Vocabulary, Slang and Definitions

25 Random Essential Billiards Terms

(Jack and Jill) Mixed doubles match (each team has one male and one female).
To seal the pores of a wooden cue's shaft or to smooth out minor dents in the shaft by rubbing vigorously with some material.
To similarly vigorously rub the edge of a cue tip (especially a new one) to fortify it against mushrooming and ensure that it is perfectly flush with the ferrule.
Also known as "Break and Dish". In pool games, when a player breaks the racked object balls, pockets at least one ball on the break, and commences to run out the remaining object balls without the opponent getting a visit at the table.
In the game 9 Ball, making the nine ball early with a legal shot, but not on the break.
In snooker, the colour ball that is worth three points, being the second-least valuable colour behind the yellow. It is one of the baulk colours.
Same as triple.
Refers to a person gambling when he has no money. As in, "That jerk can't pay up, he was shooting air barrels the whole time".
A form of Carom billiards for the masters of the game. Played the same way with two cue balls and a single object ball. Except, in between hitting the opponent's cue ball and the object ball your cue ball must bounce off of three rails (this game is played with an unpocketed specially sized table).
All-Africa Pool Association. The AAPA is a member of the WPA.
In three cushion billiards, the most standard shot where the third ball is advantageously placed in a corner.
Also known as 14.1 continuous pool. This game is played on a pocketed table with the fifteen object balls and a cue ball. Every shot must begin with a call, and if made, you get to continue calling shots. The idea is to reach a predetermined score before your opponent. When all but one ball remains, the rack is started over without the apex ball in position, and the last shot is called in such a way as to break the new rack and continue play.
A tight, Spandex glove covering usually most or all of the thumb, index finger and middle finger, worn on the bridge hand as a more convenient and less messy alternative to using hand talc, and for the same purpose: a smooth-gliding stroke.
A break shot in which the object is to leave the incoming player with no shot or a very difficult shot, such as is normally employed in the opening break of straight pool. Cf. open break.
In snooker, the highest-value baulk colour, worth 4 points.
This is a type of shot where the cue ball goes off the rail before it heads to contact the object ball, thus giving the cue better position in some shots.
Modification of the rules and/or scoring of a game to enable players of variable abilities to compete on a more even playing field. Examples of handicapping include spotting balls and giving games on the wire to an opponent. In league play, other forms of handicapping include awarding compensating points to a lesser-skilled team, or using numerical player ranking systems to adjust final scores between opponents of different skill levels.
This is to watch a match with such intensity that there is worry, usually because of a wager on the game.
A British term for someone with little experience or understanding of the game, who may be skilled at potting individual balls but does not consider tactics such as position or safety; "he's a potter not a player." See also banger.
In snooker, the cushion opposite the top cushion and bounded by the yellow and green pockets (i.e. same as bottom cushion).
Using knowledge of the game and one's own abilities and limitations to choose the manner of shooting and the particular shot from an array presented, that has a degree of likelihood of success. This often requires a player to forego a shot that if made would be very advantageous but does not have a high likelihood of success, in favor of a safety or less advantageous shot that is more realistically achievable.
Skilled playing in which knowledge of ball speed, angles, post-impact trajectory, and other factors are used to gain position (i.e. a good leave) after the target ball is struck. The goals of position play are generally to ensure that the next shot is easy or at least makeable, and/or to play a safety in the advent of a miss (intentional or otherwise).
This is a carom shot that utilizes english and only two rails to achieve three cushion contacts.
The placement of the balls, especially the cue ball, relative to the next planned shot. Also known as shape.
A pocket; usually used in disgust when describing a scratch (e.g., "the cue ball's gone down the sewer").
Chiefly British: Same as duck, and stemming from the same obvious etymology.