Playing pool has long been a staple hobby for Shenzhen expats. But while many local bars have a pool table inside, oftentimes, there's barely enough space to swing a cat let alone shoot properly, and who wants others pushing past them on route to the bar or toilet while they are trying to sink the 8-ball? Luckily, there are several excellent dedicated pool and snooker clubs in Shenzhen, which are frequented by a nice mix of Chinese and expat clientele. Shenzhen is also home to many professional players from China and Taiwan who compete in tournaments all over Asia and beyond, so whether you're a serious player looking for a challenge or you're just looking to knock some balls around with friends, it is easy to find a venue to suit.
1) Hammer Billiard Club 汉默台球俱乐部 View In Map
This brand new Japanese-owned Pool hall is very quickly becoming a favorite among local players. It has six brand new tournament-quality tables, as well as an excellent selection of local and imported beers and spirits at very reasonable prices. You'll tend to see the same people in here on a regular basis, which gives the place a nice sense of community. Service with a smile is guaranteed from owner Hamasaki, who is also a distributer for top quality Predator and Poison brand cues and accessories (which are not easily located in China). Pool lessons with in-house professional and Chinese national team regular Shi Chunxia are also available for those looking to sharpen their game. The hourly rate for a table is 28 RMB in the afternoon and 35 RMB in the evening.
Add: 2/F, 98 Chuangye Lu, Nanguang City Garden, Nanshan
Tel: 755 8654 5605
Price: 28 RMB/hour (afternoon); 35 RMB/hour (evening)
Getting there: exit the Taoyuan Metro Station (桃园站), very close to Zhongyou Hotel (中油大厦).
2) PokerFace Sports Bar 尚搏飞运动俱乐部 View In Map
Another relative newcomer (having opened in January 2012), Pokerface is popular with both casual and serious players alike. You'll see money games between players of an almost professional level right alongside a group of friends shooting for fun. The tables are very good quality and well maintained, and the venue is host to regular tournaments on Monday and Friday nights. Beer is around 30 RMB, which is fairly standard for a Shenzhen establishment. They also serve excellent pizza, have a big screen TV and host Poker tournaments for Texas Hold ‘Em aficionados. The hourly rate for a table is 35 RMB in the afternoon and 49 RMB in the evening.
Add: 211-213, 2/F, Building B, Shiji Jiari Plaza, Shennan Dadao, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Tel: 158 8975 3795
Price: 35 RMB/hour (afternoon); 49 RMB/hour (evening)
Getting there: Window of the World Metro Station (世界之窗), Exit C1. Very close to Holiday Plaza (假日广场).
3) Navy Billiards Lounge 绅斯台球俱乐部View In Map
Located in Shekou Seaworld, Navy is very popular with the considerable number of expats who live in the area. Although the tables are good, the cloths could possibly do with being changed a bit more often as the tables play slower than many regular players would be used to. They have a wide selection of drinks at standard Shenzhen prices, and although they don't have their own kitchen, they can order in pretty much whatever you want from the massive number of restaurants in the area. Navy also features daily drink promotions, such as a bottle of Jack Daniels for 300 RMB or buy-two-get-one-free on Carlsberg. The Thursday night tournament, organized by enthusiastic manager Bruce is very popular, with a bottle of whisky, beer and Da Vinci Pizza vouchers for the top three finishers. The hourly rate for a table is a very reasonable 30 RMB.
Add: 3-4 Xinghua Lu, Seaworld, Shekou, Shenzhen
Tel: 755 2685 5147
Price: 30 RMB/hour
Getting there: ride the Line 2 to the Seaword Metro Station (海上世界站). Located very close to the McDonald's and Relax bar.
4) Fly High Funland 神采飞扬游乐公园View In Map
This arcade/gym/pool hall is packed during the evening, and sometimes requiring a wait for a table as Baishizhou is a densely populated area. The tables are good quality, and they have both Pool and Snooker available, but unfortunately they don't have much space around the table so it can feel a little too crowded. There is also a noticeable lack of available seating. The pool hall's clientele mostly consists of teenagers and young adults who come up from the video gaming area downstairs. Drinks are available for just above shop price—cans of Tsingtao cost 7 RMB and Coca Cola cost only 4 RMB—which makes a refreshing change from paying the bar prices demanded by other places. For night owls, the midnight closing time will frustrate. The hourly rate for a table is 25 RMB on weekday afternoons until 19:00, and 35 RMB after 19:00 and during the weekend. A 100 RMB deposit is required to play, from which your final bill will later be deducted.
Add: 3/F, Baishizhou Shahe Golden Triangle Building, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Tel: 755 8661 0099
Price: 25 RMB/hour (afternoon); 35 RMB/hour (evening and weekend)
Getting there: next to Bank of China opposite of Exit A of Baishizhou station (白石洲站).
5) Star Castle Billiards Club 巨星堡台球俱乐部View In Map
Another new venue, Star Castle's neon lights, dark interior and red upholstery give a first impression more akin to that of a lap dancing bar than a pool hall. Star Castle offers playing companions for those who arrive alone but don't want to practice by themselves, and the tables are very good quality, made by Xing Pai and Gladiator. Beer is very reasonably priced with Tsingtao at 15 RMB and Snow at 12 RMB. Manager Yan Cuiying has plans for hosting regular tournaments in the near future, which will no doubt be very popular with the numerous professional players who live in the Luohu area. The hourly rate for a table is a steep 68 RMB—the highest I've seen in Shenzhen—but this doesn't seem to have deterred many locals from frequenting.
Add: 4/F, Block B, Building 7, Pacific Business Building, 4028 Jiabin Lu, Luohu District, Shenzhen
Tel: 755 8213 5675
Price: 68 RMB/hour
Getting there: ride Line 1 or 2 to the Grand Theater Metro Station (大剧院).
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Keywords: Best pool halls in Shenzhen best billiards clubs in Shenzhen
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