Letter z Vocabulary

A bank shot that follows a Z shaped pattern as it bounces off of two rails.
Also in the zone. Describes an extended period of functioning in dead stroke ("She's in the zone").

23 Random Essential Billiards Terms

An outgrowth of the training template concept, a racking template is a racking tool used in place of a traditional rigid ball rack for pool or snooker balls, consisting of a very thin, e.g. 0.14 mm (0.0055 in), sheet of material such as paper or plastic with holes into which object balls settle snugly against one another to form a tight rack (pack). The template is placed, stencil-like, in racking position, with the lead ball's hole directly over the center of the foot spot. The balls are then placed onto the template and arranged to settle into their holes, forming a tight rack. Unlike with a training template, the balls are not tapped to create divots, and instead the template is left in place until after the break shot at which time it can be removed (unless balls are still sitting on top of it). Manufacturers such as Magic Ball Rack insist that racking templates are designed "to affect the balls to a minimum", and while pro player Mike Immonen has endorsed that particular brand as a retail product, as of September 2010, no professional tours nor amateur leagues have adopted that or any other racking template. Although Magic Ball Rack implies development work since 2006, other evidence suggests invention, by Magic Ball Rack's founder, in mid 2009, with product announcement taking place in September of that year.
A directional pile created by the short fuzzy ends of fibers on the surface of cloth projecting upward from the lie and which create a favorable and unfavorable direction for rolling balls. The convention in most billiards games in which directional nap cloth is used is to brush the cloth along the table in the same direction of the nap, usually from the end that a player breaks. In snooker and UK eight-ball especially, this creates the effect of creep in the direction of the nap, the most-affected shot being a slow roll into a center pocket against the nap. It is commonly referred to in the fuller term "nap of the cloth." When nap is used in relation to woven cloths that have no directional pile, such as those typically used in the U.S. for pool tables, the term simply refers to the fuzziness of the cloth.
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 player who was not shooting well during a match but suddenly turns it around and starts playing better and more accurately. Also known as "Finding a stroke" or "Found their stroke".
A short, jabbed draw stroke usually employed so as to not commit a foul (i.e. due to following through to a double hit) when the cue ball is very near to the target object ball.
In snooker, a situation during a frame in which the first line of the remaining reds grouped together, where the original pack was, are in a straight horizontal line. This has implications when opening the pack, as a full-ball contact off the top cushion will usually cause the cue-ball to stick to the red and fail to develop a potting opportunity.
A deliberate foul that leaves the balls in a safe position, reducing the risk of giving a frame-winning chance to the opponent. The miss rule in snooker was implemented primarily to discourage the professional fouls.
This term refers to a low percentage one pocket shot.
This describes when a player is trapped behind a ball. (n.) - This is also the amount of money a player is down after betting.
In snooker and other British usages, a break of 50-99 points (100 points or more being called a century), which involves potting at least 12 consecutive balls (i.e. the last 3 reds with at least 2 blacks and a pink, followed by all the colours).
A type of rest, with a straight shaft and "x"-shaped head for resting the cue upon.
Also known as a Dead cushion. A cushion that has either lost a degree of elastic resiliency or is not firmly bolted to the frame, in both cases causing balls to rebound with less energy than is normal.
Sometimes called a snake shot. A carom billiards shot, common in three-cushion billiards, where the cue ball is shot with reverse english at a relatively shallow angle down the rail, and spins backwards off the adjacent rail back into the first rail.
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.
To determine the order of play, players (representing only themselves, or teams) each simultaneously shoot a ball from the kitchen (or in British games, from the baulk line) to the end rail and back toward the bottom rail. Whichever shooter's ball comes to rest closest to the bottom rail gets to choose who breaks the rack. It is permissible but not required for the lagged ball to touch or rebound from the bottom rail, but not to touch the side rails. Lagging is usually a two-party activity, though there are games such as cutthroat in which three players might lag. In the case of a tie, the tying shooters re-lag. The lag is most often used in tournament play or other competitions. In hard-break games like nine-ball and eight-ball the winner of the lag would normally take the break, while in soft-break games like straight pool would likely require the loser of the lag to break, since breaking would be a disadvantage.
A (principally American) term in eight-ball for either of the set of seven balls (stripes or solids) that must be cleared before sinking the 8 ball. Borrowed from card games. Generally used in the generic, especially in rulesets or articles, rather than colloquially by players. See also group for the British equivalent.
The way in which a player holds the butt end of the cue stick.
The wrap of the cuestick where the hand is placed, also known as the "grip area."
Successive games won without the opponent getting to the table; a five-pack would be a package of five games.
Also sidespin, side-spin, side. spin placed on the cue ball when hit with the cue tip to the left or right of the ball's center; usually called english in American usage. See english, in its narrower definition, for details on the effects of side spin.
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.
This is a long distance shot that is given to your opponent as a challenge to make because it often works well as a safety (defense) when a better one is not available.
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.
This is the white ball in carom games which is separated from the clear ball by a marking (usually a dot or spot).