Have you ever gone to a pool hall or bar and realized, “Wait, these balls are different sizes and weights?”. I know I had been shooting pool for years until one day at a dive bar I noticed that the cue ball was a different size than the rest of the balls.
Pool balls are generally the same size and weight, with the exception of the cue ball (the white ball).
The cue ball and other balls can be a different size and weights depending on a few factors.
- Table is a bar box or coin operated table
- Owner switched out the cue ball with a new one
- Owner switched out the rack with a new set
As you can see, there can be a lot of different factors why pool balls can weigh differently. Lets dive into the specific details of why.
Coin Operated Pool Tables
If the table you are shooting on is a bar box or it is coin operated, then it most likely has a ball returning mechanism under it. It will also not have traditional leather or plastic pockets where the balls you make will fall into it.
This means the cue ball is heavier and may have a magnet in it so the ball returning mechanism can recognize it is different from the rest. This in turn, helps the table route the cue ball to the other side of the table.
This is also a good tip on which side you should break from, where the smaller opening dispenses the cue ball.
Owner Switched The Balls Out
If the owner of the pool hall or bar notices that the cue ball or set of balls is damaged, they may only replace 1 of them. This means you could end up with mismatching balls that could be different sizes.
They will usually switch balls out or replace them when they are cracked or damaged. Billiard balls take a lot of abuse and with the new break cues that have came out, I am not surprised. New phenolic tips on the market and other break tips probably contribute to more abuse.
What are the Sizes and Weights of Pool Balls?
All standard pool balls have a diameter of 2 1/4″ and weigh roughly 6 ounces. Most cue balls are the exact same.
They have been the same weight and size for a long time. If they are different, then they probably have a diameter of 2 3/8″ and weight only a little more than 6 ounces. This is rare though.
What Are Pool Balls Made Of?
Pool Balls are made with balls that are casted from plastic materials such as phenolic resin or poly resin. They are super durable and can withstand high impact thousands and thousands of times.
Phenolic resin is much stronger and can last up to 5 times longer than acrylic or polyester. Phenolic resin balls are usually more expensive, and the company Saluc has been producing the most high quality balls for a while, Aramith balls.
Aramith balls made from phenolic resin are impact resistant and scratch resistant too. This is definitely the gold standard of billiard balls. Any billiard hobbyist should consider these.
The casual player can still get by with budget friendly balls made from poly resin so don’t worry. They are still good enough to hit some balls around with friends at the bar or at home.
If you’d like to learn more about which billiard balls I recommend, check out my article here where I go over several different kinds.
How Much Do Carom Balls Weigh? Carom balls weigh about 7.5 ounces.
Carom Billiards (also called 3 Cushion) is a game with no pockets where the objective is to hit 3 rails than an object ball. It is much harder than regular pocket billiards (like 8-ball and 9-ball).
Carom balls are slightly larger than ordinary pool balls. They are 2 7/16″ in diameter and weigh about 7.5 ounces. Compare this to the smaller pool balls which are 2 1/4″ and weigh about 6 ounces.