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Pocket difficulty on BCE & Riley tables

Postby rekoons

Has anyone else noticed a difference in difficulty of the pockets between different snooker tables, more precisely between BCE and Riley?

Reason I ask is because I notice the pockets of the Riley table I recently got installed are quite a bit tighter than the pockets of the BCE tables in our club.

On the riley it’s not enough to aim for the pocket, you need to really aim for the center of it. If you hit the jaw of the cushion the ball wobbles and you end up leaving a sitter to your opponent, whereas on the BCE club table that ball would always drop.

Are BCE tables in general simply more generous than rileys?
Is there a difference in shape / curve of the pockets / rubber cushions?
Has it got something to do with the fall of the slate?

Anyways Riley presents quite a step up in accuracy needed for potting compared to BCE, not a bad thing per se.

Re: Pocket difficulty on BCE & Riley tables

Postby rekoons

Seems you're right, it all comes down to the templates and/or fitters who cut and shape the undercut of the rubber.
I did some research and came up with this:

World snooker official (corner) pocket sizes used on tour have a pocket width, measured at the fall of the slate, of 3 1/2 inch. To make comparisons easy I'll express it in 'eights', so 3" 1/2 is 3" 4/8

pockets 3" 2/8 are considered too tight
pockets 3" 3/8 are on the tight side
pockets 3" 4/8 are the standard
pockets 3" 5/8 are a bit more giving
pockets 3" 6/8 are considered generous (and often club owners ask fitters to trim pockets to this size or even larger)
pockets above this are very generous and
pockets approaching 4" are bucket territory

and especially the shape and amount of undercut of the rubber around the pocket plays an equally important role (more undercut means slightly more passage for the ball).

other parameters are the shape of the fall of the slate; vertical drop edge is tour standard (more difficult), more rounded edge encourages the ball to drop earlier.

also there are like two shapes of the curvature of the pocket edges: more rounded vs. more elliptical, rounded being more giving...

only thing I can measure and judge is the pocket width, which turns out to be 3" 3/8, so we were right in our suspicion these pockets play tight compared to what we're used to in the club, which is probably 3" 6/8 or larger. gonna have to measure it to be sure.