Vocabulary, Slang and Definitions

25 Random Essential Billiards Terms

This technique works to keep your shot aligned by eyeing your shot above the table, and then locking your chin into position as you lower down to take your shot.
This is an attempt where one player answers the other players successful shot or run with a successful shot or run.
This is what happens when a player sends the cue ball into a cluster of balls that will in turn spread out in an unpredictable fashion.
Shooting at an object ball that is already in motion at the moment of shooting and cue ball impact; illegal in most games and usually only seen in exhibition/trick shots.
Chiefly American: Also known as side spin, english (which is usually not capitalized) is spin placed on the cue ball when hit with the cue tip to the left or right of the ball's center. English has a marked effect on cue ball rebound angle off cushions (though not off object balls), and is thus crucial for gaining shape; and can be used to "throw" an object ball slightly off its otherwise expected trajectory, to cheat the pocket, and for other effects. "English" is sometimes used more inclusively, to colloquially also refer to follow and draw. In combination one could say bottom-right english, or like the face of a clock (4 o'clock english). The British and Irish do not use this term, instead preferring "side".
This is a ball that is left in a position that allows an easy shot, while time is spent working with other balls to better your position in the game.
Same as follow (top spin).
To take one's two-piece cue stick apart. When done before a game's conclusion, it often indicates that the game is conceded.
English Amateur Billiards Association. The EABA is the governing body of amateur billiards in England, and as such is responsible for organizing various tournaments and events.
This is a shot that attempts to move a number of balls onto your side of the table in a kind of herding attempt.

1- Shortened phrase of "ball-in-hand".

2 - In snooker, the ability to place the cue ball anywhere inside the boundaries of the D. This occurs at the start of a frame, and after the cue ball has been potted or forced off the table.
Also a short form of "Ball In Hand".

A chiefly British term for a set of mechanical bridges. British-style rests differ from most American-style rake bridges in shape, and take several forms: the cross, the spider and the swan (or goose neck), as well as the rarer and often unsanctioned hook. When used unqualified, the word usually refers to the cross. Rests are used in snooker, English billiards, and blackball.
An agreement between two players in a tournament, one of whom will advance to a guaranteed money prize if the match is won, to give a certain percentage of that money to the loser of the match. Also known as a saver.
The motion of the cue stick and the player's arm on a shot;
The strength, fluidity and finesse of a player's shooting technique; "she has a good stroke."
A combination of finesse, good judgement, accuracy and confidence.
Verb: "To Clock" To carefully note the abilities or betting inclinations of other players for future reference.
The white ball struck by the cue (and so used to strike other colored, numbered, object balls) during play.
Also called a rake. A special stick with a grooved, slotted or otherwise supportive end attachment that helps guide the cue stick - a stand-in for the bridge hand. It is usually used only when the shot cannot be comfortably reached with a hand bridge. Often shortened to bridge or called a bridge stick. An entire class of different mechanical bridges exist for snooker, called rests (see that entry for details), also commonly used in blackball and English billiards.
Slang term for the cue ball.
This piece of armament keeps the butt of your cue safe from coincidental contact with the floor or other damaging incidents. It is usually made of a rubber composite or other durable or flexible material to absorb impact in the case of a collision.
Inadvertent english placed on the cueball by a failure to hit it dead center on its horizontal axis. It is both a common source of missed shots and commonly overlooked when attempts are made to determine the reason for a miss. In UK parlance this is usually called 'unwanted side'.
A rule in blackball whereby after an opponent has faulted and thus yielded two shots, if the incoming shooter pots a ball on the first shot, (s)he is still allowed to miss in a later shot and take a second shot in-hand (from the "D" or from baulk, or if the opponent potted the cue ball, from anywhere)—even on the black, in most variants. Also called the "two visits" rule; i.e., the two penalty shots are considered independent visits to the table, and the limiting variants discussed at two shots below cannot logically apply.
Ten Ball is a rotation is a rotation game very similar to nine-ball, using ten balls instead of nine, and with the 10 ball instead of the 9 as the "money ball".
The object of the game is pocket the 10-ball on any legal shot.
This is what is brought to the table if you are playing at your best potential.
The intersection of the head string and long string, which is usually not marked on a table with a spot decal, unlike the foot spot, though some pool halls mark both spots so that racking can be done at either end of the table, and wear on the cloth from racking and breaking is more evenly distributed.
A term used in snooker for the potting of all the balls that are racked at the beginning of the frame in a single break (run). The minimum total clearance affords 72 points (barring multiple reds being potted on a single stroke), in the pattern of red then yellow repeatedly until all reds are potted, then all of the colour balls. The maximum break is 147 (barring a foul by the opponent immediately before the break began).