Is Billiards Still Popular? Is It A Dying Game?

guy about to break in pool

You have likely seen a billiards or pool table at some point in your life and even played a few games. This game is certainly still around, whether at a rec center, billiards club, bar, or even a friend’s house. However, you may be wondering: Is billiards still popular, or is it a dying game?

Billiards is absolutely still popular and is not considered a dying game. There are millions of people worldwide who still play as a hobby, as well as professionally around the world, but the games and tournaments are especially popular in the United States and the United Kingdom. 

In this article, we are going to discuss exactly how many people still play billiards, which versions of the game are most popular, where the game is played, and much more. So keep reading; you are going to be a billiards expert in no time! 

How Many People Still Play Billiards?

While talking about the game’s current popularity, you might be wondering: How popular is popular, i.e., how many people actually still play billiards? 

According to the American Sports Data surveys, over 36 million people play some kind of billiards game throughout the country, both recreationally and professionally, in the USA alone!

 And you can add several million to that number for those located in the United Kingdom and around the globe. 

We can also confidently say that plenty of people are still playing a game of billiards as table sales surpassed $214 million in 2020! From this statistic, we can see that people around the world are not only playing the game, but they are even buying expensive tables for their homes and bars! 

What Versions of Billiards Are Most Popular?

It’s important to understand that while billiards, as a collection of games, is still incredibly popular, several versions of the game are being played, and some are more beloved than others. 

There are two categories of billiards games, those played on a table without pockets and pocket billiards. Pocket billiards games are far more popular than non-pocket games, and it’s likely that you have never even seen a billiards table without pockets! 

Within the pocket billiards category, people play snooker, 8-ball, and 9-ball. 8-ball and 9-ball billiards are most often referred to as pool, and are certainly the most popular games today. Pool has been around for a long time and continues to be a staple.

Most recreational players across the United States and the world currently play 8-ball pool. Whereas, in the United Kingdom, snooker is the most played version of the game. 

Are There Still Billiards Tournaments?

If you like to play billiards at a higher level than simply playing with friends, you’ll be excited to know that many billiards tournaments are still offered worldwide! 

If you are located in the USA, you should know about The American Poolplayers Association, which runs the largest and most exciting amateur pool tournaments. 

Lots of APA members visit and compete in these pool tournaments every year, and you can find out where and when they’re being held on their website

There are also a variety of other tournaments being held at casinos, billiards clubs, and even local rec centers for both amateurs and professional players. 

Where Are the Most Popular Places to Play Billiards?

Overall, the United States and the United Kingdom are the most popular places to play billiards. But you can also find plenty of players and tournaments in Canada, Australia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Ireland, and China. 

It’s important to note that billiards tables can be found all over the world; however, if you want to play in the big leagues, you will have better luck finding a proper tournament in the United States and the UK. 

Why Is Billiards So Popular?

Games of billiards have been played since the 14th century in France and the United Kingdom, and for 700 years, people have been playing one version or another of the game for fun and in tournaments. 

When the game first began to spread, it was exclusively played by wealthy gentlemen as the tables themselves were extremely expensive and only located in elite clubs. 

However, billiards became much more popular among the general public as tables became more affordable. Now, you can find a billiards table at your local pub, rec center, or even a friend’s home.

The availability of the game has actually made it more popular over time, and now there are millions of people who enjoy the game on a regular basis. 

Final Thoughts 

So, is billiards still popular? Hopefully, you know the answer to this one by now! But just to recap, billiards, as a collection of games played on billiards tables, is still immensely popular around the world both for recreational and professional players. 

Luckily, as promised, you are now an expert in the popularity of billiards, including what versions of the game are most popular, where it is still popular, and where you can find tournaments for both amateurs and professionals.


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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