Star versus Riley

Chalk & Awe

The Cousins club keep their one Star table in a separate room away from all of the lesser snooker tables. The Cousins is treating their one Star as a snooker table deity :)

Cousins Star Table.jpeg


Active member
might be inspired by some Chinese fascination with gold paint but usually better antiques are not painted, that's often done for the purpose of hiding the wood species. Its often painted to not use oak, mahogany or walnut but instead to use pine, maple or some other light colored wood. no argument that for the purpose of legs a chunk of maple is just fine, but I'd rather see a nice piece of oak or pretty hardwood than a paintjob.. it might e gold flake and expensive paint or something.. Im not out to insult anyone Chinese, all Im saying is that gold is often used in things like the red envelopes and fancy things, in some oriental cultures. Its customary, reflects wealth, I think..
I don't know whats under the paint but that's just what struck me and I know the ones shown aren't antiques. Those really old manufacturers had better choices of wood types and were able to select prime pieces without knots and grain issues, old growth decent straight grained hardwood is a lot more difficult to even get now than it was back in time. I've seen lots of antiques where the wood is covered with a dark toner and then fancy veneers and things are combined to give it a bit more class.
It just hadn't become so rare, say in the 30's as now.
these new tables seem to have really long narrow tunnels towards the pockets , maybe if you started comparing with using templates you'd see differences. I haven't played on either to say with any confidence

some of the old tables had really nice cloth baskets and I think it was hemp fiber that lasted a century.

Some have a brass ring you can lift to release the lowest ball, those fancy new ones have those outside track things. I think they probably work just fine but I just personally admire the really old style pockets.

when you see them on TV the ref is pulling out the balls and I guess with the older style we either reach in or dispense any other balls in the way.

They wouldn't want to show that on TV, so I think they are designed so the guy can just grab the colored ball and produce it more easily, from a perspective of beauty some of the really old pockets were very beautiful in themselves, in my opinion way more attractive looking than the wire things. You can think of it as style or art, not playability.

I might just be more drawn to actual antiques than some, and someone with experience on both would be able to give a better opinion on playability. I bet the specs are all very high as these are not cheap tables. modern slate may be more flat and true due to manufacturing improvements. , I noted that the surface of my old Brunswick Balke collender isn'y perfect like it is cut with a laser or waterjet, but rather hand worked and somewhat imperfect. Someone who's had the cloth off both might draw comparisons on that. I bet you see less of the issue where the ball rolls to a stop and wanders a little off course due to slate imperfections with the new ones, than with old antiques.
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Active member
I see what you are saying now, those are both painted wood, obviously copying one another with the style. Even the new ones with a wood finish seem to use heavy dark toners to hide the wood , like this..

(M1277) 9 ft Mahogany Turned Leg Snooker/Pool Table by Riley

(M1277) 9 ft Mahogany Turned Leg Snooker/Pool Table by E.J. Riley

I think the wood species and look of the older ones was so much nicer, from back when beautiful wood wasn't so rare and expensive, "solid English Oak" like this:

Antique snooker table or billiard table refectory design

A rare solid oak full size billiard or snooker table of refectory or Jacobean form by the "original" Burroughes and Watts of London. The cushion friezes are fitted with ebony and fretwork patrae, the legs are mounted with decorative raised panels. Exceptional build quality, solid English oak...

looks like you want a comparison of playability between the similar styled new tables. best if others comment on that.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Both have quality issues, a local room recently scapped a couple of older Stars, the rails warped and the cushions no longer lined up, seen this on Aristocrats as well. They both have issues with the middle pockets chipping at the wood corners, although it seems to be an issue with stell blocks, also the cloth needs to be glued here on the facing to prevent it wearing through which some installers miss. The Rasson Magnum rails may hold up better as they are composite, time will tell, but these tables are complicated, heavy and $$$.
My older Aristocrat frame warped badly and my friends one has warped rails as well.