View Full Version : Changing Pocket Size

06-19-2002, 11:20 PM
I am having my table refelted soon. The pockets on my table are massive. I want them made smaller... preferrably the smallest 'pro' size. How big should I tell the guys to make the pockets?

06-20-2002, 06:33 AM
When American Billiards here in Charlotte set up and covered my table with Simonis 760 I asked them to reduce the pockets and they took the rails to their shop and put double facings (shims) on them. They are about 4.5 inches.

06-20-2002, 06:37 AM
Good morning:

Depending on the actual size of your current pockets, you might want to request that they be Triple Shimmed. Chris in NC has tables with 3.5" pockets. Personally, for practice purposes, I like very tight pockets. when tight pockets are not available, I use the removeable pocket reducing inserts which reduce the pocket to approximately 3.5"

Dr. D.

06-20-2002, 07:37 AM
I think before you shim the table find a pool room that has double and triple shimmed pockets and try them out. Lately, nobody has been playing on the triple shimmed pockets because they say it takes away a lot of the shots to the center pockets. And they find that they are taking fewer shots at the side pockets so they lose that practice time. Seems that double shimmed are pretty popular though.
(Double shimmed being where two balls are snug in the pocket - 4.5") Jake~~~not really sure if double shimmed is 4.5" but that is the tightest I want to play on.

06-20-2002, 07:59 AM
I think the smallest pro size is probably 4 9/19 that Diamond uses. Anything smaller probably changes the game too much. There was a straight pool tournament a few years back that used 4 inch pockets. Mike Zuglan ran 148 and out but from what I have heard the tape of that run is boring. It's just not the same game.

You are probably better off using temporary pocket reducers to practice with but have the option to go back to more reasonable sized pockets. Of course, if your table has 5 1/4 inch pockets like mine something certainly has to be done about that and I am in the process of reducing them. Lot of work if you extend the rails and put on new cushions.

06-20-2002, 08:46 AM
There are two methods used to reduce pocket size --

1. Adding "shims". A normal pocket will have a single shim on each rail end. These are usually 1/8" (.125"). Adding a second shim (Double shimmed) will reduce the pocket by about 1/4" (.250"). A triple shimmed table will have three shims on each rail end. Adding shims is almost always done by the mechanic on premises; there is no need to take the rails to his shop just to add shims.

2. Making the rail LONGER. Since adding shims can make the pockets play differently, some table owners prefer to have the rails replaced with longer rubber and a single shim. Many mechanics will also do this at the premises.

Note that adding shims will NOT alter the pocket angle.
By lengthening the rail, the pocket angle CAN be altered.

Most serious 1-Pocket player prefer the longer rails to a triple shimmed table.


06-20-2002, 08:50 AM

From what I've seen, usually 4.5" is the tightest you'll find(barring one pocket tables). Personally, I don't like anything smaller than that as it take away the full range of the table/pocket. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is pocket shelf distance-the length of slate from the line between the two pocket tits, to the drop off point in the pocket. I feel this also has a huge impact on how tough a table plays. Just to give you an idea, my friend has a Diamond table, 3x shimmed, with a 1 3/4" throat. If you shoot into a corner pocket and even slightly catch the side rail, you will rattle the ball in the pocket jaws! A little rough to say the least. It's ggod for shotmaking practice, or one pocket, but it takes away certain position shots due to the fact that you have to be more conscious of pocket speed.


06-20-2002, 11:21 AM
It might be worth noting the BCA equipment specs:

Pocket openings are measured from tip to tip of the opposing cushion noses where direction changes into the pocket. This is called the mouth.

Corner Pocket: Mouth Between 4 7/8" minimum to 5 1/8" maximum

Side Pocket: Mouth Between 5 3/8" minimum to 5 5/8" maximum

The angle at the corner pocket entrance on each side of the pocket is 142o (1o).

The angle at the side pocket entrance on each side of the pocket is 103o ( 2o).

Vertical Pocket Angle: 12o minimum to 15o maximum.

Shelf: The shelf is measured from the center of the imaginary line that goes from one side of the mouth to the other where the nose of the cushion changes direction to the center of the vertical cut of the slate pocket radius.

Corner Pocket:
1 5/8" minimum to 1 7/8" maximum

Side Pocket: 0" minimum to 3/8" maximum

Drop Point Slate Radius: The pocket radius measured from the vertical cut of the slate to the playing surface.

Drop Point Slate Radius 1/8" radius min. to 1/4" radius max.

06-20-2002, 11:38 AM
Doctor, I can't imagine a commercial room with 3 1/2" pockets. I've never seen pockets that tight, and hope I never do. It must take a shoehorn to get a ball in there. I would have to carry sandwiches and a clean shirt to play a race to four in one-pocket.

06-20-2002, 11:58 AM
i have to agree with vapros on this one, 3.5" pockets i think would prove to be more debilitating to your game than helpful. obviously these "tighter than tight" pockets make certian shots which require a little more english and/or power almost impossible to make, which in turn can and will ruin your confidence, which with most players is the main thing holding them back.....

06-20-2002, 12:10 PM
i know that brunswick ships at 5" corners and that's just too big. since i use my table for practice and matching-up, i set it up at single shims or 4 3/4". it will jaw (stop or jam) 2 balls. i like the way that plays. i think i could get some practice benefit from an other set of shims, bringing it to 4 1/2 but then it would qualify as a "trick" table. i agree with the idea that, if you get the pockets too tight, then you have to give up a lot of your "cheating the pocket for shape" game just to make balls.

couple of the rooms around here each have one tripple shimmed table and mostly it's just used against visitors by people who just live on those tables. move 'em over to a regular table and they lose their edge.


Gayle in MD
06-20-2002, 05:18 PM
Hi Ken,
Guess you must have made a typo on that pocket size for the Diamond Pro cut pocket. They are 4 9/16.
Gayle in Md.