A common debate between pool players is whether playing pool on a 9ft table makes you a better player on a 7ft table. In short, that answer is yes. You may wonder why. Every player is different; therefore, reasons will usually vary per person and per the establishment’s choice and maintenance of equipment.
Most players feel the transition from playing on a 9ft table to a 7ft table is much easier than the other way around. Think about this. A 9 ft table affords a lot of longer distance shots whereas a 7ft table eliminates much of the distance between cue ball and object ball. Sometimes a 9ft table may also have tighter shimmed pockets than a typical 7ft table. This makes for more difficulty in pocketing balls on a 9ft and an easier tendency to “bobble” a ball in the pocket. On a 7ft table it is likely possible for your aim to be slightly off and the object ball would still drop when it would not if on a table with tighter shimmed pockets.
Conversely, object balls are more clustered and precise positioning is more crucial on a 7ft table than on a 9ft table. You need to adjust your speed enough such that you can navigate around the small table and still be able to see your next object ball. If you can do this your game play is golden. One saving grace is when you miss your position playing in 8 ball, you may have another object ball option to shoot at. If you do not, you can look for a defense opportunity.
Speed control is a big factor when going from one size table to another. A player who would normally play on a 9ft table may overshoot their positioning when playing on a 7ft table. A way to compensate for this is to try shooting softer than you normally would. You may want to try shooting a couple balls to get a feel for your speed control before starting a match.
Overall, there are many players whose games have improved from playing on 9ft tables more often. It is not likely you will meet someone who says their game has gotten worse.