Setting up a game cave by outfitting your space with vintage touches and accents can be serious fun. It can also be a bit confusing when you want to include extra touches that are a bit uncontemporary, like billiard scoring beads.
You want to keep score while you play pool, and you want to do it in style. You’re cool, we know. That’s why we’ve written this step by step guide on how to hang billiard scoring beads. You’ll come off like a pool pro, so hopefully, your game can live up to the same standards.
Hanging billiard beads requires scoring beads, measuring tape, a pencil, screws/nails, a hammer, and a little bit of elbow grease.
Let’s break shot and get to it.
What are Billiard Scoring Beads?
Maybe you’ve seen them before, maybe you haven’t. Maybe you’re solids, maybe you’re stripes. Either way, billiard scoring beads are a fun and quirky way to keep tabs on the score of your billiards game.
Billiard scoring beads are made of beads on a string that is hung overhead from a pool table. They can be constructed of plastic or wood and feature one dark section and one light section, to differentiate from the score of two players.
Better to make it official than try to remember where you’re at when you’re a few beers in. It just might even save you some bar brawls!
- 1” beads
- 5 feet of string
The string of beads will count up to 50 points for each side and features handy numbered tabs, usually by the count of 10s, so you don’t have to go individually counting each bead.
These billiard scoring beads from Amazon are great quality and are exactly what you should look for in scoring beads. They go up to 50 points and are in two separate colors to differentiate players.
Proper Setup for Hanging Billiard Scoring Beads
Proper setup is important so that the beads are usable! That’s what you bought them for anyway. You could go all Open Table on the process, but that’s unorganized and a bit of a mess.
This section will discuss the best placement and best practice for hanging your billiard scoring beads. Call shot – Perfectly mounted billiard scoring beads in the left corner pocket.
You’ll need to following tools:
- Measuring tape
- Step stool – and a buddy to spot you for safety
Billiard scoring beads come with three attachment points. You can hang them in a variety of places, to include to following:
- Overhead of the pool table (most common)
- On the wall
- From wall to ceiling
- Across a corner
As long as the string is extended, you can get creative with placement. The best placement is over the pool table, perpendicular to the table itself, and using the light that is centered over the pool table as the middle string mount.
But, if you have a big and fancy stained-glass bar light mounted above your pool table, you might want to hang the beads on the wall. You don’t want any sloshed players waving pool sticks around your expensive vintage light.
After you’ve scouted the best location, it’s time to get hanging.
You’ll want to keep 5” of space on each side of each bead section to allow for the beads to slide along the string. Your finished billiard scoring beads will be organized like this:
Left mount, 5” of space, light beads, 5” of space, center mount, 5” of space, dark beads, 5” of space, right mount.
That’s 20” of space. Account for this during the below process.
Give your buddy a high five for helping you hang your beads and spot you on your ladder.
Measure out the length of your bead string. It will probably be around 5 feet or longer.
Staring from your pendant light, measure out half of the distance in one direction. Mark the spot on your ceiling where you want the string to begin.
Measure out from the pendant light, in the opposite direction and mark the second mounting spot.
Go ahead and mount your string on the left side, secure it to the light in the middle, then mount the right side, ensuring that the string stays taut.
Check it Twice
Make sure that your billiards scoring string is level and that there is adequate room on each side for the beads to slide for scoring.
- Keep it level! You don’t want to mount at a slant and cause all the beads to fall to one side and not stay put.
- Keep it taut! If it’s slack, you won’t be able to keep score on it. That’s a scratch.
How to Keep Score on Billiard Scoring Beads
As billiards scoring beads are usually mounted on the ceiling, the idea is that the players use their pool cues to toggle the beads and tabs back and forth as scoring advances.
A simple glance up is all it takes to consider the current score, for players and anyone watching the game from across the room.
It’s as easy as that! Run the table, you’re done!
Troubleshooting Billiard Scoring Beads
Did your beads come with a string that seems too flimsy or short? You might have to replace it. The most durable option would be a thin metal cable, like picture hanging wire. That should last you ages and you’ll never have to worry about a mess of beads spilling everywhere in the middle of a game.
Are there some labels coming loose after use? Keep a small tube of glue handy in case you have to reattach some of the scoring tab numbers. You probably won’t need to do this if you buy a high-quality set, but it’s good to be ready to fix it if you need to.
Is your ceiling too tall, or your pendant light too low to mount beads to? You can have the string free-hanging in the air by mounting wall to wall. You might want to support the middle of the string in some way if it won’t remain taut on its own.
Getting too much slack in your string? Using a metal cable can help eliminate any stretch and keep your cord nice and straight.
Ideas for Hanging Scoring Beads
You could use boring old nails and screws to hang your billiard beads, or you could get fancy and take the theme of your game cave to the next level.
Going for a Western vibe? Use wall-mounted horseshoes to secure your string of beads.
How about Deep Woods Cabin? Use small log hangers to hold the beads.
Maybe you’re into Fantasy? No judgment, we all love pool here. A set of unicorn horns will do you well.
Some pool aficionados like to craft mounting cabinets for their scoring beads. These look like narrow shelves that house the beads underneath like a bar for a dishtowel.
You’ll find a lot of vintage photographs with similar setups or modern all-in-one type shelves that house cues, balls, chalk, beads, and more. But those are too basic for you.
Hanging scoring beads can be complicated, but pretty doable for the average handyman with the right tools. Remember to take accurate measurements and keep everything level for the best results.
Billiard scoring beads are a thoughtful touch to add to your pool space in your game room. Don’t forget to add your own special twist when hanging your scoring beads to give it a special custom look.
They’re a classy way to keep score and look quite dapper on the ceiling or wall. Pool is a skilled person’s game, so it makes sense that the hanging of billiard scoring beads would be too.