Why Are Pool Tables Green? The Truth Behind The Green Shade

Why are pool tables green? Is there a symbolic meaning behind the shade, or can it have other colors too?

pool table in hall
Is there any meaning behind the green color?

The game of pool, apart from chess or poker, has won the hearts of millions of people as one of the most popular indoor games ever. One of the most signature things, which can instantly remind people of this game, must be the green color of the tables.

This interesting thing has left many pool players confused and curious. It is probably the reason why you clicked on our post.

To stop your wondering once and for all, let’s find out the truth behind the green color of these right here!

Why Are Most Pool Tables Green?

When it comes to this question, you might think that the green color has something to do with the playing rule or the aesthetic purpose.

However, it is essentially a historical element that has been implemented throughout many developing stages of this game.

To understand why this is a cultural thing, let us take you back to France 600 years ago. If you don’t know, pool games are the descendants of an outdoor lawn game rising in popularity during the 1340s.

Billiards are the descendant of an outdoor sports field game 

This outdoor lawn game has a lot of resemblance to modern croquet, which involves propelling a ball to a distant hole by a curved or elongated stick.

King Louis XI of France derived lots of pleasure from this game. However, he found out that playing outdoors was not that enjoyable, and it made hostile locals grow more hatred towards privileged royalty.

So, during the 15th century, he decided to move the game inside and play it as an indoor game. Also, being tired of bending over, he moved the whole game onto a table and chose the green color as a nostalgic reminder of the original grassy playing ground.

That is basically how the pool table came into being. As the game spread throughout England and Europe, it continued evolving in terms of playing rules and additional elements.

For instance, many features have been added to the table, such as the rubber bumpers, pocket liners, etc. Be it as it may, the classic green felt has always been the same. So that is the main reason why most of these are green.

Why Are Some Pool Tables Blue?

After a long discussion about the green color, it turns out that it is not the only felt color available these days. And it might come as a surprise to some of you, but the blue color is just as popular as the green one.

You probably have caught sight of a blue pool table on television-aired tournaments, professional championships of billiards, pool, and even snooker games.

So, you might wonder why the blue color is necessary while the green one resembles the grassy playing field.

To answer this question, let’s go back in time when people first used the blue tables.

Before 1970, most pool tables still had green felts. However, as the technology got more advanced, live professional championships for pool games became popular all over the country.

It was when they found out that the shade of green covering messed with the viewers’ observation. For some reason, when watching through the screen, the balls were disguised on the table, and the viewers could hardly tell what was going on in the game.

On the other hand, a specific shade of blue, called Electric Blue, is more friendly with human eyesight. What’s more, this shade blends in perfectly with the bright lights required on aired tournaments.

Blue pool table usually used on televised
Blue pool tables are popular in televised tournaments

For that reason, people can easily distinguish between the balls and the pockets, making everything more visible and enjoyable to watch.

They first used the blue pool tables in the US Open Pocket Billiard Championship in 1970. Thanks to its benefit, most professional tournaments opt for the blue one, which leads to its dominance in televised tournaments.

Why Is Pool Chalk Blue?

hand holding cue chalk
Why is pool chalk blue?

So far, we have broken down the main reason for certain colors of pool tables. Another color shade that puzzled many pool players is the blue of the chalk. In this section, let’s learn more about the origin of the pool chalk’s blue shade.

To put it most simply, the blue color was only a personal reference of John Carr, a popular billiards referee that invented the blue cue chalk in the 1800s.

After many years of experiments on professional pool tournaments,

John Carr figured out that by dipping the cue in plaster, the friction of the stick would increase for better performance.

Acknowledging that the traditional way of enhancing the cue’s performance was not working, he started selling his own cue chalk and branded it as the “magic twisting chalk”.

His cue chalk surprisingly blew up, and the use of cue chalk started taking the world by storm. However, after some time, people realized that his magical blue chalk was nothing but normal chalk.

Therefore, others began producing similar cue chalks with different colors, but mainly blue to resemble the original one.

Are There Other Pool Table Colors And Chalk Colors?

As surprising as it might sound, there is a wide range of tables and cue chalks with other shades of colors. And they gradually take the place of traditional things.

tan pool table in living room
Tan is another common color option for the table pool felt

With regards to the colors, besides the classic green and the rising-star blue, the tan shade is the third most common color option.

Tan has a muted tone, which creates an excellent contrast to support the players’ eyesight and the viewers’ observation. They are the perfect option for spaces with poor lighting conditions.

You can get cue chalks in different colors as well. Some of the most common shades are black, red, green, purple, and green.

Does Pool Table Felt Color Matter?

As we mentioned in the previous parts, the green color of the pool table is only a preference influenced by many historical elements. The same thing goes for the color blue. It is a shade that is easy for the eyes, but it is not the only one.

Therefore, even though green and blue are constantly recommended everywhere, the pool felt doesn’t matter that much. It all comes down to what you think is the most suitable for you.

To help you make better decisions on the felt colors, we suggest you consider factors such as the lighting condition of the room, the personal color preference, and the purpose of the table.

The Bottom Line

Our post on answering the question “Why are pool tables green?” has eventually come to an end. We hope that the article has successfully explained to you everything you need to acquire about this puzzling and interesting topic.

All in all, the pool table’s green color is essentially the invention of the French royalty and nobility in the 18th century. After growing in popularity as an indoor game, the table’s felt still remained green as a nostalgic nod to the grassy playing field.

If you have any similar questions relating to this topic, don’t forget to comment down your thoughts below. Take care, and we’ll see you in our next article.