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Billiard cloth (sometimes erroneously called felt) is a specific type of cloth that covers the top of the table’s “playing area”. Both the rails and slate beds are covered with 21–24-ounce billiard cloth (although some less expensive 19-ounce cloths are available) which is most often green in colour (representing the grass of the original lawn games that billiards evolved from), and consists of either a woven wool or wool-nylon blend called baize. Most bar tables, which get lots of play, use the slower, thicker blended felt because it is cheaper. Worsted cloth is more expensive but lasts longer. This type of cloth is called a woollen cloth. By contrast, high-quality pool cloth is usually made of a napless weave such as worsted wool, which gives a much faster roll to the balls. This “speed” of the cloth affects the amounts of swerve and deflection[citation needed] of the balls, among other aspects of game finesse. Snooker cloth traditionally has a directional nap, upon which the balls behave differently when rolling against vs. running with the direction of the nap.
Sights, also known as diamonds (for their traditional shape), are inlaid at precise, evenly spaced positions along the rails of some tables (not usually on snooker tables) to aid in the aiming of bank or kick shots. There are seven along each long rail (with the side pocket interfering with where the seventh one would go, on pocket billiard tables) and three along each short rail, with each of the four corners counting as another in the mathematical systems that the diamonds are used to calculate. These sights divide the playing surface into equal squares. Books, even entire series of books, have been written on geometric and algebraic systems of aiming using the diamonds. Spots are often used to mark the head and foot spots on the cloth. Other markings may be a line drawn across the head string (or across the balk line with the “D”, in British-style pool). Another case is the outline of the triangle rack behind the foot spot where the balls are racked in straight pool, since the outline of this area is strategically important throughout the game.

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Billiard table

A billiard table or billiards table is a bounded table on which cue sports are played. In the modern era, all billiards tables (whether for carom billiards, pocket billiards, or snooker) provide a flat surface usually made of quarried slate, that is covered with cloth (usually of a tightly-woven worsted wool called baize), and surrounded by vulcanized rubber cushions, with the whole elevated above the floor.

More specific terms are used for specific sports, such as snooker table and pool table, and different-sized billiard balls are used on these table types. An obsolete term is billiard board, used in the 16th and 17th centuries. Cushions (also sometimes called “rail cushions”, “cushion rubber”, or rarely “bumpers”) are located on the inner sides of a table’s wooden rails. There are several different materials and design philosophies associated with cushion rubber.

The cushions are made from an elastic material such as vulcanized rubber (gum or synthetic). The chiefly American jargon rails more properly applies to the wooded outer segments of the table to which the cushions are affixed. The purpose of the cushion rubber is to cause the billiard balls to rebound off the rubber while minimizing the loss of kinetic energy. When installed properly the distance from the nose of the cushion to the covered slate surface is 1 7⁄16 inches (37 mm) while using a regulation 2 1⁄4-inch (57 mm) ball set.

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