The underrated game room table: A simple guide to bumper pool

A bumper pool table could be the perfect addition to your game room if you like the idea of playing pool but only strike a ball once or twice a year

Bumper pool — is that some sort of hybrid between bumper cars and swimming in the pool? While bumper car pool floats are an awesome invention, that’s not what we’re referencing.

This game room table is so underrated, you likely won’t even find it at your local bar. But this hidden gem has the potential to be the perfect addition to your game room with its compact table size.

We’ve written about this small but mighty game before (almost 3 years ago) and feel like it’s time to give the bumper pool table some current attention.

While this article will reference some of the original content from the previous article due to relevancy, we’ll be including:

  • A brief history of bumper pool

  • Main differences between bumper pool and billiards

  • How to play bumper pool

Bumper pool just doesn’t get enough love in the gaming world, so let’s change that. And if you’re interested in what we wrote about this back in early 2019, you can check out “Why Bumper Pool Could Be Your Ideal Game” here.


In 1955, Valley Manufacturing introduced a new game to the world of coin-operated amusements. This game was played on a table smaller than a billiards with two holes on either end of the table.

There were eight bumpers placed in a cross-like pattern in the middle of the table, and players would put a dime in to start a game and each player would get five balls (red or white).

The object of the game: To shoot your ball into your opponent’s pocket at the other end.

Known simply as bumper pool, the “new billiards game” became hugely popular and ultimately became a staple in the bar and arcade scene. But the popularity of bumper pool has declined over the years. And, as we mentioned earlier, finding a bumper pool table in a bar is rare these days.

Related reading(s): Bar Games 101: The Great Game Of Bumper Pool


Bumper pool tables are definitely differ from ‘regular’ pool tables due to their small size and only having two pockets, as opposed to the usual six on regular pool tables.

This compact size is also one of the most beneficial aspects of a bumper table. Full-sized pool tables might be inconvenient for some home spaces because they might be too big, leaving a lot of billiard enthusiasts with no choice but to go to other places to play the game they love.

The game of bumper pool is played on an octagonal bumper pool table or rectangular bumper pool table with fixed bumper obstacles on the playfield. So not only is the table a fraction of the size of a conventional table, but the cues are about half the size of regular ones.

This smaller size allows you to arrange the bumper pool game in your living room or game room without sacrificing space (minimalists and small-space peeps are quaking with glee).



Most slate bumper pool tables will have twelve bumper obstacles,. However, some will have up to 14 or 16, with two bumpers on either side of the pool table pockets.

The rest of the bumpers form a cross in the center of the pool table, with one cross line in-line with the pockets.

There is an open space at the center of the cross that is just big enough for a ball to pass through. The table is covered with the same pool table cloth material as regular standard pool tables.


Unlike regular billiards, learning how to play bumper pool is fairly easy to achieve because there are only two pockets on the table — one for each player.

The object of the game is to sink all of your balls (5 total) into the opposite pocket first (with 12 obstacles, called “bumpers,” in between). The player’s marked ball has to be pocketed before the player can sink any other balls. With only a few strategies to win, this is a billiards game for the masses.

  • Bumper pool is played with five white and five red bumper pool balls. One ball is marked from each set of five.

  • There is not a dedicated cue ball. Each ball can be directly shot into the table pockets.

How To Play

Summary: The first person to legally pocket all five of their balls wins!

To start a game of bumper pool, each set of bumper pool balls is arranged on five spots near each end of the bumper pool table by a pocket with the marked ball placed in front of the pocket.

The game begins with each player simultaneously shooting their marked ball, banking it off the pool table cushion to their right and trying to sink the ball in the pocket at the other end of the table.

  • If both players make the opening shot they select another ball and attempt the opening simultaneous shot again.

  • If both players sink all five of their balls off of the first simultaneous shot the game ends in a draw.

  • If on the opening simultaneous shot one player misses, the next shot goes to the player who sunk their ball on the opening shot.

  • If neither player makes the shot, the ball closest to the intended pocket shoots next.

A player’s turn will continue until they fail to pocket a ball.

Additional Rules

Jump shots are not allowed in the game of bumper pool.

If a player pockets one of their opponent’s balls there isn’t a penalty.

The ball is considered “sunk” no matter what pocket it falls into.

If a player sinks one of their own balls (not the last) in their own pocket, the opposing player may put two of their balls into their own pocket.

If a player sinks their last ball into the wrong pocket, they lose the game.

If a player makes a ball leave the table, the opponent can place the ball anywhere on the table, usually in the middle and drop two of their balls into their own pocket.

Related reading(s): Game Room Guys: How To Play Bumper Pool


After a long day at work, most of us just want to immediately sit on the couch and relax for the rest of the night. But, sometimes, playing a few rounds of pool after a hectic day takes more physical and brain power than we anticipate. This hits even harder if you don’t have your own billiards table at home. Going out isn’t always an ideal option.

If you’re a homeowner or bar owner looking for a fun version of billiards that fits into a small space, a bumper pool table is definitely an investment worth revisiting. The rules and size of bumper pool create a game that allows the players to destress in a much more simple manner, while still enjoying the classic roots of pool.

Having a bumper pool table in your home will create lasting entertainment the whole household.

Check out our showroom for various bumper pool table styles, including the most popular rectangle shape and the more unique octagon-shaped tables.


Pool table repair and maintenance: Where to go and how to DIY

Summary: Learn how you can repair and maintain your pool table for years of durability.

Pool table repair and maintenanceSince 1984, Games For Fun has been offering full service pool table repair and maintenance services to homeowners in Southern California. While we repair pool tables, we also want to make sure that you know how to maintain your pool table so you can preserve it for as long as possible.

A clean pool table will last longer and play better than one that is neglected, and simple maintenance is one of the best ways to protect your investment. But maintaining your pool table is more than simply putting the table cover over when you’re not using it.

While covering your pool table is an important measure, pool table repair and maintenance are also necessary. We’ll be discussing how to care for the following areas on your pool table:

  • Wood

  • Cloth/Felt

  • Pockets

  • Balls

  • Additional preventative measures

Most of the steps in pool table maintenance are simple and don’t need to be done regularly for the table to remain in great shape. The goal is for your great-grandchildren to enjoy billiards on the same table you did!

Polishing the wooden parts of your pool table (cabinets, rails, and more)

Knowing how to clean a pool table is important and not difficult to learn. The wooden supporting structure can be maintained like any other piece of fine furniture. Any visible dirt or spills should be wiped off immediately with a clean, barely damp cloth.

For the cabinet and rails of the table, regular household wood cleaners and waxes should work fine… it is a piece of furniture, after all. Use common sense (don’t use wood products on leather and vice versa).

Dust when necessary and use wood polish if it looks really dirty and needs some extra scrubbing. Polish the wood with a citrus-based polish. The frequency with which you need to do this will vary depending on how heavily used the table is. Always follow the label directions for the polish that you choose.

Brushing or vacuuming the cloth/felt

Cleaning the wooden components of your table is easy, but a little more time is required to learn how to clean pool table felt. The surface of the table becomes soiled with dirt, dust, and chalk over time and all of this is ground into the felt by the pressure of the balls.


For the typical recreational pool player, the table should be brushed and vacuumed at least once a week. The more you play, the more often you should clean the table. Soiled felt is not only unattractive, but the dirt can cause the balls to roll in unexpected ways and can even wear away their surfaces.

Using A Vacuum

Some argue that using a brush for regular table cleaning is ineffective since the brush will simply push dirt and chalk dust further into the cloth fibers, causing them to deteriorate quicker.

Whether you decide to use a vacuum or a brush is up to you. However, for those who prefer vacuuming their felt, it’s recommended to use a low powered vacuum for regular cleaning.

Using A Brush

When you purchase a pool table, it should come with a brush that is used for treating the table’s felt. For those who opt for the brush, it’s very important that you brush the felt to ensure that all dust and stray fibers are removed from the table, this process is called “training”. This is one of the only steps in pool table maintenance that needs to be done regularly for optimum playing results.

Training ensures that the felt is setting correctly and that the balls have a smooth surface to roll over.

You can buy brushes that are made just for this purpose from businesses that supply pool tables. Some sporting goods stores may also carry them. The critical feature of these brushes is that the tips of the bristles are soft, so they will not damage or tear the felt. Always brush with straight, not circular, strokes. Make two passes over the table:

  1. Begin in the center and brush out to the edges, then begin at one end and work towards the other end. Use light strokes to avoid stretching the cloth.

  1. Vacuum the felt. Use a vacuum cleaner with light suction that has an upholstery tool and a crevice tool. Vacuum the main expanse of the table with the upholstery tool to pull out all the remaining dirt and chalk, and then use the crevice tool to clean under the rails. Lastly, vacuum the pockets to remove any debris that has collected there.

  1. Any liquids that are spilled on the felt should be cleaned immediately. Use a clean damp cloth to blot, not rub, the stain. Once the stain has been absorbed, use a dry cloth to blot any remaining dampness out of the felt.

For more stubborn stains, or for occasional deep cleaning, you can use a product that is specifically made to clean pool tables. This is typically a foam cleaner that you spray on the table and allow to dry. Follow the label instructions for the best results.

If you don’t want to replace the felt, try to keep all pets off the table as much as possible.

TIP: When chalking cues, keep the tip and the chalk away from the cloth. Chalk dust is fine and abrasive, so the less you chalk, and the farther from the table you do it, the less likely it is to affect your pool table cloth.

Should you use a leather conditioner to clean the pockets?

For the table’s side pockets, you can use leather conditioner ONLY on the outside if it’s needed. You shouldn’t need to do this very often, unless the condition of the room it is being used in is not ideal (if it’s outside, if the room is unfinished, etc.). Do not apply any to the inside of the pockets; this can affect the pool balls when they are at play.

Using a mix of warm water and soap to keep the balls free from dust and dirt

When you are performing routine maintenance on your pool table, you should take a few minutes to wipe the balls. Wiping them with a cloth dampened with warm water will be enough for a quick cleaning, but occasionally give them a more thorough wash. You can also add soap to the warm water.

Keeping the ball set free from dust and dirt will not only make them play better and more consistently, but will also help keep these particulars from sullying the table. Be sure to check out the market for specialty products that will remove oils and other types of dirt that cannot be cleaned away by soap and water alone.

Additional preventative measures (pets, designated spots for "damaging" items, and investing in a cover)

Keep the furry friends away. Specific areas/parts of your pool table such as the felt, it’s legs, and the pockets are at risk if you have a pet. Your furry friend might decide to make a good scratching post! Our best suggestion would be to keep all pets away from your table if they are not fully trained — both in your best interest and that of your table.

Avoid soiling and spills. This is an important step in extending the life of your table. Keep drinks and cigarettes/cigars away from your pool table. Accidents happen, but the further away from your table a spill takes place, the less likely you are to have any damage or staining to your cloth. Shelves, tables, and ashtrays are convenient (and literal table savers) for when you have guests, their drinks, and other “damaging” items.

Invest in a cover. For the times you are not using your table, a cover protects the surface against dust and damage and prevents sunlight from fading the cloth.

When you are playing, have a rule that there is no eating or drinking at the table. Provide a small table to the side for drinks and dishes.

Related article(s): Pool Table Maintenance 101, How To Clean And Protect Your Pool Table, and How To Maintain Your Pool Table Felt

Pool table repair, maintenance, accessories, and more

Sometimes, maintenance might not be the answer. If you simply are in need of pool table repair or more parts or accessories, it might be best to find a reputable business that specializes in pool table goods.

Perhaps you need a leader in the Billiard & Home Game Room Products industry since 1984.

No matter what your situation, we’ve got what you need to complete your pool table set up and have your table looking like new.

Be sure to browse our full selection of pool table replacement parts, accessories, and supplies here!

Pool Uncategorized

U.S. restrictions and curfews: Going to pool halls & staying safe

Covid-19 restrictions and curfewsWith pool halls opening up, learn more about how different states are addressing the recent Covid-19 restrictions and curfews.

As vaccinations continue to roll out, restrictions and curfews from the pandemic continue to be lifted including being able to go to pool halls.

For example, Maryland’s Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. eased restrictions on business activity and social gatherings. Hogan removed limits on retail businesses, religious facilities, casinos, fitness centers, hair and nail salons, and indoor recreational establishments — including bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks and — you guessed it — pool halls.

Here are some things we’ll consider in this article regarding the reopening pool halls:

  • Why people still love pool halls

  • Extended closing time for venues; communities slowly edging toward a semblance of normalcy

  • Ways to stay safe playing pool as restrictions lift

Keep in mind that some governors have lifted restrictions with mask orders and distancing requirements still in place, per the request of professional health experts.

People still love pool halls, with or without a pandemic

The pandemic hasn’t left, yet pool devotees are excited to check out pool halls that have recently reopened around the country. In fact, one publisher reminisces on his childhood and the beginning of his appreciation for pool in a somewhat prosaic perspective:

The pouring out of loud jolly talk and laughter, but most of all the hard clicks of cue balls breaking the racks, […] and the lighter clicks of wooden scoring beads, as men I could not see slid them along strung wires above the green felt-covered slate pool tables in that magic room above.


How states around the country are handling the lifted restrictions and curfews on pool halls

In New York, pool players head back to the halls as restrictions loosen. “I was lost, missing this place forever,” said Greg Bombard, an avid pool player from Halfmoon. For months, the pool hall has been closed to the public and its owners, awaiting an OK from the state to resume operation.

Read the full article here.

In Kentucky communities slowly edge toward a semblance of normalcy in 2021. Billiards play in Owensboro is bouncing back even though the COVID-19 pandemic left a mark.

“It drastically impacted billiards play in Owensboro and across the country.” said Quentin Spooner, who has been league operator of the Owensboro American Poolplayers Association (APA) for 14 years. “Billiards is an indoor sport that is primarily played in smaller establishments, which have faced multiple restrictions over the past year.”

Nonetheless, Spooner says with optimism that billiards play is on the rebound. The vast majority of players in Owensboro are still learning the game — and, more than anything else, they play because they like it.

Staying safe while playing pool during Covid

Sanitizing Pool Balls (Manufacturer Recommended Cleaning Process) & Rails

Clean pool balls are always preferred but shiny and pristine is not necessarily the same thing as sterile. It used to be that we just cleaned our dirty balls so they played better and more consistently but now we have a higher bar to reach. We actually weren’t sure what the best way was to disinfect billiard balls, so we reached out to our friends at Aramith. Here is what Yves Bilquin, COO of Saluc recommends:

“To disinfect the Aramith balls, we recommend the use of alcohol (min. 65%), and then it is important to apply the Aramith ball cleaner to recover regular surface properties. The use of bleach is not recommended.”

Also, wipe down rails frequently. You’ll probably be touching the rails more than any other part of the pool table. Keep it as clean as possible.

Bring Some Gloves for Racking

If you don’t have alcohol/ball cleaner available just use some gloves for wearing while you rack the balls. Bring your own pair of work gloves, or some other thin, dexterous glove, like the kind billiard referees use when they need to rack. You don’t know who’s been handling those balls before you!

Practice Playing With Masks Before a Competitive Match

Speaking of communication, masks are a great form of non-verbal communication. They show that you care about the people around you, and that you appreciate some social distance. Come to think of it, they really help with your poker face.

Wearing a mask is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from germs, but I’m not gonna lie: they take some getting used to. If you’re not in the habit of wearing masks, try them on, and maybe run a few racks at home or while warming up. It’s weird at first, but you soon get used to it.

BYO- Bring Your Own Items/Equipment

The chalk and bridges at a pool hall are being touched by everyone, they’re strongholds for germs even on a good day. There’s never been a better time to own your very own chalk. Fortunately we’ve got you covered, with a wide selection of pool table chalk. Hold onto your chalk with a pocket chalker. Some chalkers attach your chalk cube to a stylus that goes in your pocket, others go in a magnetic holder, which grabs onto a clip in your pocket. With a chalker, you’ll know where your chalk is at all times, which means you’ll always know where it’s been.

Bridges? Where to begin… at, we carry a broad array of billiard bridges. We’ve got everything from bridge-heads that fit on your cue, to retractable bridge sticks that fit into any accessory pocket, to large, dedicated two-piece bridge sticks. Whatever kind of bridge you choose, a bridge of your own means one less accessory you’ll have to share with everyone else.

Use Your Stick As A Guide For Social Distancing

Most health guidelines recommend keeping about eight feet apart to stay safe. Fortunately for pool players, the game has given us an excellent ruler to measure this distance. A typical pool cue is about 58 inches long, just under five feet. If you hold out your pool cue at arm’s length, you’ll get an excellent sense of how far apart people should be. Be careful not to get chalk on someone, though!



Cue chalk talk: Answering your common (and uncommon) pool cue chalk questions

We’re taking time to answer your cue chalk questions, no matter how simple or crazy some might be (and, yes, there are questions about eating chalk).

Consider this article to be the first ultimate hub for all things related to pool chalk. Whether you’re getting into the game of pool or chalkin’ curiosity has simply gotten the best of you, having knowledge about the chalk used in a game of pool (and outside of it) has its benefits. However, chalk is cheap, so let’s just get into it.

What is pool cue chalk made of and how is it made?

Cue tip chalk is not actually the substance typically referred to as “chalk” (generally calcium carbonate), but any of several proprietary compounds, with a silicate base. Cue tip chalk (invented in its modern form by straight rail billiard pro William A. Spinks and chemist William Hoskins in 1897) is made by crushing silica and the abrasive substance corundum or aloxite (aluminum oxide), into a powder. It is combined with dye (originally and most commonly green or blue-green, like traditional billiard cloth, but available today, like the cloth, in many colors) and a binder (glue).

Why is chalk used in pool? Is it necessary?

TL;DR: Chalk is used to provide friction between the cue tip and cue ball during contact, to prevent a miscue; without chalk, the contact point between your pool stick and the cue ball would lack friction. Now, the long version. If you’ve ever watched a game of billiards, you may wonder why the players apply chalk to the end of their cue sticks. You might have applied chalk to the cue stick just from mimicking without even realizing why you’re doing it. Over time, the tip of a pool stick becomes worn and smooth from use; chalk adds ‘motion-resistance’ between the cue and the spot where it hits the cue ball. This prevents the cue from sliding off the ball prematurely, ruining the shot (called a ‘miscue’). Another less-direct advantage to chalking up is that it forces the player to pace him or herself and spend a little extra time focusing and concentrating between shots.

How and when is it recommended to ‘chalk up’?

Though with some newer chalk, your chalking will be drastically less, it’s recommended to chalk before every shot or every other shot. In order to get the most thorough, adequate chalk coverage on your pool cue tip, tilt your cue at an angle and use a deliberate, brushing motion. Slowly turn the cue stick while keeping the chalking coverage steady. TIP: Do no drill a hole in the chalk. This only gets chalk on the very center of the tip and all over the ferrule. You want to ensure that chalk is covering the entire tip surface area. Like Minnesota Fats used to say, “Chalk your tip like a lady puts on lipstick.” Also, try not to chalk your cue over the table. This gets chalk dust and chips on the cloth which can ultimately dirty up the cloth and balls, causing them to react unpredictably.

Does pool chalk color matter?

 The chalk color should always match the felt color. Blue is recommended in most tournaments as it allows the referee and players to see marks on the cue ball. The marks can be cleaned off easily.

What is the best chalk to use when playing a game of pool?

This chalk buying guide that was written after a thorough inspection of pool cue chalk and numerous testing over the years. It’s top chalk is Kamui Pool Cue Chalk 0.98 Beta with a whopping 9.8 out of 10 score. Tied for that #1 spot is Kamui (again!) with Pool Cue Billiard Chalk 1.21 Beta. We trust this guide because the list continues to be updated with chalk information every time they get a new experience with the different chalk brands. Not only is this list consistent, but it also is as inclusive as possible! Apparently the Kamui brand is known for its chalk containing a much finer particle size than standard chalk, allowing for maximum friction and a larger sweet spot to generate more spin to the cue ball. It also helps increase aim accuracy.

What do the pros use?

According to Oscar Wilde, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness. So, we know why this is such a common question. Since we already mentioned the Kamui brand of pool chalk in the previous question, here’s a list of other brands that you might catch many professional pool players using during a game:

  • Silvercup Chalk

  • Master Chalk

  • Predator Chalk

  • OBI Chalk

  • Blue Diamond Chalk

Is pool chalk edible?

We don’t recommend eating pool cue chalk. As noted in ingredients that make the pool chalk, these chalks that are sold in retail shops contain additives and chemicals which are harmful. Additionally, eating pool or billiard chalk can be different than school and blackboard chalk because it may also contain lead.

Does edible chalk exist?

Don’t worry, for those interested in edible chalk, there is edible chalk available on the market. This could be convenient for children who are using chalk and are at that age where curiosity surpasses danger and logic (we’ve all been through that phase in life). If you want your kids to play with safe chalk that’s also edible, we’ve got a solution. Apparently, chalk is used not only as stationary, but also as a food additive, and edible chalk (and other items such as clay) is a great way to recharge the body with calcium and clean it of toxins!

What does chalk taste like?

Though we at Games For Fun haven’t tried chalk, we’ve heard that edible chalk varies in taste for different people. It’s apparently the chalky taste in itself that is appealing to some. Edible chalk is said to have a very clean and fresh taste and always remains monolithic, or in the form of a single large block of stone. Some chalks are crunchy and some chalks are soft depending on the type.

Check out the links below to get more information about pool, billiards, and more!



The History of Pool: Who, How, Where, and…Billiards?

History of poolIf you happen to be a history buff who also happens to be a fan of games such as pool, you might have wondered about the history of pool. If this is the case, this article is for you (well, for everyone, really…but mainly for you).

We often hear terms such as billiards and pool used interchangeably to describe a cue game. Even though these two games are very similar, there are distinctions in their history and how they are played now. Questions such as who invented the game of pool, how old is the game, where is it most popular, and how does it relate to the game of billiards (if it does) all stem from understanding the history of pool.

As a leader in the billiard and home game room products industry, Games For Fun is not only interested in providing you with high-quality products, but we also want to make sure that you are knowledgeable about the products you will be purchasing. If you are looking to expand your home game room with a pool table, you could start with first learning about the history of pool and how having that knowledge could inspire your home game room decisions!

The History of Pool: Differences Between Pool and Billiards

Before we get into the specifics of the history of the game of pool, we want to emphasize that there is actually a difference between pool and billiards. We have considered this in the past in our article titled The Difference Between Pool, Snooker, and Billiards, but we want to reiterate some key points for good measure.

First, keep in mind that billiards, or cue sports, include all sports that are played with a cue stick and billiard balls on top of a table covered with cloth and with leather (or rubber) borders. Billiards is thus divided into 3 sub-categories: pocket billiards or pool; carom billiards; snooker. The term “pool” is used to refer to billiard games that use pockets (hence the term “pocket billiards”).  So, one of the main differences between pool and billiards is that pool is a type of billiard game. They are not enemies, they are more like father and son, so to speak.

When it comes to table differences, pool tables are at least 3.5’ x 7’ while billiard tables are much larger with a minimum size of 5’ x 10’. The cloth on a pool table also makes the balls travel slower while the cloth on a billiard table makes the balls travel at a faster speed.

Also, billiards is played on a table that has no pockets while the game of pool is played on a table with six pockets. Why the difference in pockets when both games are so often interchangeable? They’re interchangeable by common general misinformation, not because they are actually legitimately interchangeable. This “without” pockets thing is pretty important (kind of like jeans with pseudo-pockets…it makes a difference). The reality is that you could technically play a game of billiards on a pool table, but you will soon learn that the pockets get in the way and could potentially ruin the game. This leads us to the next point of differences in how a game of pool is played versus a game of billiards.

A game of pool is played with 9 to 15 object balls plus an additional cue ball depending on the type of pool you’re playing. Billiards uses 3 balls—one red ball, one white ball with a spot, and one white ball without a spot, and these balls are larger than pool balls.

Objectives: The main objective of billiards is to score points (known as counts) by bouncing one’s own ball off of the other two balls on the table. Points can be scored through potting, in-offs, and cannons. The game is normally played in a race to reach a certain number of points or as a timed game. Meanwhile, in 8-ball pool, there are seven solid and seven striped balls and one 8 black ball. In order to win, the player must pot his specific balls (solids or stripes) then finish with the black 8-ball. In 9-ball pool, only nine balls are on the table. Each player pots the balls in order of number. The person to pot the 9 ball wins.

Now that we got the primary differences of a game of pools and billiards out of the way, we can focus on the history of pool.

Who Invented the Game of Pool: How and Where

History often tells us about the people involved in certain inventions, events, and more. When it comes to the history of pool, the game remains the same! You might read different information regarding when the game of pool was invented. For example, this article called The History of Pool Table says that pool tables were discovered in the fifteenth century and was played by kings in those times. “It was practiced in Europe and at first was played as an outdoor game,” the article says. Yet, in another article called The History of Snooker and Pool, they say that the earliest recorded playing of a recognizable form of billiards was in France in the 1340s

However, despite these discrepancies, both articles note that the game of pool that was originally played as an outdoor lawn game soon became an indoor game with wooden tables and green cloth to resemble the grass on which it had been previously played.

On that same article about the history of the game of pool (and snooker), we get a brief history rundown on how the cue stick and table and what prompted the improvements we know today:

  • The stick was called a mace and was made of wood. When the cue-stick was developed, it replaced the original mace. The cue was only used by men while ladies continued to use the wooden mace. The tables were originally formed with all the edges covered that prevent the ball from falling.
  • After the Industrial Revolution, the game of pool became famous in England and across the world. Players started to increase various functions of the cue and started to put leather tip cues for hitting the ball perfectly and providing some extra technical shots. The wooden tables were replaced by slate material because wood started warping soon and was not durable.

Though there is no name directly linked to who invented the game of pool, King Louis XI of France (1461–1483) is known for having the first indoor billiard table. Talk about being a game for the nobles!

Where to Find the Perfect Pool Table

We see how the history of the game of pool has still remains enjoyable to-date. We can also see that the game of pool has made quite some strides from wooden sticks and grass to, well, wooden sticks and “inspired” grasslike surfaces. The game of pool is most popular in the United States and Canada, played with a white cue ball and fifteen consecutively numbered colored balls. So it is no shock that if you walk into a “billiards” bar, you will likely encounter a pool table.

Games For Fun is proud to carry an array of pool tables available in our showroom and online. If you are interested in pool tables after reading this article, reach out to us for more information! Our team can provide you with everything you need to know about the game of pool. If you would like a history lesson in addition, just be sure to refer back to this article!

If you are not in the area and would prefer to have your questions answered via phone, give us a call at (909) 885-3604.



Talking That Talk: Unique Home Game Product Terminology

Home Game Product Terminology

Interested in understanding home game product terminology like a pro? Well, don’t just leave it to the professionals…we can give you some of that knowledge from the comfort of your home, and we are doing that today.

Tip tapper…pea bottle…ferrule. What do these words all have in common? Well, they all do sound a bit interesting and, aside from the unplanned double consonants, these words are very specific to home game room products. These words also are not the easiest terms to understand at first glance unless you are seriously into billiards and the gaming industry as a whole. Today, Games For Fun is excited to create this beginner-friendly list of interesting home game product terminology so that you can start your gaming knowledge off right.

When it comes to home game room products, knowing what certain terms mean could turn you into a home game room connoisseur (or at least you could fake it until you make it). You could leave the terminology to the professionals like our team at Games For Fun, but if you simply want to get that knowledge from the comfort of your home and on your own terms (pun intended), we have got you covered in this article!

Whether you are a professional gamer or you are a prospective gamer who is interested in acquiring more hands-on gaming knowledge, our goal of this article is to define some terminology. When you are ready to revamp your home gaming room, you will not be totally lost in the woods. Keep in mind that when we say we are going to define gaming terminology, we are not talking about video games. This is strictly for defining home game products, so video game terminology will not be included. Let us take a look at some common home game terminology based on popular home game products, ranging from pool to darts.

Pool Products Terminology

Most people have played a game of pool at least once in their life, and if they have not played it, they have probably observed people playing it. If you own a pool table or are planning to own one, check out these related words below:

  • Bridgehead: Unrelated to both a bridge and head, a bridgehead gives you that extra reach for those hard-to-reach shots. The bridgehead is meant to slide onto your bridge stick (we can never get enough terminology). It will attach with a screw so it won’t slide up and down, essentially allowing you to be locked in for your next difficult cross-table shot. Think of this part as your little helper when trying to make a shot.
  • Tip Tapper: Sounds like some cool lingo from the 1920s, right? The pool cue Tip Tapper is a compact accessory tool with small spikes on one side. It is designed to keep the leather fibers of your cue tip loose, thus limiting the number of potential miscues and allowing your tip to hold to the chalk better.
  • Pea Bottle: This is not about peas in a bottle, though the aesthetic might allude to peas in a bottle. A pea bottle is from an Old Geezer game called Pea Pool (or Kelly Pool), a type of billiard game that uses small numbered balls referred to as “peas” along with a shaker bottle referred to as the Pea Bottle. How to play the game is another story, but at least you know that terminology now if you overhear someone talking about a pea bottle.
  • Ferrule: Right underneath the tip of your cue stick is the ferrule. The ferrule is often white but can be black as well. This part of the cue stick is used to help reinforce your tip as well as limit the vibrations felt when you shoot. For the novice pool player, the ferrule is not something that is often thought about. However, league players and world champions do not want a ferrule that will affect their shot due to inconsistency.

Foosball Products Terminology

  • Rubber Bumper: The rubber bumper is placed on the foosball rod between the player and the washer to dampen the impact of the player hitting the side of the cabinet.
  • Bearing: A well functioning Plastic Foosball Rod Bearing is essential for a smooth and enjoyable game of foosball. This is the part that allows the foosball rod to spin freely with as little friction as possible so that your little guys could have the best possible chance of striking the ball.
  • Washer: If you need to do some laundry, this will not exactly clean your clothes. The Plastic Foosball Rod Washer is designed to go between the bumper and the bearing on a foosball table. Its primary function is to reduce the amount of bounce that the rod has when pushed against the side of the foosball table. The plastic washer also prevents the bumpers from leaving black residue on the walls of the table.

Table Tennis Terminology

  • Strut: There are variations of a strut, but with this particular part, we are not talking about strutting yourself. In table tennis, this is specific to the Kettler brand. The locking strut’s function is to lock the tabletop in an up position. The non-locking strut is designed to help keep the legs in place and guide them when closing and opening your Kettler ping pong table.


While there are loads of other home game room terms with the variety of home games available, at least starting with a few terms could hopefully help. What do you think about our selection of pool and billiard, foosball, and table tennis terms? Have you heard some of these before, or maybe you have used them in the past? No matter your reason, there is never such a thing as having too much knowledge!

Maybe you could some of your non-gaming friends and strut your stuff during a game of pool. We want you to know your games just as much as we know them. So, remember, if you have any questions regarding what a specific word means, we would be happy to help you in our showroom in San Bernardino. Not only can we help you define home game product terminology, but we could show you what the product looks like and demonstrate how it works. Visit us right off of the 215 freeway on exit 43 for West 2nd Street!

If you are not in the area or would prefer to stay indoors, simply give us a call at (909) 885-3604 and we will answer any home game questions you may have.



McDermott cueMaybe you’ve just learned how to pronounce the word “billiards.” Or, perhaps you were born on a pool table and have been holding cue sticks since you came out the womb. Regardless of skill, we at Games For Fun recognize that a person’s pool cue plays a key role in determining the accuracy of their shot.

After being in the billiards industry for 35 years, our team has grown to be experts in every aspect of the sport. And there’s no denying that one of the most important accessories to complete your pool game and pool table aesthetic is your pool cue.

Beginners might wonder, “What exactly is a pool cue?” or “What does my pool cue have to do with the game?” Today, we’re going to either educate you or reinforce your preexisting knowledge of pool accessories. We’ll be focusing on one of our favorite brands, McDermott, and how their cues are changing the pool-playing game.

Be sure to read this article in its entirety because we’ve got a fun activity at the end to test your cue comprehension and pool passion — after all, what’s Games For Fun without a fun game! If you’re racked and ready to go, let’s get to striking!

What’s in a Stick?

In layman’s terms, a pool cue is the stick a person uses to hit the ball into the hole. These sticks are tapered and typically measure about 57–59 inches (about 1.5 m) in length and usually weigh between 16 and 21 ounces (450–600 g), with professionals gravitating toward a 19-ounce (540 g) average. But, enough about the mathematics. Let’s get into the game!

The reason a player’s cue stick is so important rests in the cue tip. In fact, some pool players have invested a lot of money toward customized cue sticks. A person should be able to run their hand all the way down the stick without feeling any abnormalities. And a legitimate high-quality brand cue stick should be almost flawless, with little to no change in smoothness between the tip, ferrule, shaft, and butt.

Regarding the tip of the cue stick, consider this: The tip of your cue stick is the only thing that makes contact with the cue ball. If you can’t make accurate and consistent contact with the cue ball using the cue tip, it’s almost as if you’re playing the game in vain. The type, density, and size of your tip can literally be the difference between a win and a loss.

Why We’re Lovin’ McDermott

Since 1975, McDermott has consistently raised the industry standard for what billiard players expect from a high-quality pool cue. McDermott products use the latest technology, along with the finest materials in the world.

Quality. Craftsmanship is a fine art. McDermott utilizes a process that includes over 150 separate procedures in the construction of each cue. All shafts start from the finest kiln-dried, hand-selected North American Hard Rock maple and turned 11 times for stability. All forearms, handles, and sleeves are handcrafted from the finest and most exotic woods from around the world.

McDermott Cues come in three separate series: H-Series, G-Series, and Select Series. As we delve into McDermott series and product specifics, keep them in mind, as they will come in handy at the end of this article!

H-Series: The brand new H-Series is the first line of cues ever to feature the fully-adjustable Variable Balance Point (VBP) weight system. This breakthrough is made possible by the new patented technology that combines a full-length carbon fiber core with a rail, on which the weights can be repositioned forward or backward inside the cue. No other cue allows you to have this much control over both the weight and balance.

G-Series: McDermott G-Series cues are known for their quality construction, exotic woods, intricate inlays, and limitless customization options. That’s right, this series is equipped with limitless customization options! This means you have the ability to customize the color, wood, add engravings, and more.

Select Series: McDermott Select Series cues are equipped standard with i-Pro Slim or i-3 shafts for high performance at an affordable price. Really, there’s nothing more attractive than an affordable yet high-quality product.

What’s Your Cue?

We’ve discussed the importance of cue sticks and the many options McDermott offers. Using 5 of some of McDermott’s recent products, let’s determine which cue best suits your personality. Your choice could be based on unique features, color, and other qualities!

The i-3. If you like to be in control and know how to finesse, this is for you. Designed for incredible spin and finesse, this shaft is engineered for those who have great control.

The G241. If you’re a classic at heart, but can appreciate some modern elements, this is for you. This has the benefits of advanced technology with a familiar feel as a result of the traditional maple shaft.

The G215. With metallic pink paint and 4 pink pearl inlays, this is for the spunky and bold. If you’re more on the calm and quiet side, beware!

The G502. If people describe you as liking the finer things in life and being adventurous, this is your cue… literally. This is designed with 24 pearl-notched diamond & dot inlays and a lizard-embossed leather strap.

The G407. For the people who like the details. Dark American cherry stain, brass, cocobolo wood, diamond inlays… in turquoise! If you like both look and functionality and aren’t afraid to express yourself, this is designed with you in mind.

Did you guess which cue is best suited for you? Or, maybe you realized the kind of person you are based on your cue of choice. Either way, we hope you learned something new about pull cues and have a newfound interest or reignited love for them just as we do! We also hope you developed a new appreciation for McDermott, their expertise, variety, and zeal for their products!

Where To Get McDermott

Games For Fun is the largest McDermott pool cue supplier on the west coast! With the brand’s wide selection of cues for players of all levels (beginner, intermediate, and expert), there’s no reason why we wouldn’t like McDermott. And there’s no reason why you shouldn’t, either! With the amount of inventory we carry in our showroom, we don’t doubt you’ll be able to find every style of cue McDermott displays in their catalogs.

Stop by our showroom in San Bernardino to try out any McDermott cue style you like. Our team is happy to help you find the perfect cue for your game!


How to Choose a Pool Cue

How to Choose a Pool CueIf you’re an experienced player, knowing how to choose a pool cuemeans more than just grabbing what is available on the stand. Each cue is different and will provide you with various benefits during your game.In this article, we’ll go over how to choose a pool cue and the various aspects of a cue to consider when making your selection.

How to choose a pool cue and items to consider:

Establish a budget: Pool cues come with a wide price range. So, it is necessary to consider how much you will use your cue, what you’ll use it for, and the amount of money you’re willing to spend on it. Plus, with a specific price in mind, you’ll be better able to narrow down your options. The material from which it’s made, its wrap, and the size are all factors that will affect the price of your pool cue. However, at Game’s For Fun, there is a pool cue fit for every player and budget so you can be sure to find one that’s right for you.Length: The length of cues varies slightly, depending on the needs of the player. On average, most cues will be between 57 to 59 inches. A standard one-piece cue will be at 57 inches, while a two-piece cuewill be 58 inches. One-piece cues are great for keeping in the game room. If you travel with your cue, having a two-piece is much more convenient for storage. If you are below average height or need a cue that is suitable for children, the best option is either 36 inchesor 48 inches. And you’re above average height (6’ 5”) you might choose a cue that is 61 inches long.Weight:The weight of your cue corresponds with the length of your cue. If you are smaller or a junior player, a lighter cue will be much easier to maneuver. Pool cues typically weigh between 17 ounces to 21 ounces. However, most players prefer either 19 or 20-ounce cues. You must establish the correct cue weight for you, as this will affect your shot. So, be sure to try out your cue before purchasing. Check if the cue feels heavy in your back hand as most of the cue’s weight is in the butt end. This is a good indication that you should opt for a lighter cue. Keep in mind that if the cue is too heavy, you can risk lifting the tip of the cue, which will skew your aim. Nobody wants to scratch like that!Cue Tip:Having the proper tip on your cue can transform your pool game dramatically. We carry different sizes and materials to fit every type of cue. Be sure to get the correct tip for your cue, as there are a variety of installment types. Most of our cue tips come in four separate hardness levels: super soft, soft, medium, and hard. Hard cue tips will last longer than softer styles, but they create a more difficult ball spin. Deciding which type of cue tip to get will depend on how often you replace your tip. When the tip begins to wear, it will affect your play.Choose a Comfortable Wrap:The wrap is the part of the cue that you hold with your back hand and that with which you’ll have the most contact. So, you must make sure this is comfortable. Wraps might be made of linen, leather, or rubber, and some may not have a wrap at all. And these are not just for looks. Make sure to hold the cue in your hand and choose a wrap based on whichever feels best to you.One or Two-Piece Cue: These two varieties of cues are designed for either at-home use or travel. If you believe that you will most often keep your cue at home, a one-piece cue should suffice for your needs. These are not made for travel, but they tend to be a bit cheaper and are your best option for home play. If you plan to travel and compete outside of your home, however, we recommend opting for a two-piece cue as these can be broken down into two pieces for easy transport. Plus, when the shaft begins to warp on a two-piece cue, you can easily replace this and retain the butt of the cue.Don’t Forget to Take Practice Shots:While it is important to consider each of these aspects while selecting a pool cue, the most crucial step is to try out cues for yourself! After all, you can take all our advice, know what the pros say, and do plenty of research– but until you try out a cue for yourself, you won’t know which will best suit your playing needs. So, do not hesitate to come by our store and try out our wide selection of pool cues!

Knowing how to choose a pool cue is made easy with McDermott Pool Cues! Now available at Games For Fun:

Whether you just picked up billiards as a hobby or you are an experienced veteran, we have hundreds of cues for every level of player. One of our best sellers here at Games For Fun, McDermott pool cues, is among the West coast’s top distributors. These are proudly made in the U.S.A. and are covered by a lifetime warranty. Our staff is happy to take you around our showroom in San Bernardino and show you all of the models we have available.McDermott manufactures and distributes some of the best pool cues and shafts in the world. As an American company, McDermott is known for its quality construction, exotic materials, and intricate inlays. These fantastic cues and shafts are for sale and are covered by a lifetime warranty against warpage and manufacturing defect here at Games For Fun.We are proud to stock just about every cue in McDermott’s catalog. If you see a McDermott pool stick on our website, that means that it is in stock and will ship within one day! And if you’re looking for a custom pool cue, we will work with you to customize a pool cue to your exact specifications.We hope that this article gave you better insight on how to choose a pool cue. And remember, no matter if you’re a new or experienced player, casual or professional, McDermott brand connoisseur or not, we’ve got you covered! Plus, keep in mind that at Games For Fun, choosing the best pool cue for yourself does not have to be an expensive endeavor. If you are just beginning to play pool, don’t worry about getting the best cue on the market. With our wide selection, you can choose from a variety of styles that can accommodate every level of player, starting at just $12.99. You can check out our entire selection online and at our showroom in San Bernardino. Stop by our store or reach out today and see for yourself all of the possibilities!


A Guide to Bank Shot Techniques

bank shotLooking to master your next pool tournament? With an accurate, consistent, and ever-sneaky bank shot, you’ll be on your way to pool shark status in no time. Bank shots are billiards’ off-the-backboard slam dunks. And not only do they look impressive enough to intimidate your opponent into forfeiting, but they are particularly useful as well. In this article, we’ll discuss how to master the bank shot in a few easy steps.

What is a bank shot? 

Before we begin, let’s discuss the fundamentals of a bank shot. You may even be wondering what it is. Bank means to bounce a ball off the opposite rails of the pool table to make a shot. This can be done with the cue or object ball and is always taken at a strategic angle. A well-executed bank shot requires two elements: the force at which you shoot the ball and the path it takes. And while they may take a bit of practice, getting these down will significantly refine your billiards game.

One of the most widely accepted methods for the bank shot uses the diamonds on the table. No, we’re talking about a bejeweled billiard table. We mean the series of light-colored dots you’ll notice running down the rails of your table. Pockets are also considered diamond markers for bank shot purposes. And these diamonds help you visualize the angle at which you need to take your bank shot, increasing your accuracy and consistency. Plus, they are easy to use, no matter where on the table you’re playing.

The object in using these diamonds is to aid in making mirrored angles. In other words, if you shoot the object ball into a diamond at a 45-degree angle, it should bounce off the rail at the same angle but in the opposite direction. As long as you shoot straight and with adequate speed, you’ll perfect this move with ease.

Steps to a perfect bank shot:

  1. Number the diamonds along each rail. Beginning with the corner pocket, number each diamond one through five on the foot rail and one through nine on the long rail. While the exact number of diamonds may differ with varying sizes of pool table, a regulation-sized table will include this amount. Fewer diamonds, however, should make no difference in your bank shot performance. What’s important is knowing how to use the diamonds when determining your best shooting angle.
  2. Assign a number position for the cue and object ball. This is based on the diamond closest in proximity to each ball. And when a ball lands in between two diamonds, you can assign intermediate numbers such as ‘4.5.’
  3. Splitting the difference. Your goal in bank shots is first to find the halfway point between your cue and object balls. So to do this, subtract the diamond number of the cue ball from that of the object ball. Divide that number in two. For example, if your cue ball is at one and your object ball is at 4, you’ll get 4-1=3. So, your halfway point would be half of three, or one and a half diamond lengths.
  4. Aim for the diamond at your halfway point. In the example, you’ll shoot for the one and a half diamond point to achieve the perfect mirrored angle. Once you’ve determined your target and positioned your cue in a 45-degree angle, you’re ready to bank the object ball straight into the diamond and ideally into the pocket!

Keep in mind that speed plays a crucial factor in your backshots. The harder you hit the ball, the tighter the angle and the softer your hit, the wider the angle. Determining the halfway point, creating a 45-degree angle, and making the shot at an appropriate speed is far from easy. However, with sufficient practice, this bank shot will lend consistency and precision to your billiards game.While practice makes perfect, it’s only possible with a great table. So if you’re in the market for a pool table to call you own and for unlimited practice shots, call on us. We at Games for Fun are stocked with the right table for you and at a great price. Reach out today for billiard tables for every level as well as supplies for every other game you can imagine.


7 Quick Tips For Getting Better at Pool

better pool

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