Vocabulary, Slang and Definitions

25 Random Essential Billiards Terms

This is a particular ball which lends itself to be used as a "blocker" or a "protector."
To use a particular ball as security by playing a safety or leaving it where it will act as one.
Also spot-stroke, spot hazard. A form of nurse shot in English billiards, in which the red ball, which must be spotted to a specific location after every time it is potted before another shot is taken, is potted in such as way as to leave the cue ball in position to repeat the same shot, permitting a skilled player to rack up many points in a single break (series of shots in one visit).
This word is used as slang to define a player as amateur or recreational.
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.
The horizontal plane directly in the center of the cue ball, which when hit exactly by the cue tip should impart no follow or draw.
The profile of the shaft of the cue as it as it increases in diameter from the tip to the joint. A "fast" or "slow" taper refers to how quickly the diameter increases. A "pro" taper describes a shaft that tapers rapidly from the joint size to the tip size so as to provide a long, untapered stroking area.
The ornamentation on a cue is often made by inlaying exotic materials into the wood of the butt portion of the cue. Inlays of ebony and ivory are quite common. The value of a cue is often based on the number inlays.
When the object ball lies behind another ball which makes it impossible to be struck by the cue with a direct hit.
(noun) An opening in a table, cut partly into the bed and partly into the rails and their cushions, into which balls are shot (pocketed or potted).
(verb) Send a ball into a pocket, usually intentionally.
This describes a shot in snooker where the cue contacts more than one object ball.
Same as foot spot. Chiefly British today, but also an American usage ca. World War I.
This is how the player is who is does not break before they get a chance to get out of the break. This time period is when the breaking player with a position advantage on the table.
Failure to hit an object ball at all with the cue ball. In most sets of rules, this is a foul like any other. However, in some variants of bar pool a table scratch while shooting for the 8 ball is a loss of game where other more minor fouls might not be, as is scratching on the 8 ball (neither result in a loss of game in most professional rules).
By way of drift from the above definition, the term is also applied by many league players to the foul in more standardized rules of failing to drive a (any) ball to a cushion, or to pocket a legal object ball, after the cue ball's initial contact with an object ball.
By way of entirely different derivation ("scratch off the table"), it can also mean knocking the cue ball (or more loosely, any ball) completely off the table.
A specific way of holding the shaft in your hand. The closed hand bridge is a hand bridge where the index finger wraps over the cue stick for control.
This term is much like rain table and refers to a table is playing soggy due to humid conditions.
Chiefly British: The half of the table from which the break shot is taken. This usage is conceptually opposite that in North America, where this end of the table is called the head.
Chiefly British. This is a shot in a snooker game where the first object ball hit contacts another object ball and the second one is pocketed. If both of the balls are red, or if the second ball would be on if the first ball had not been deemed free then it is an allowed shot.
The material which covers the bed and cushions of a pool table. The cloth used to cover a pool table is very special and can come in a variety of grades. Along with the general quality of the table itself, the cloth play a very important role in how a particular table plays.
This is an attempt where one player answers the other players successful shot or run with a successful shot or run.
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 a bank in which the object ball hit will cross the path of the cue ball on the way to its destination.
A requirement under some pocket billiards rulesets that either an object ball be pocketed, or at least four object balls be driven to contact the cushions, on the opening break shot.
A shot in which the cue ball is driven to one or more rails (cushions in British English) before reaching its intended target-usually an object ball. Sometimes also known as "Kick Out" or "Skid" (British)
The object ball involved in a key shot.
A reference to the amount of English applied to the object ball from the cue ball.