Prague Billiards Guide

Looking For A Place To Play? We Stack Them Up So You Can Rack Them Up

Kevin Weaver

Written by Kevin Weaver Published on 01.06.2011 10:12:30 (updated on 01.06.2011) Reading time: 10 minutes

When playing a game of billiards, it is usually not a good idea to scratch. It would be an equally poor idea for you to merely scratch the surface of the plethora of establishments available in Prague in which to play this great game. Whether you prefer an elegant game of snooker, a straight up game of billiards such as 9-ball or even some of the more eccentric versions of the game such as carom billiards (karamboly), there are no shortage of options here in the heart of Europe. The key for those of you looking for a place to play is to remember that each billiard hall has its own unique ambience and finding one that is perfect for you might take a little looking. Ex-Pats is here to help streamline that search and lead you to your ideal green felt paradise.

If size and spectacle are what you are looking for in a billiard hall then you simply must make a trip down to Billiard Centrum V Cípu (V Cípu 1), which is located just a short walk from Wenceslas Square. After traversing down a dark and dingy alleyway the last thing one expects to find is the largest billiard hall in all of Prague, but if you seek it out you will be pleasantly surprised. Upon entrance you will be taken aback by the impossibly high ceilings and giant crystal chandeliers overlooking the sea of green felt below. It is a beautiful setup which is home to 28 pool tables scattered throughout the multi-floor interconnected assortment of rooms. Whether you prefer to be in the main room amongst the buzz of your fellow patrons and the sweet sound of balls being broken all around you or would rather be tucked away in a much more private room with that special person on a night out, Billiard Centrum will meet your needs. Any one of the 18 billiard tables, regardless of room, can be rented for a very reasonable 95-125 CZK/hr. The 3 carom tables (75-95 CZK/hr), 2 snooker tables (110-150 CZK/hr) and 5 Russian pyramid tables (125-165 CZK/hr) can also be played for a very fair price.  The lower rates are available from 11:00-17:00 with the higher rates taking effect from 17:00-02:00.

Billiard Centrum V Cípu

Although billiards are definitely the main draw here there is plenty more to discover if you go wandering through the facility. Around each corner are more games rooms filled with an assortment that includes: 7 ping pong tables (80 CZK/hr), 2 bowling alleys (200-300 CZK/hr), 3 foosball tables, 3 dart machines and a room for playing chess and poker. Searching out these various rooms may feel a little like going on a scavenger hunt at a dilapidated old church yet somehow it feels just right. If you do work up an appetite trekking around the facility though, you will most likely want to fill your stomach elsewhere as the one weakness of Billiard Centrum seems to be their menu which contains only a small assortment of snacks such as nuts or chips. The drinks however are aplenty.

For players who appreciate a touch of class and a dose of culture in their ideal destination for a game of billiards, a trip to Café Louvre (Národni 22) should top your list. Affording yourself the opportunity to enjoy some Czech beer or fine wine while hitting a few balls in a café once frequented by the likes of Franz Kafka and Albert Einstein does provide you with a unique and memorable ambience. One visit will provide you with enough insight to understand why such luminaries would have kept coming back. The café´s beautiful large windows with arched window frames looking out onto the street allow for abundant amounts of sunlight to enhance the soft pastel shades of the walls. From copious amounts of marble to the dazzling array of mirrors it certainly is unique and breathtaking. Considering how beautiful it is the very reasonable prices seem too good to be true.

From the entrance through to the billiard room you will have temptation on either side as you pass through the café and then the patisserie. If you get past the delectable desserts unscathed you will find a charming room with five well-kept tables. Due to the popularity of the café it would be prudent to book a reservation either by phone or through online booking at least a day in advance.

Just as it was 100 years ago Café Louvre still opens at 08:00 which is rare in Prague. This makes it the perfect destination for their renowned Sunday brunch followed by a game. Popular with tourists and locals, the cultural melting pot present here makes for a friendly and engaging atmosphere that will keep you coming back.

Café Louvre at Národní třída

If you find yourself near Jiřího z Podébrad station take a short walk over to Billiard Club Řipská (Řipská 24). Located in the former Slavia cinema, Řipská has its 18 pool tables laid out like a gauntlet in front of you when you walk in. Thirteen billiard tables including both 8 ft. and 9 ft. versions (60-130 CZK/hr), 4 carom tables (60-115 CZK/hr) and 1 snooker table (130-150 CZK/hr) constitute your playground at this charming club. It is usually booked quite full, so calling ahead 24 hrs. for a reservation (224251430) is recommended. If you find your stomach starts to growl while you´re there take a look at Řipská´s extensive menu with a wide variety of dinner options. All are reasonably priced with most dishes costing less than 130 CZK and available to order until 01:00. You will also find the service to be very attentive with both empty glasses and full ash trays being a rare sight. Řipská is available to serve its customers from 12:00-02:00 every day of the week.
After your first visit to Řipská, if you find it to your liking and wish to return for some more serious competition, 9-ball and 10-ball tournaments are held every Sunday at 18:15 for some attractive prize money. They also host a darts tournament every Thursday at 20:00 which can be entered for only 60 CZK.

Billiard Club Řipská

For a nice game of pool intertwined with a little history of the game one should venture to Billiard Club Balabuška (Michelská 19/16). The club is named after George Balabushka, a legendary producer of billiard cues known as the “Stradivarius” of billiard cue manufacturers. His cues were featured in the classic Scorsese movie The Color of Money with Paul Newman and Tom Cruise and they routinely fetch tens of thousands at auction. While you won´t find a priceless cue awaiting your use here you will find 14 beautiful tables available for play from 14:00-02:00 every day. Among the array of tables are 11 Brunswick billiard tables (59-135 CZK/hr), 2 carom tables (59-120 CZK/hr) and 1 Willie Holt snooker table (90-150 CZK/hr). Due to the popularity of Mr. Balabushka´s namesake it would be wise to book a reservation (241482331) at least 14 hrs. in advance.

It would also be wise to come with an appetite as Balabuška is known for its excellent cuisine. Although it is a little pricier than food at other billiard clubs you can look forward to a full array of chicken, pork, steak, fish and pasta dishes.

Balabuška´s interest in assisting the growth of the game is evident in their operation of a billiard school for both beginners and advanced players. You will be instructed in the finer points of the game over five 2 hour sessions with a professional coach for a very affordable 5000 CZK. You can then use your newfound skills to recoup that investment in the amateur tournaments held every Monday and Wednesday at 18:45 with jackpots reaching up to 25000 CZK.

On a night that you find yourself interested in having some great restaurant quality food with some pool on the side you should entertain the idea of attending the Grill Billiard Club (Kafkova 47). As you can tell by the name, the focus here is more on the food than the pool, yet both are intertwined exceptionally well. A full assortment of grilled food from steaks and wings to fresh salmon or trout, Greek specialties and even duck or goose await your taste buds. Next to your comfortable booth sits one of 5 pool tables (3 billiards, 2 carom) ready to be enjoyed. The atmosphere of the place is enhanced quite intriguingly by the prehistoric-looking robotic dinosaur murals adorning the walls. If you just reread that sentence trying to picture them I suggest you head on over to Prague 6 and have a look for yourself.

When you are searching for a place to play make sure you don´t only include places with billiard in the name otherwise you would miss out on a place like the Bowling Bar (Ruská 88). Although it is primarily a bowling establishment it has a separate billiard room designed for the quiet enjoyment of the game. Whether you are looking to avoid the excess noise or smoke of a normal billiard hall or you simply want a change of pace to provide a more private feel  for you and a date, Bowling Bar´s billiard room would be a good place to investigate. The room contains four well-kept tables (3 billiard, 1 carom) available to play for only 90 CZK/hr at whatever time you choose to play during their hours of 15:00-24:00. The room is furnished with a series of comfy leather couches completing the relaxed feel that Bowling Bar was able to create.

Outside the serenity of the billiard room you will find the bowling lanes that give the bar its name. Also available to you are 2 ping pong tables, darts and a number of leisure sports simulators creating somewhat of an eclectic mix of options. One area without a lot of options however is the menu. Unless you will be content with a pizza or a sausage you should look to fill up elsewhere.

A lot of times as an ex-pat you find yourself wanting to participate in a particular activity, unfortunately  the friends you would do it with are in another country. If you find yourself in this situation when it comes to billiards you should look into joining the ICQ Pool League. It is the largest pool league in Prague with nearly 200 members and it cycles through two month seasons throughout the year so the opportunity to join and start playing is never far off. You can register free of charge on their website in a matter of minutes and wait for the new season to start. The league is divided into three levels based on skill and you can work your way into being promoted into the top tier in a similar fashion to what you would see in English football. Their website also provides extensive stat-tracking and full leaderboards for you to easily chart your progress.

If snooker is what you fancy than the Czech Snooker League should satiate your desires. You can check them out online at or take a look at their Facebook page. Registration can be done online at their website and carries with it a fee of 300 CZK. The C.S.L. currently has over 100 members to test your skills against with their next event taking place on June 25 at Centrum Černý Most.

While some treat the various billiard games as purely a leisure opportunity, there are others who take it seriously enough to warrant them purchasing their own cue or possibly even a table for their home.  If this describes anyone you know, you should check out Billard-Centrum (V Pitkovičkách 11). This is the sister website to the aforementioned largest billiard hall in Prague and it sells a wide variety of tables as well as all accessories needed for all types of billiard games. It is a very well organized website, a necessity due to the size of their inventory, which includes not only equipment but also DVD´s and literature on billiards. is a good place to go if you like looking for a deal. It is an E-bay style website with auctions ongoing daily on all types of billiard equipment. Tables can be found for less than 10000 CZK and professional two-piece cues for as little as 200 CZK. If you like to save money and don´t mind working for it than this is a resource that should not be overlooked.

Brand´s Billiard Ltd. is the exclusive importer of the popular Brunswick billiard tables here in the Czech Republic, so if that is what you´re looking for then look no further. They sell new and old tables and accessories for those who truly appreciate the traditions of this iconic 150-year-old company.

Finally, if you like having some fun while sifting through the various accessories available to you, take a look at Eugen Rotter (Družstevní ochoz 1187/36). Included amongst the myriad of accessories they have for sale are over 70 videos showcasing various trick shots for both carom billiards and regular pool. If you plan on walking into a billiard hall and unsheathing your fancy new cue, it might be nice to be able to perform a “hustler masse” or at least know what it is.

Opportunities abound for billiards throughout this great city and now you know where they are. You no longer have to accept playing at the one slanted table at your local pub. Get out there and scratch below the surface of Prague´s billiards scene, just try not to scratch while you are doing it.

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