View Full Version : Pool hall vs Billiard parlor

03-28-2003, 03:32 AM
I learned to play pool in a pool hall, not a billiard parlor. There is a difference. Here are some of my observations. You might add your own.

(1) Pool halls must either be upstairs or downstairs, never on ground level.
(2) Pool halls must have a jittery neon sign with an old style hand in French cuffs. The finger is pointing up or down, depending on (1). The lettering must only say "Pool". The neon must be flickery or partly burned out.
(3) Billard parlors are brightly lit, with wide windows and lots of cute posters and slogans around the walls. Pool halls are dingy and dark, except for the bright lights over the tables. If the remainder of the room were brighter, you might disturb the drunks sleeping next to the wall or scare the mice.
(4) Pool hall tables have only green cloth, never pink or blue or other designer pastels. If it ain't green, it ain't sinnin'.
(5) You can take a date to a billard parlor. You can only take a date to a pool hall if she chews tobacco and can hit the spittoon on the first try.
(6) Pool halls do not have video games, pinball games, or other types of entertainment. Remember the guy from The Hustler -- "This is Ames. We play pool here."
(7) In a billiard parlor, you must never use obscenities when you miss a shot, and if you do, you might be asked to leave. In a pool hall, it's a requirement, and if you don't, you'll be looked down upon.
(8) In a pool hall, you can bring your own liquor or buy a beer from the porter. They will not have Evian, Sprite, or other kiddie drinks, the exception being to mix with your Bourbon or rye whiskey.
(9) In a pool hall, in the corner, will be a table that's kept covered. Over this table are signs that say "Absolutely No Gambling". This table is uncovered when big money games are played on it.
(10) In a pool hall, it's not absolutely mandatory that you carry a snubnose .38 in your back pocket, but it helps enhance your status, especially during a dispute on whether you hit the 7-ball before you hit the 9-ball.
(11) Regarding (10) above, if you shoot somebody in a pool hall dispute, try to fire so he lands on the floor instead of the table. Blood stains are hard to get out, and they might ask you to chip in on the recovering costs.
(12) Regarding (11) above, if you are not involved in the dispute, it's considered a plus if you continue playing on the adjacent table during the gunfight. It is acceptable however if you briefly pause while the actual bullets are flying, then resume play. There is no penalty for this.

Tips for playing in a pool hall:
(1) Never ask to change the juke box song that's playing. It's probably the favorite of Big Bill from Amarillo and he hates to have his music interrupted.
(2) Do not complain to the porter about cockroaches or mice that scurry around the periphery of the room. Pool halls are environmentally friendly to all. It is considered acceptable however to suspend play briefly if a roach peeks his head out of the pocket you're aiming for. No penalty.
(3) The cues in racks around the wall are decorative only. If you don't bring you own cue you should't be there in the first place.
(4) Concerning (3) above, these house cues are acceptable for use as weapons during a fight. It's considered bad form to use your custom cue to hit the opponent. It's also expensive, because he probably won't want to pay to fix your cue even though it was his head that broke it.
(5) Do not ask the porter to hold the stakes in a money game unless the kitty is more than one large ($1000). Smaller amounts are gauche and beneath his purvey. p.s. Yes it was Willie Mosconi who is asked to hold the money in The Hustler.
(6) If a stranger approaches you and asks if you want to play for money, you should not accept unless you have your .38 handy. His will be.

03-28-2003, 05:37 PM
Enjoyed your post Sam...you must have a lot of time on your hands. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

03-28-2003, 06:48 PM
As I recall, in a real pool hall they check you at the door for weapons. If you are not carrying a gun or knife, they will lend you one.