Definition of match ball

The ball required to guarantee victory in a match. Sometimes used figuratively to mean the last difficult ball required (chiefly British and usually used in multi-frame matches, particularly snooker).

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

The point on the table surface over which the apex ball of a rack is centered (in most games). It is the point half the distance between the long rails' second diamonds from the end of the racking end of the table. The foot spot is the intersection of the foot string and the long string, and is typically marked with a cloth or paper decal on pool tables.
A foul where the rules are blatantly, intentionally violated, with a stiffer penalty (e.g., loss of game) than normal.
When the object balls in straight rail pool are lined up close to each other, but extending out from the cushion, and you choose to bounce off the first object ball at the cushion and then come back to graze the second object ball. This technique can be used to continue scoring points as long as you are efficient with the shot.
When a ball is given as a handicap it often must be called (generally tacit). A wild handicap means the ball can be made in any manner specifically without being called.
Describing a situation where a pot is made more difficult, either by a pocket being partially blocked by another ball so that not all of it is available, or the cue ball path to the object ball's potting angle involves going past another ball very closely.
Either of the two longer rails of a billiards or pocket billiards table, bisected by a center pocket and bounded at both ends by a corner pocket. Also called a long rail.
USA Pool League. A pool league structured exclusively around eight-ball match play.
A combination shot, where hitting the first ball rubs it against the center connecting line of two frozen object balls throwing the second out.
Also bar rules, pub pool, tavern pool. Pool, almost always a variant of eight-ball, that is played by bar players on a bar table. Bar pool has rules that vary from region to region, sometimes even from venue to venue in the same city, especially in the U.S. Wise players thus ensure understanding of and agreement to the rules before engaging in a money game under bar rules. Typical differences between bar pool and tournament eight-ball are the lack of ball-in-hand after a foul, the elimination of a number of fouls, and (with numbered ball sets) the requirement that most aspects of a shot be called (including cushions and other object balls to be contacted) not just the target ball and pocket. Bar pool has evolved into this "nitpicky" version principally to make the games last longer, since bar pool is typically played on coin-operated tables that cost money per-game rather than per-hour. Competitive league pool played on bar tables, however, usually uses international, national or local/regional league rules, and is not what is usually meant by "bar pool".
A soft joint-like plastic or linen base material. It lets the cue whip, putting more English on the cue ball.
Same as follow (top spin).
One of the alternating turns players (or doubles teams) are allowed at the table, before a shot is played that concedes a visit to his/her opponent (e.g. "he ran out in one visit"). Usually synonymous with inning as applied to a single player/team, except in scotch doubles format.
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.
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.
An upright pin, which looks like a miniature bowling pin, cone or obelisk. Skittles, as employed in billiards games, have been so-called since at least 1634. One standardized size, for the largely Italian and South American game five-pins, is 25 mm (1 in.) tall, with 7 mm (0.28 in.) round bases, though larger variants have long existed for other games such as Danish pin billiards. Depending upon the game there may be one skittle, or several, and they may be targets to hit (often via a carom) or obstacles to avoid, usually the former. They are also sometimes called pins, though that term can be ambiguous. Because of the increasing international popularity of the Italian game five-pins), they are sometimes also known even in English by their Italian name, birilli (singular birillo). Skittles are also used as obstacles in some artistic billiards shots. #Flat, thin rectangular skittles, somewhat like large dominoes, approximately 6 in. tall by 3 in. wide, and placed upright like an obelisks on the table in specific spots, are used in the obsolescent and principally Australian games devil's pool and victory billiards. Depending upon the exact game being played, there may be one pin, or several of various colors (e.g. ten white and two black in devil's pool), and they may be targets or obstacles, most commonly the latter. They are usually made of plastic, and are increasingly difficult to obtain, even from Australian billiards suppliers. A black obelisk skittle of this sort features prominently, as a particularly dire hazard, in several scenes of sci-fi/pool film Hard Knuckle (1992, Australia). Skittles as used in billiards games date to ground billiards (13th century or earlier) played with a mace, and hand-thrown games of bowls from at least the same era using the same equipment. Ball games using a recognizable form of skittle are known from as early as ca. 3300 BCE in Ancient Egypt.
Deviation of a ball from its initial direction of travel. Often the result of a poor-quality table and may be an artifact of the cloth, the bed, a ball with uneven weight distribution, or simply the floor the table stands on being uneven.
This is a type of shot where the cue ball goes off the rail before it heads to contact the object ball, thus giving the cue better position in some shots.
A British term (especially in snooker) for the splitting of a group of balls when another ball is sent into them, typically with the intent of deliberately moving them with the cue ball to develop them.
Side spin on the cue ball that causes it to unnaturally roll off a cushion (contacted at an angle) against rather than with the ball's momentum and direction of travel. If angling into a cushion that is on the right, then reverse english would be right english, and vice versa. The angle of deflection will be steeper (narrower) than if no english were applied. The opposite of running english, which has effects other than simply the opposites of those of reverse english.
This is a shot where the cue ball follows directly behind the sunk object ball into the pocket right after it falls.
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.
This word is used as slang to define a player as amateur or recreational.
Also striped ones, striped balls. The ball suit (group) of a fifteen ball set that are numbered 9 through 15 and have a wide colored bar around the middle. Compare bigs, highs, yellows, overs; contrast solids.
When the contact between the cue ball and object ball is dead center.