Play 8 pool in Phuket
There is nothing easier than playing 8 pool in Phuket. Many bars have tables available and allow visitors to have fun while having a few drinks in a friendly atmosphere.
8 pool is a game that is easily accessible for anyone. Whether you are a beginner or a connoisseur, you will quickly find pleasure and the games can go on until late at night without you noticing it. There are times when you don't see time passing.
The two most common main games are Snooker and 8 pool, which are very different from each other and are also played on different tables. If you can play 8 pool on a snooker table, the opposite is extremely rare. I have never seen anyone playing snooker on a pool table... the reason can be very simple: normally a pool table owner does not own a set of snooker balls.
20 years ago, the most common tables in Phuket were snooker tables. This was the only type of table that could be found.
These tables are recognizable by their distinctive pockets made of a sort of braided net. Later, especially after the 2004 Tsunami, the first pool tables began to appear in bars around the country.
Why? The reason is simple to understand. Snooker tables were bought by bar owners. It was a rather expensive investment and the games were free.
A little later then, pool tables started to appear. For the bar owners this was an interesting move: it was possible to rent these tables equipped with a payment system, so that every game played by the customers became a paying game. For the bar customers, no more free games and for the bar owners, it was one less charge and one more income.
On the gaming side, if already before we tended to play pool on these snooker tables, we must admit that playing on a pool table is a bit easier, the pockets being bigger and therefore easier... and therefore the games end faster and therefore the coins go faster into the coin slot....
Nowadays, on Rawai for example, 90% of the tables are American pool tables. In Kata or Karon there are still a lot of snooker tables where you play pool.
In principle, the bars that have snooker tables can provide snooker lovers with specific snooker balls, these being different of course.
Some basic explanations...
The game of Snooker and the game of 8 Pool have very different rules and are played very differently. A good player who is skilled enough, is able to play invariably in one or the other specialty. Then, it's a matter of taste... one may prefer one to the other.
The approaches in the game are very different.
In the 8 Pool, the balls are divided into two categories: "spots" and "stripes". "Spots" are numbered from 1 to 7 and "stripes" from 9 to 15. The "black" ball numbered 8 is common to both players and must be pocketed last. On a "break" (start of the game) you will at some point be able to choose your ball color (striped or spot) for the game. Once the color is chosen, you will only be able to play that category until the end. Once you have entered all your balls, you must play the black ball that wins the game. In this practice and since you only play your category, you can "place" your balls close to the pockets in order to pocket them on the next shot. This can be done in case of a difficult shot.
This tactic is not practiced in snooker because players take turns playing the red balls. So if you place a red ball in front of a pocket without putting it in, it will be good for your opponent... and therefore to be avoided of course... this is why many players coming from the snooker often tend to play harder not being used to "place" their balls for a later shot.
The common point between the two games is essentially the placement of the cue ball... during a move it is not enough to simply pocket a ball but also and above all to think where the cue ball will go to prepare the next shot... but this detail of the game is for more experienced players.
Where to play 8 Pool...
Whether in Rawai, or elsewhere on Phuket Island, you will always find a bar with a table. Nothing could be simpler...
If the table is occupied, you will often find a blackboard and chalk... just write down its name, which means you will be the next to play. If other names are written down, you'll wait your turn. Normally, whoever wins stays at the table...
Tournaments & Championships...
There are a lot of tournaments organized by the bars on the island. The ones I know best are of course in Rawai... but there are also tournaments organized in the surroundings: Kata, Karon, Patong etc...
These tournaments are usually attended by regulars, but are open to everyone. Everyone is welcome. These tournaments often start around 8pm and the finals end around midnight...
Registrations are done on site and a participation is requested at the time of registration which represents a prize pool that is then redistributed as a reward to the first three players of the tournament.
In general, everything is well organized and the games follow one another quickly because for the first rounds, the games are played in one set but in "pools" of four players which allows each player to play at least three games with three different people which is always nice. So the wait is not too long.
A championship, unlike a tournament, is a well-organized event that takes place over much longer periods of time as several teams meet in friendly, convivial evenings.
There are on Rawai, Kata and Karon several championships organized throughout the year. These championships were originally created to make the bars work a little harder, that's obvious, (just like the more recent tournaments) but also to give the fans the opportunity to play matches on behalf of their favourite team. If in a tournament you play on your own and play against other players, in a championship you are part of a team and you will have to play a "singles" match, a "doubles" match and finally a match nicknamed "beer leg".
On Rawai, you have the most important league: Rawai Pool League which has about 20 teams (this year), so there are 38 league nights, which makes more than 9 months of competition...
RPL Rawai Pool League
Website Link: Rawai Pool League Championship nights take place on Monday evenings.
8 ball pool rawai
Website Link: 8 ball pool rawai Championship nights take place on Monday evenings.
8 Ball Pool Phuket Friendship League
more on Kata/Karon but including some Rawai teams.
Website Link: 8 Ball Pool Phuket Friendship League Championship nights take place on Thursday evenings.
On these three links you will find match schedules, results, team and player rankings.