Are Pool Tables Worth It? 10 Questions to Ask Before Buying
You’re amped up after going down a pool tournament rabbit hole on YouTube; you’ve just arrived home from a great time at the local pool hall; whatever the situation, the question has finally popped into your head: are pool tables worth it?
Having helped people build their ultimate home game rooms for over 35 years, we’ve learned a thing or two about what separates a happy pool table buyer from a regretful one.
Based on this experience, we put together 10 questions to ask yourself before buying a pool table to help you make the right call.
- Pool tables are worth buying if you have the budget, space, and time for it
- Understand your motivation for playing pool. Is it the love of the game, or do you like the social aspect of it? Often (but not always), moving from playing in bars or pools to your home can take away from the social aspect
- Playing at home can result in you developing much faster than the people you play with, which can affect fun and fair play
- Pool tables can add value to your home, depending on if you plan on selling or renting your home with the table included
- The price of high-quality, slate pool tables typically starts at $1,500 for used tables and $2,000 for new tables
Questions to ask yourself before buying a pool table
Do I have the budget for a pool table?
You’re not just buying a pool table; if you’re looking to create a dedicated pool environment, you’re going to need cues, a pool cover, a rack, and potentially surrounding furniture and lighting. Before committing to a purchase, take time to understand everything you need—and the associated price tag—first. This way, you won’t be surprised by anything down the road.
It’s also helpful to compare this number with how much you currently spend on playing pool. Driving to the pool hall, getting drinks and food, paying to play each game; in the long term, these costs may seem small in the short term but build up over time—eventually costing more than what you’d pay upfront to play at home.
Do I have the space to accommodate a pool table in my home?
Even if you can technically fit a pool table inside your home, is there enough room for playing or relaxing around the table? To avoid cramped play or potentially even damaging your walls or ceiling, measure the room you intend to play in to make sure it’s the right size.
Read our pool table room size guide for help.
Do I have the time to commit to regular play?
If you play pool regularly—more than once a week—then it makes sense to get a pool table for your home. But if you only play once or twice a month, a pool table might end up serving more as decor than an actual playing surface. That said, investing in a table might be the incentive you need to play more; if you’re this kind of person, then a table may still make sense, regardless of how often you currently play.
Am I willing to create a suitable environment for playing pool?
If you plan on putting your table in your garage with no other setup, then you may not have to worry about building out an environment around your table. But if you plan on creating a dedicated pool or games room, then there are other factors you’re going to have to worry about, such as getting furniture, setting up lighting, and installing amenities. Other than the cost of these other factors, there’s the time and energy it will take to plan and set them up as well.
Read our pool table buying guide for help.
Am I looking for an investment?
When you think of investments, you likely think of things like houses, watches, or cars. Pool tables often don’t get lumped into this category, but they should be; high-quality, custom, and rare pool tables can nab a price tag in the hundreds of thousands, even millions!
Of course, the value of pool tables largely depends on the environment they’re in and how well you care for them. But if you invest in a good brand, top-notch table, and keep it in pristine condition, don’t be surprised if you get close to, if not more than its original buying price when it comes time to sell.
Am I serious about improving my pool skills?
Wanting to improve your skills is another clear indicator that a home table makes sense for you. The pool hall or bar might not be giving you the time or space you need to improve your skill to the degree you’d like—perhaps there are always people waiting to play or the table isn’t the size or quality you’d like. With a table at home, you can have the freedom to learn with none of these limitations.
Is my family interested in playing pool together?
Pool can be about more than just skill development or playing in isolation; if your family is interested, pool can be a perfect group activity that brings everyone together. If one person is more skilled than the others, that person can teach or play at a handicap to keep things fair and fun. Anything that creates room for more quality time with loved ones is a worthy investment.
Do I enjoy pool, the game, or the people I hang out with when I play it?
If you love pool, the game, then having a table at home is superior to going somewhere for pool. But if you like the social aspect of pool—perhaps you have a group of friends you regularly play with—then it’s important to consider how having a table at home will change that. Maybe it won’t and your friends don’t mind coming to your house every week to play.
But if you’re worried your group will continue going to the pool hall while you’re stuck at home playing, and you’ll no longer have that social aspect, then an at-home table might not be for you. That said, it’s also not an either-or situation; you can have a table at home and continue to join them while you can; this just may be a more expensive option.
Am I seeking a new hobby, or something to relieve stress, that I can do at home?
Pool can be meditative; you can spend months, or even years, experimenting with the different versions, equipment, and rulesets and barely scratch the surface. There’s also an incredibly high skill tree; the more you play, the higher you realize it goes. In this sense, it’s a perfect long-term hobby or way to relieve stress after work.
Am I worried about a growing skill divide?
Pool is a great time under any circumstance, but especially when everyone’s on the same level. If you have a group that you play with regularly, whether it’s friends or family, it’s incredibly satisfying watching everyone develop at the same pace. When you get a home table, and you’re able to play more than everyone else in your group, a skill gap can develop. This may seem like a small thing, but if you pull so ahead of your group members that they start consistently losing every week, the game can become less fun—to the point where people may no longer want to play.
If your group plays just to hang out, then you probably don’t have to worry about this, but if you play with competitive people—or you don’t want to have to handicap yourself just to keep an even playing field—then this is something to consider before buying a home table.
Owning a pool table FAQs
Does a pool table add value to my home?
Adding a pool table can add value to your home if you plan on selling your home with the table included. Another scenario where a pool table can add value is when renting. Whether renting out your home for short or long periods of time, allowing your renters access to your pool table likely means you charge them more in rent.
How much should I pay for a good pool table?
Slate is considered the best type of pool table (this is what professionals play on). The price of slate pool tables typically starts at $1,500 for used tables and $2,000 for new tables.
What are the benefits of having a pool table?
There are many benefits of having a pool table, including:
- Enjoyable pastime
- Valuable investment
- Faster skill development
- Excuse to have friends over
- Improve the value of your home
- Hub for family fun
- Physical exercise
- Multi-purpose (some tables can double as dining tables too)
Did you pass the test?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, great news! There’s a very good chance that getting a pool table for your home is worth it.
Even better, when you’re ready to take the next step, we’re here to help.
Whether you’re ready to buy today or just want to see your options, check out these slate pool tables for sale.