Vocabulary, Slang and Definitions

25 Random Essential Billiards Terms

This a shot that hits the object ball at the nine ball to see if you can get lucky by sinking the nine ball in any pocket. (also see Rolling the Cheese and Cheese the Nine).
To take one's two-piece cue stick apart. When done before a game's conclusion, it often indicates that the game is conceded.
The World Confederation of Billiard Sports (WCBS, sometimes called the World Confederation of Billiards Sports) is the international umbrella organization encompassing the major cue sports (billiards-type games), including carom billiards, pool games of several varieties, and snooker. The primary aim of WCBS is to establish billiard-type sports as medal events in as many multiple-sports competitions as possible, on both regional and world levels. The ultimate goal of WCBS is to have billiard sports included in the Olympic Games.
This is the highest number of consecutive points scored during an inning of continuous pool play.
Also lows, low, low ones. In eight-ball, to be shooting the solid suit (group) of balls (1 through 7); "you're low, remember", "you're low balls" or "I've got the lows." Compare solids, reds, little, spots, dots, unders; contrast high.
When a successful non penalized break is achieved which gives the object balls a broad spread on the table.
A description of play in carom billiards games in which the balls remain widely separated rather than gathered, requiring much more skill to score points and making nurse shots effectively impossible, and making for a more interesting game for onlookers. Most skilled players try to gather the balls as quickly as possible to increase their chances of continuing to score in a long run.
Also the hook. In snooker, a type of mechanical bridge that has only recently been endorsed by the WPBSA to allow its use in major tournament play. It is a normal rest with the head in line with the shaft, but the last foot or so of the shaft is curved. This allows players to position the curved end around an obstructing ball that would have otherwise left them hampered on the cue ball and in need of a spider or swan with extensions, which would have less control.
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 suit, predominantly in British terminology, i.e., in eight-ball either of the set of seven balls (reds or yellows) that must be cleared before potting the black. Generally used in the generic, especially in rulesets or articles, rather than colloquially by players.
A set practice routine.
In British terminology, a bank shot.
In snooker, the highest-value colour ball on the table, being worth seven points. In some (especially American) snooker ball sets it is numbered "7" on its surface.
The black ball (usually numbered "8") in the eight-ball variant game blackball (and its variants); also the common British term for the slightly larger but otherwise identical 8 ball in a kelly pool set (a.k.a. American or WPA pool set).
This is a shot where the cue ball double kisses in order to direct the object ball toward the pocket.
This is to intentionally foul by slightly moving the ball, or playing another type of illegally defensive shot in a game where the ball is just turned over to the other player. Like in one pocket, you still take the foul, but can leave the other player with a challenging shot.
This term is used to refer to a player missing a shot.
A widespread term in US parlance describing missing a relatively easy shot—often in the face of pressure. Can be used in many forms: "I dogged the shot"; "I hope he dogs it"; "I'm such a dog."
This is an imaginary player that you can attempt to run a rack against when playing a practice or training game.
Cut Throat is a game of pocket billiards created to support three or five players. Balls are assigned to each player, and the purpose is to sink all the opponent's balls first to eliminate the other players.
A geometric form, usually aluminum, wooden or plastic, used to assist in setting up balls in games like eight-ball, nine-ball, and snooker. The rack allows for more consistently tight grouping of balls, which is necessary for a successful break shot. In most games a triangle-shaped rack capable of holding fifteen balls can be employed, even if the game calls for racking less than a full ball set, such as in the game of nine-ball. For further information, see the Rack (billiards) main article.
In some games, refers to a single frame.
Powdered chalk housed in a cube. This chalk is rubbed into the tip of your cue to help with grip between the tip of the cue and the cue ball. This is more important to use if you are using a medium or hard tip, as opposed to a soft tip, which already provides some good grip. As a warning when purchasing a type of chalk, there is much debate over which chalk offers the best friction, so you best do your research!
Alternate name for the cue ball.
In carom billiards games, a term for the opponent's cue ball, which for the shooting player is another object ball along with the red.
Adjectival expression for a player's deadly game; "watch out, he plays jam up.
Accidentally causing the cue ball or any object ball to leave the table. It is normally a foul.
Also pro side of the pocket and missing on the professional (or pro) side of the pocket. Sometimes "of the pocket" is left off the phrase. To err on the side of overcutting a difficult corner pocket cut shot rather than undercutting in nine ball; "missing on the professional side of the pocket." So called because experienced players understand that on a thin cut, overcutting the object ball to a corner pocket will far more often leave the object ball in an unfavorable position for the incoming opponent than will an undercut, which often leaves the object ball sitting in front of or nearby the pocket it had been intended for on a miss. By contrast, in eight-ball, except when both players are shooting at the 8 ball, the incoming player after a miss is shooting for different object balls, so this maxim does not apply, and the opposite may be good strategy as, if the object ball stays near the pocket through an undercut, it is advantageously positioned for a subsequent turn and may block the opponent's use of the pocket.
Derived from "sitting duck", usually referring to an object ball sitting close to a pocket or so positioned that is virtually impossible to miss. Same as hanger (US, colloquial), sitter (UK).
A shot in which the cue ball is driven first to one or more rails, then hits an object ball and kisses back to the last rail contacted. It is a common shot in carom games, but can be applied to such an instance in any relevant cue sport.