Vocabulary, Slang and Definitions

25 Random Essential Billiards Terms

This is a fine powdery substance used to assist the sliding of the cue over the hand bridge.
The inside walls of a pocket billiards table's pockets.
In snooker, the colour ball worth 5 points, whose spot is at the center of the table.
Chiefly Australian: Same as a force follow shot.
This is a version of double elimination tournament play that splits the field of competitors into two brackets that come together for a single elimination championship game.
A tournament format in which a player must lose two matches in order to be eliminated.
A type of spin imparted to the cue ball to make it rebound from a cushion at a shallower angle than it would if the spin had not been used.
Either to hit the balls hard with no intention in mind other than to get lucky (or 'hit-and-hope'), or to shoot hard at the money ball ball with the same intention. Compare slop and fluke.
Either of the balls on the lateral extremities of a racked set of balls in position for a break shot; the two balls at the outside of a 15-ball rack in the back row, or the balls to the left and right of the 9 ball in nine-ball's diamond rack-shaped opening set up position. In nine-ball It is seen as a reliable sign of a good break (which is normally taken from close to either cushion in the kitchen) if the opposite wing ball is pocketed.
When the cue ball is tucked behind the corner of a pocket, therefore not allowing a direct shot at the object ball without it bouncing of the corner of the rail.
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)
A type of rest, with a straight shaft and "x"-shaped head for resting the cue upon.
A pool room may refer to an establishment that is the same as a pool hall. A private residence may also have a pool room. That would be a room in a house or a recreation room in an apartment building, hotel or condominium complex that has a room that the main activity is dedicated to playing pool.
Toward the head of the table. This is the playing area on the table above the middle pockets. The idea in an up table game is that shots are more difficult and further from the pockets in one pocket pool.
A gentle tap of the cue ball with the intention of getting it as tight as possible behind another ball, in the hope of a snooker. It is most common in the game of snooker, and is illegal in many pool games, in which on every shot a ball must either be pocketed, or some ball must contact a cushion after the cue ball has contacted an object ball.
This is what is brought to the table if you are playing at your best potential.
A slang term for a cue, usually used with "piece", as in "that's a nice piece of wood".
Literally, a pocket, but generally used in the phrases losing hazard - potting (pocketing the cue ball off another ball - and winning hazard - using the cue ball to pot another ball - the two types of legal shots that pocket balls in games in which the term is used at all, which is very few today. The term principally survives in English billiards, in which both types of shots are point-scoring. Formerly, a large number of different games made use of the two types of hazards as point scorers or losers in various different ways (thus their suggestive names). The term ultimately derives from holes or pockets in the table to be avoided, in very early forms of billiards. While the terms are disused in pocket billiards today, their lingering effect is obvious, as the vast bulk of such games focus on making winning hazards and avoiding losing hazards (a notable exception being Russian pyramid in which both are legal shots).
In golf billiards, an area of the table (sometimes marked) that a player will be penalized for entering if their ball does not leave. Derives from the use of the term in the outdoor game of golf.
Describes tightly woven and well-used (but clean) billiard table cloth (baize), upon which the balls move quickly and roll farther, as they experience less friction than with fuzzy or dirty cloth. May be used more extendedly, as in "this is a really fast table". Fast cloth makes draw (screw) shots somewhat less effective, as there is less purchase for the cue ball's back spin. By the same token, slide and stop shots are easier on fast cloth because it is so comparatively smooth.
A ball hanging over the edge of a pocket.
The imaginary line drawn perpendicular to the impact line between the cue ball and an object ball. The cue ball will travel along this line after impact with an object ball if it has no vertical spin on it (is sliding) at the moment of impact on a non-center-to-center collision. See also stun shot.
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.
This game is played on a smaller octagonal table filled with bumpers in the middle and two more bumpers surrounding a hole on each side of the table. The game is played by trying to sink the balls into the opposite pocket by hitting the object ball directly instead of using a cue ball.
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.
Also lady's aid or girly stick. A denigrating term for the mechanical bridge.