Mini pool table – what to expect from the item
Mini pool tables are fun for all ages and a great addition to any family room but it’s important to keep in mind that mini pool tables aren’t real pool tables and are used for different purposes.
If you’re looking for a great way to introduce kids to pool, a mini pool table is a great choice. The small size is perfect for teaching kids how to hold a cue and learn to aim in a way they could never experience from a full-sized table. Plus, adults love them, too!
These tables are also a good choice for small spaces where having a real pool table is just not feasible. They’re portable so you can place them on your dining room table when it’s time to play and tuck them in a closet or under a bed when you’re done. There’s no disassembly or heavy loads to move around, either.
Mini billiard playing tips for beginners
If you’re just learning how to play, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, keep your non-dominant hand as the bridge and practice moving the cue back and forth with your dominant hand, or backhand. The backhand should be positioned so the elbow is bent at about 90 degrees when the tip of the cue is close to the ball, within an inch or two. It’s a good idea to get a feel for this motion before trying to make any shots.
When teaching kids to play for the first time, it’s a good idea to set up a simple practice drill rather than start them with a fresh rack. Have them try to hit each ball directly into a pocket without using a cue ball. Then, add the cue ball and work on aim and force.
Take it slow because kids can quickly get frustrated and overwhelmed. Once they get a feel for the movement of the game, they’ll be able to work on more complicated skills.
The prices for these tables vary a bit, ranging from $60 to $80. As you can see, that’s a lot less expensive than a full-sized pool table and even some portable ones!
Features to consider while buying the best mini pool table
To find the right mini pool table for you, make sure you consider these important features.
Build and materials
Most mini pool tables are made of medium density fiberboard or MDF. Higher end models might add details like veneers, metal accents, or carved designs but the foundation is usually the same.
As you might expect, less expensive models may not have the same level of quality but don’t worry, you can get a decent mini pool table for a reasonable price. Most have pockets with netting to catch the balls but some, like the Hey! Play! Mini Tabletop Pool Set, have a ball return system on the inside.
Mini pool tables come in a range of sizes from about 20 to 40 inches which means you really can find the right size for your space. When playing, it’s best to place them on a table that’s as close to their size as possible. If the table is too big, it can be hard to reach the table and take proper shots, especially for small kids with short arms.
For comparison, folding portable tables usually start at about 40 inches long and take up a lot more space than mini tables. Regulation pool tables are 88 inches long making mini tables less than half their size.
The playing surface on professional tables like Barrington, Hathaway or Mizerak is usually smooth felt that facilitates speed and control of the ball. By comparison, mini tables usually have a playing surface made of a less expensive wool blend that isn’t quite as smooth.
Most of these tables, like the Sunnydaze Mini Tabletop Pool Table Set, have drop pockets with netting that holds the balls in place. They have to be manually emptied so that other balls can fit into the pocket. The other option is a ball return system with runners or ramps that guide the balls to a central collection area.
Mini tables are made for fun. They’re made to scale so the balls, cues, and racks are all suitable for the table size and they have to be set up on a flat surface or gameplay will be compromised. But remember, this isn’t a real pool table. They have slower bumpers, smaller balls, and shorter cues. They’re great fun and good for learning but can’t be expected to perform the same was as a regulation pool table.
For the most part, assembly is minimal and once the table is put together, it can be easily carried to other rooms or even outside.
These mini pool tables all come with the basic equipment required to play a game. That is to say, balls, cues, chalk, and a rack are all included. Most also include a brush for cleaning the surface of the table.
Some upscale products may also come with cue holders or other things that are nice to have but aren’t necessary for a good game of pool.
Warranties vary with these products. Some don’t specify any coverage at all while most are covered for a year.