Vocabulary, Slang and Definitions

25 Random Essential Billiards Terms

The cue ball's position after a shot. "Good" or "bad" in reference to a leave describe respectively and advantageous or disadvantageous position for the next shot, or to leave an incoming opponent safe.

1 - This is a shot in snooker where the cue ball follows a struck object into the pocket.

2- This is the male end of the joint located at the base of the shaft. This threaded piece, usually made of metal, connects the shaft with the forearm. The length, width, pitch and depth of threading of the pins vary from joint to joint, but most offer you a flat-faced wood-to-wood connection with the collar. This type of connection will deliver a softer hit. For a harder hit, some pins have a protruding tip without threads that directs the shaft concentrically with a pin that is buried in the collar at the joint. If you want to keep the pin of your shaft safe when your cue is dismantled, it is easy and important to use a joint protector that simply screws over your pin.

In a tournament, to place high enough to receive a payout. E.g., in a tournament that pays from 1st down to 5th places, to be at least 5th place is to be in the money.
Chiefly American: The short rail at the head of the table. Traditionally this is the rail on which the table manufacturer's logo appears. Compare bottom rail, baulk rail; contrast foot rail.
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.
This is a ball that is positioned near your pocket that can be used to kiss off of when sinking another object ball.
A shot, especially common in straight pool and in some variants of blackball (but not WEPF/EPA rules), in which a player intentionally commits a foul with the object in mind of either leaving the opponent with little chance of running out or simply to avoid shooting where no good shot is presented and to do anything else would give the opponent an advantage. It is often referred to in straight pool as a "back scratch."
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, founded in 1968 and based in Bristol, England, United Kingdom is the governing body of professional snooker and English billiards. It sets the sports' rules, organises tournaments and the pro-am and pro tours, and engages in various promotional activities.
Confederation Panamerica of Billiards
This shot refers to using heavy follow to push through an object ball on its way to its destination.
More commonly known as "straight pool", it was for many years the most popular game in pool and the game on which all World Championships were based.
14.1 is a call-shot game played with all 15 numbered balls and cue ball. Every ball pocketed counts as one point and a game is played to a agreed up score, generally 50, 100, or 150 points.
Traditional straight pool matches are played to 150 points.14.1 is also called "continuous pool" because, after the opening break, play continues until a player reaches the winning score. When only one numbered ball is left on the table, the remaining 14 are racked (with the apex ball missing), and play continues.
A shot in which the cue ball is potted after caroming off another ball. In snooker and most pool games doing this would be a fault (foul), but the move will score points in many games in which hazards (as such) apply, such as English billiards, or in the final or game point in Cowboy pool. The term derives from this hazard costing the player points in early forms of billiards.
This is a shot where the cue ball double kisses in order to direct the object ball toward the pocket.
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.
Also bar box, pub table, tavern table. Distinctive pool tables found in bars/pubs/taverns, and often in various other venues such as family entertainment centers and arcade rooms at bowling alleys. They are almost always coin-operated and smaller than tables found in pool halls. Typical bar boxes are 3.5 ft (1.1 m) × 7 ft (2.1 m).
The collar is the portion of the joint that is attached to the top of the forearm. This is often stainless steel, wood, ivory, or molded phenolic resin, but in any case, made out of a solid material. This portion of the cue is glued on and threaded to reinforce the pin at the end of the shaft, and to offer a stabilized shot out of its solid construction.
A stroke in which the cue's tip glances or slips off the cue ball not effectively transferring the intended force. Usually the result is a bungled shot. Common causes include a lack of chalk on the cue tip, a poorly groomed cue tip and not stroking straight through the cue ball, e.g. because of steering.
Also in the zone. Describes an extended period of functioning in dead stroke ("She's in the zone").
A player's auction at a pool tournament. Each player is called and players and spectators bid on the player. The highest bidder(s) pays their bid to the calcutta, and by doing so invest in that player's success. If a player wins or places in the tournament, those who "bought" the player receive a percentage of the total calcutta payout, usually tracking the percentage payout of the tournament prize fund. Typically, players have the option of purchasing half of themselves when the high bid is won by a third party. Like english and scotch doubles, usually not capitalized.
An imaginary line drawn from the desired path an object ball is to be sent (usually the center of a pocket) and the center of the object ball.
This is what happens when a player sends the cue ball into a cluster of balls that will in turn spread out in an unpredictable fashion.
When the tip of the cue begins to hang over the sides of the ferrule from constant use. This is the action of mushrooming, and it is important to use a tip tool to reshape the tip to fit the ferrule.
The International Pool Tour is a professional sports tour created in 2005 by Kevin Trudeau and hosted by Rebecca Grant. It aims to elevate pool (pocket billiards) to the level of other modern sports.
Also Gentleman's call. An informal approach to the "call-everything" variation of call-shot, common in bar pool. Obvious shots, such as a straight-on or near-straight shot for which the shooter is clearly aiming and which could not be mistaken for another shot, need not be called. Bank shots, kicks, caroms and combinations are usually less obvious and generally must be called, though this may depend upon the mutual skill level and shot selection perception of the players. An opponent has the right to ask what the shooter's intention is, if this is unclear.
This is the imaginary line that a ball would need to follow in order for it to result in an effective bank shot.