Vocabulary, Slang and Definitions

25 Random Essential Billiards Terms

In one pocket pool this means that you change your play based on where the count is during the game. If you are ahead you might choose more conservative shots, and if you are behind you could choose more aggressive shots.
The overall competition between two players, two pairs of players or two teams of players, usually consisting of a predetermined number of frames or games (sometimes organized into rounds).
Asian Pocket Billiard Union. The APBU is a member of the WPA.
This is a kind of cue made of four pieces of wood, the butt sleeve, the points, the handle, and the forearm, with each piece pinned, doweled, and glued together.
This is English that turns into reverse English after contact with the object ball. This will close up the angle on a bank.
"Pocket billiards," or a game in which balls are shot into pockets.
Extreme application of draw. This when the draw back of the cue ball is your first priority, and you apply extra draw to the hit of the cue ball.
This is to step up to the table and successfully execute a difficult shot.
The white ball struck by the cue (and so used to strike other colored, numbered, object balls) during play.
An imaginary line dividing the table into two equal halves lengthwise. It intersects the head string, center string and foot string at the head spot, center spot and foot spot, respectively.
Side spin on the cue ball that causes it to roll off a cushion (contacted at an angle) with rather than against the ball's natural momentum and direction of travel. If angling into a rail that is on the right, then running english would be left english, and vice versa. The angle of deflection will be wider than if no english were applied to the cue ball. But more importantly, because the ball is rolling instead of sliding against the rail, the angle will be more consistent. For this reason, running English is routinely used. Also called running side in British terminology. Contrast reverse english.
In snooker, a phrase used to describe a situation where the player has an easy pot and in general the balls are in a position to go on to make a sizeable break.
This is the point on the object ball where the cue exactly impacts or the point at which two balls touch when they impact.
Hitting the object ball with not enough of a cut angle; hitting the object ball too full or "fat". It is a well-known maxim that overcutting is preferable to undercutting. See also professional side of the pocket.
This is an instance when the person not taking their turn interferes with the game play, this is recorded as a foul.
This refers to the distance of deflection that the ball comes off of the cue stick after a hit is applied with side spin on it.
Same as foot spot. Chiefly British today, but also an American usage ca. World War I.
Also topspin, top-spin, top. Same as follow. Contrast bottom spin, back spin.
This is the highest number of consecutive points scored during an inning of continuous pool play.
In snooker, the abandonment of a frame upon agreement between the players, so that the balls can be set up again and the frame restarted with no change to the score since the last completed frame. This is the result of situations, such as trading of containing safeties, where there is no foreseeable change to the pattern of shots being played, so the frame could go on indefinitely.
In pool, placing of the object balls back in the rack, after a foul break.
A bank shot that follows a Z shaped pattern as it bounces off of two rails.
Chiefly British: Same as duck, and stemming from the same obvious etymology.
This is when a ball is spotted because of a foul or a handicap.
Also nurse shot, nursery shot. In carom games such as straight rail, balkline and cushion caroms, where all the balls are kept near each other and a cushion, and with very soft shots, can be "nursed" down a rail on multiple successful shots that effectively replicate the same ball setup so that the nurse shot can be repeated again (and again, etc.). Excessive use of nurse shots by players skilled enough to set them up and pull them off repeatedly at will is what led to the development of the balkline carom billiards game variations, and repetitive shot limitation rules in English billiards. A clear example of why: In 1907, Tom Reece scored a record break of 499,135 consecutive points over a period of five weeks, without a miss, using the cradle cannon nurse shot.
A tournament format in which each contestant plays each of the other contestants at least once. In typical league team play, round robin format means that each member of the home team plays each member of the visiting team once. This format is used by BCAPL, VNEA and many other leagues.