Vocabulary, Slang and Definitions

25 Random Essential Billiards Terms

A tournament format in which each contestant plays each of the other contestants at least once. In typical league team play, round robin format means that each member of the home team plays each member of the visiting team once. This format is used by BCAPL, VNEA and many other leagues.
In certain carom billiards games, any shot in which the cue ball is sucessfully caromed off an object ball to strike another object ball (with or without contacting cushions in the interim) is a considered a billiards shot.
When the cue ball is tucked behind the corner of a pocket, therefore not allowing a direct shot at the object ball.
Any shot where the cue ball is intentionally jumped into the air to clear an obstacle
Any shot where the cue ball stops immediately after hitting an object ball. Generally requires a full hit.
A particular shot where the object ball hits or grazes another object ball on the way to its pocket or toward hitting yet another object ball.
This is the highest number of consecutive points scored during an inning of continuous pool play.
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 is an instance when the person not taking their turn interferes with the game play, this is recorded as a foul.
Toward the foot of the table.
This is when a player has scratched and the foul in one pocket calls for them to spot a ball, but not able to be spotted at the time. In this case a coin is usually placed on the side of the table to keep tabs.
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 series of angled rails present within some pool tables that directs pocketed balls to a central location on the table for retrieval after the game.
Also money-added. Said of a tournament in which the pot of money to pay out to the winner(s) contains sponsor monies in addition to competitor entry fees. Often used as an adjective: "a money-added event".
You can cheat the pocket by angling your shot to go in at the right or left of the pocket opening when sinking a shot. This permits the cue ball to strike the object ball at a different contact point than the most obvious one.
Describes the propensity of pockets to more easily accept an imperfectly aimed ball shot at a relatively soft speed, that might not fall if shot with more velocity ("that ball normally wouldn't fall but he hit it at pocket speed"). The less sensitive to shot-speed that a pocket is, the "faster" it is said to be.
Describes the velocity of an object ball shot with just enough speed to reach the intended pocket and drop. "Shoot this with pocket speed only, so you don't send the cue ball too far up-table."
Same as foul
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).
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.
Also highs, high balls, high ones. In eight-ball and related games, to be shooting the striped suit (group) of balls (9 through 15); "you're high balls" or "I've got the highs" ("you're high" is rare, because of the "intoxication" ambiguity). Compare stripes, yellows, big ones, overs; contrast low.
Also known as "Break and Dish". In pool games, when a player breaks the racked object balls, pockets at least one ball on the break, and commences to run out the remaining object balls without the opponent getting a visit at the table.
Slang term for the cue ball.
This is the act of looking over the stack, pile of balls in the middle of the table, to see if there are any opportunities in the game of one pocket.
The heavy, finely milled rock (slate) that forms the bed of the table, beneath the cloth. Major slate suppliers for the billiards industry are Italy, Brazil and China. Some cheaper tables, and novelty tables designed for outdoor use, do not use genuine slate beds, but artificial materials such as Slatrol.
Adjectival expression for a player's deadly game; "watch out, he plays jam up.