Pocket size?

Lawnboy77

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Another vote for 4.5. When done by a good mechanic the shelf will be correct as well. Anything too small takes away from the game, especially hitting balls frozen to the rail. It’s kinda like taking the normal strike zone away from a pitcher. He needs to have a full zone. It’s the same in pool, sometimes you need to create an angle and pockets that are too tight take away from that aspect.
 

bignick31985

Life Long Learner
Silver Member
I sent off my rails to Mark Gregory and went 4.5" Pro Cut on my GC4 and it's plenty tough. Almost went 4.25" but glad I went 4.5" in the end. It's on the 4-3/8" side of 4.5 though, lol.

I have played on a 4" Diamond and its downright brutal for rotation. Once it's broken in shots down the rail are shots you want to avoid.

If you put a package together on the GC, you're hitting them real good. It's honestly ruined me from wanting to go out and play because the table plays so damn nice.
 

peppersauce

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yep I've played on similar quite a bit. It forces you to play better. If it's shimmed, then it becomes ehh.... if the rails are extended, it's better.

Jaden
This table was nearly impossible to play rotation on. Shims made it a circus table. Anything down the rail harder than a slow/medium speed didn’t have a chance. Not just my opinion. Johnny Archer felt the same. Personally, I like 4” on a Gold Crown (done right), and 4.25” on a Diamond. I’m not a great player, just personal preference.

I think a 4.5” pro cut Diamond is a great all around table.
 

Jaden

"no buds chill"
Silver Member
This table was nearly impossible to play rotation on. Shims made it a circus table. Anything down the rail harder than a slow/medium speed didn’t have a chance. Not just my opinion. Johnny Archer felt the same. Personally, I like 4” on a Gold Crown (done right), and 4.25” on a Diamond. I’m not a great player, just personal preference.

I think a 4.5” pro cut Diamond is a great all around table.
yeah I agree that a table this tight needs to not be shimmed, it needs to have extended rails. I also agree that a 4.5" pro cut diamond is a great table to play on, although I prefer 4.25".

Jaden
 

buckshotshoey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
For roughly 550 and below Fargo players who are not likely to improve much over time for whatever reason, 4.75 or 5 inch corner pockets might be the way to go. Too much tighter and you may find that it takes the fun out of it. For 550-650 players, 4.5 inch pockets strike a pretty good balance where it is tough, but the game hasn't been dramatically altered too much like it can be with smaller pockets where cheating pockets and certain shot options becomes more limited, more cinch pool gets played, and the games get less offensive and turn a bit more defensive, etc. For 650 and up players, 4.25 to 4.5 inch pockets depending on personal preference and what you are after.
This sounds like reasonable compromises. If you have friends over to play often, they may not be back much if it's too tight. They won't have any fun. Mark Wilson said in his video that you must have fun first. I agree with that.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Unless you're a pro or aspiring pro or your primary game is one pocket, do not get anything tighter than 4 1/2" pockets. If you are a beginner or weak amateur who only plays for recreation, you are better off with 5" pockets.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
If you are seriously trying to make money playing pool I would set up with the same sized pockets I compete on, maybe as much as 1/4" smaller. Forget friends playing pool with you unless you are lucky enough to have a practice partner as serious about pool as you are. Tighten the pockets too tight and you will find that you have taken all of the fun out of the game for recreational players at your house. Even if you have a dedicated partner, extremely tight pockets will affect your shot selection, often unconsciously. You will start playing too conservatively on most tables. I think I favor the pockets the same size as the local tables you shoot on when you go out.

The cushions can be left a little long and shortened later if you are unhappy with them. Heavily shimmed tables play poorly if you cut the cushions short to begin with and try to add spacers to get tight pockets. While we certainly have players on AZB and in this thread that can handle tight pockets to play on, there are also many players that are playing on more generous pockets than they think they are. The mechanic cuts the pockets that he has found make most players happy while telling them whatever dimensions make the owner happy with home tables.

For a set-up that really stinks try very tight pockets and not quite enough room for the table so you have to jack up or grab short sticks to play some shots. Even if you, the owner, get used to playing contortionist other players won't enjoy playing. on tables with overly tight pockets. Might put the Maytag repairman on speed dial, you will have plenty of time to visit each other!

A first class mechanic using the best components can put together a table that plays well with pretty snug pockets. Don't forget why you bought the table though. If you plan to keep your day job, set the table up for recreational play. I haven't found any size pockets to be a major handicap when it came to improving my game as long as I had the drive to do it. The only things that were issues were "no shelf" pockets and really bad angles cut on pocket facings.
 

Bavafongoul

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It’s been said a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, if that’s really true,
then here’s several thousands worth about pocket size and my preference.

The photos are of my friend’s 9’ table and it plays fast & tight. Ever since COVID,
I mainly play on this table due to our local pool halls’ limited hrs & new hrly rates.

There aren’t any local pool halls with pockets as tight as these. I’m really eager to
resume playing on pool hall tables after they can establish normal business hrs again.
 

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TrxR

Active member
It’s been said a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, if that’s really true,
then here’s several thousands worth about pocket size and my preference.

The photos are of my friend’s 9’ table and it plays fast & tight. Ever since COVID,
I mainly play on this table due to our local pool halls’ limited hrs & new hrly rates.

There aren’t any local pool halls with pockets as tight as these. I’m really eager to
resume playing on pool hall tables after they can establish normal business hrs again.
What make of table is that?
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
For roughly 550 and below Fargo players who are not likely to improve much over time for whatever reason, 4.75 or 5 inch corner pockets might be the way to go. Too much tighter and you may find that it takes the fun out of it. For 550-650 players, 4.5 inch pockets strike a pretty good balance where it is tough, but the game hasn't been dramatically altered too much like it can be with smaller pockets where cheating pockets and certain shot options becomes more limited, more cinch pool gets played, and the games get less offensive and turn a bit more defensive, etc. For 650 and up players, 4.25 to 4.5 inch pockets depending on personal preference and what you are after.
Agree with this, will add one more item, if 14.1 is a preferred game, nothing less than 4 3/4 in my opinion, the game is not designed for 4 1/2 inch pockets for the average player.
 

MississaugaFats

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Unless you're a pro or aspiring pro or your primary game is one pocket, do not get anything tighter than 4 1/2" pockets. If you are a beginner or weak amateur who only plays for recreation, you are better off with 5" pockets.
my thoughts exactly!
 

JusticeNJ

Four Points/Steel Joints
Silver Member
Agree with this, will add one more item, if 14.1 is a preferred game, nothing less than 4 3/4 in my opinion, the game is not designed for 4 1/2 inch pockets for the average player.
I almost only play 14.1 on my home table. I’ve got 4.75” pockets on my GCI. I’m considering going to 5” next time I get it refelted.
 

Dunnn51

Wait for something good
Silver Member
For roughly 550 and below Fargo players who are not likely to improve much over time for whatever reason, 4.75 or 5 inch corner pockets might be the way to go. Too much tighter and you may find that it takes the fun out of it. For 550-650 players, 4.5 inch pockets strike a pretty good balance where it is tough, but the game hasn't been dramatically altered too much like it can be with smaller pockets where cheating pockets and certain shot options becomes more limited, more cinch pool gets played, and the games get less offensive and turn a bit more defensive, etc. For 650 and up players, 4.25 to 4.5 inch pockets depending on personal preference and what you are after.
Agree with "cheating the pockets" statement. On tables with less than 4 !/2 pockets and a deep shelf like a Diamond table gets pretty exact! Break out the micrometer and calipers for aim. Bank side pockets off of 2 rails ---- Tiiiiiiiiiight!
 

Bavafongoul

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
4.5" is tight enough. Smaller pockets won't help you get better at cue ball control, game strategy.
I must respectfully disagree. If you are able to play well on a table with really tight pockets,
other tables are going to just play easier. That’s just common sense. When you play golf on
easier courses, you play better than on harder courses usually, but weather can be a variable.

If you play on 10’ table regularly, a 9’ table becomes easier. If you bench 200 lbs, then doing it
with 125 lbs is much easier. If you can run 5 miles, then running 3 miles is easier. Anytime you
switch from a more difficult venue to an easier venue, you usually do much better. That’s true
in academic endeavors and sports, as well as life in general. You push yourself and become better.
Now some people don’t enjoy the challenge, succumb to frustration and so they don’t like tight tables.

Personally, just change the pockets on a 12’ snooker table to pool table and let’s play. Sure, the game
can be frustrating played on big tables with tight pockets but the satisfaction from succeeding is just
phenomenal. The more challenging a table is, the more I enjoy playing on it. It separates the meek from
the mild, the wannabes from those that are really good players and it makes you concentrate & try harder.
Everyone has their preferences but I prefer to play on tables that tend to frustrate the average pool player.
 
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