is different as well.

  1. The Sizes Are Different

The tables used in traditional games are approximately 9 feet by 4.5 feet, however, there are different games that need to be played on varying board sizes. However, when it comes to the other option, they’re quite smaller than the traditional option, which is exactly what a lot of people love about them.

A bumper table is extremely convenient since it won’t take a lot of space in your house and they also come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, which means that you’ll definitely find one fitting for your home. Keep in mind, you’ll want to do some digging and check out a few options before you choose the one you’ll purchase.

  1. The Game Difficulties Vary

Unlike the traditional option where you need to master the game in order to beat your opponent, bumper billiard is completely different. Why? Well, you don’t need to be a professional or an expert in order to play and master it. In fact, you’ll only have to beat your rival before they beat you.

Since the gameplay and strategy are quite straightforward and easy to remember, the game can be played by everyone, no matter what their knowledge or skill level is. And, this is exactly what makes this game extremely interesting and fun, not only for adults but for children as well.

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  1. There Are Obstacles on Bumper Tables

As you already know, traditional billiard doesn’t have any obstacles on the surfaces of the boards, however, with bumper games, they’re most commonly fitted with a lot of cushioned obstacles most commonly referred to as bumpers. These bumpers are usually placed within the interior of the board. The surface of it is, in most cases, covered with the same cloth as traditional boards, hence, they don’t vary in that way.

  1. The Markings on The Surface

Bumper boards, most commonly, don’t have any markings on them, however, traditional ones do. Besides the ‘dot’ where you need to place the white ball, there can also be other markings called sights that are evenly positioned along the rail on some tables. These markings usually help the players with aiming. Additionally, there might also be a line drawn across the head of the surface or across the balk.

So, What Should I Consider?

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Before we conclude this article, it’s worth mentioning some of the things you must consider before opting for either of the options. Trust me, you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a traditional set just to learn that you have no space for it in your home later on. Hence, the things you need to consider before choosing either of the options include:

  1. The Space You Have – one of the most important considerations that you remember is to ensure that you have space in your home. As we mentioned, traditional tables are extremely large – and heavy – while a bumper option is smaller and can usually fit in any home. Hence, before anything else, consider whether or not you can choose between these two options.
  2. Your Skills – traditional billiard is extremely difficult and it will take a lot of time to master, but with bumper stand, you won’t need any particular knowledge or skills to play it. So, you’ll also want to ensure that you don’t invest in a board that you won’t be able to enjoy, nor play.
  3. With Whom You’ll Be Playing – if you have children, it’s probably better to purchase a bumper pool table since it doesn’t require a lot of skills to play. This means that you can enjoy the game with your children, which is something that is not possible with larger, regular pool tables.


As you can see, there is a wide range of differences when it comes to a bumper pool table and a regular one used for billiard. And, if you’re interested in purchasing either of the options, you should know that your decision will mostly depend on how much space you have in your home.

So, now that you’re aware of all the differences you might come across with the aforementioned options, you shouldn’t lose any more of your time. Instead, you might want to return to the beginning of this article, go through the differences one more time, and then determine which option might be suitable for you, but more importantly, your home.