How To Make Money Playing Pool? (Money in Pool)

money laid flat

If you like to play pool for fun, you will be excited to learn that you can actually make a substantial amount of money by playing the game you love! So let’s find out how to make money playing pool so you can turn your hobby into profits!

You can make money playing pool by entering into amateur tournaments and, eventually, high-paying professional tournaments. On average, an intermediate-level pool player can make about $50,000 a year, while higher-paid professionals can make six figures annually. 

In this article, we will dig a little deeper into how much money you can make playing pool, how much amatuer and professional players make, and how you can make money on the side if you’re willing to do a bit of gambling. In just a few minutes, you will be one step closer to making money from playing pool. 

How Do People Make Money Playing Pool?

The first thing you need to understand about money in pool is how people actually make money from playing the game. 

Professional pool players don’t receive a yearly salary from anyone; they are paid for winning tournaments. In some amateur and professional tournaments, only first place will take home prize money, whereas, in others, players who make it into the semi-finals or even quarter-finals receive a small payout. 

So, people make money playing pool not only by entering into tournaments but also by being good players, as those who don’t win don’t take home any money at all. 

If you don’t have the skill set, it doesn’t matter how many competitions you enter; you won’t be able to make money off playing pool professionally. 

What Do Most People Make Playing Pool?

If you are good enough to actually win a tournament or two, you’re probably wondering what kind of money we’re talking about. 

There are two types of tournaments that you can enter as a pool player: amateur and professional. While anyone can enter an amateur tournament, you must join the UPA to receive an Official US Pro Ranking to play in a professional event. 

Of course, the payouts are also different between these two types of competition. Most amateur tournaments don’t actually pay the winners, and if they do, it is usually only a few hundred dollars. But most pool players have to start in amateur events before making it to the big leagues, where the money is! 

On the other hand, if you’re good enough to rank and play professionally, the winners of professional tournaments can win anywhere between $25,000 and $200,000, and finalists between $4,000 and $10,000. 

The salary of a mid-range professional pool player can range from $19,910 to $187,200 annually, depending on how many tournaments they play in and how often they win. 

Most pool players, except for those at the highest level, have to supplement their income with another job or even on gambling, as the winnings of tournaments can be incredibly inconsistent. 

Can You Make Money Gambling on Pool?

So, there is another way to make money playing pool, and while it is a popular option, it’s not actually legal. 

You should completely understand that gambling on pool is illegal throughout the United States, but it is fairly common practice. Pool players and spectators bet on who will win the game at local pool halls, billiards clubs, friends’ houses, and even in amateur and professional tournaments. 

Now, betting with friends on a game in your local pub probably won’t attract enough attention to get you in trouble, and you can make a fair deal of money this way. 

If you’re willing to skirt the law, as many players are, you can bet on yourself when playing pool and take home a bit of cash by the end of the night. 

You should understand that while you can make a lot by gambling on yourself playing pool, because it is illegal, there is no way to ensure you will actually be paid by those who owe you. 

Some of the biggest names in pool, such as Efren Reyes, actually made a lot of their money hustling in pool halls before they became professionals.

Final Thoughts

Millions of people around the world play pool both as a hobby and professionally, and there is certainly a lot of money to be made on the game! 

You can make money playing pool by winning tournaments. While you will first have to play a few amateur tournaments which may only pay a few hundred dollars, you can make your way up to professional tournaments that pay hundreds of thousands of dollars!

The bottom line is that you have to be a great pool player to actually make money playing the game. Otherwise, your only option is to illegally bet on yourself against other players to make an income as you play for fun in your local pool hall. 


Benny is the owner of Supreme Billiards and has been shooting pool and teaching people how to shoot pool for a few years now. He enjoys showing new players techniques and drills to improve their pool game.

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