Vocabulary, Slang and Definitions

25 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Billiard Congress of America. The official governing body for pocket billiards in the United States.
A game that basically cannot be lost based on disparity of skill levels; "this game is a lock for him."
One-on-one game play.
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.
A cue dedicated to jumping balls; usually shorter and lighter than a playing cue and having a wider, hard tip. Also referred to as a jump stick.
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.
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)
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.
This is a slang term created by Freddy Bentivegna to refer to a cluster of balls on your side of the table that do not lend to easy pocketing in a game of one pocket.
This is the stick used to contact the cue ball in pool and billiards games. The cue stick is usually made of wood, features a special contact tip, and is usually tapered to slide through your hand. The price of these tools can range from oil change to transmission change depending on the quality of craftsmanship and design.
Same as gutter table. A table with a ball return system, as opposed to a drop pocket table.
To apply chalk to the tip of your cue before a shot.
Any shot that intentionally accounts for the elasticity of the cushions to allow a ball to bank past an otherwise blocking ball. The moving ball will sink in to the cushion very near the blocking ball giving it sufficient space to get past it or kiss off the back side of it.
Also tiptool, tip-tool. Any of a class of maintenance tools for cue tips, including shapers, scuffers, mushroom trimmers, tappers, burnishers and tip clamps. Road, league and tournament players often carry an array of tip tools in their cases. The term is generally not applied to cue chalk.
On two piece cues, the area of the cue between the joint and the wrap.
Local Bylaws are additional rules, policies, and procedures unique to an area in addition (or subtraction) to established Pool/Billiards/Snooker league rules. They are designed to cover local situations.
The person who is a provider of all or part of a player's stake (money) for a gambling session in which one is not a player.
This is a carom shot that utilizes english and only two rails to achieve three cushion contacts.
An intentionally amateurish stroke to disguise one's ability to play.
This describes a player who is not particular good at completing long shots. They may have other skills that help them in the game of one pocket pool, but when faced with long shots; their execution is less than perfect.
A shot where the cue ball has no top spin or back spin on it when it impacts an object ball, and "stuns" out along the tangent line. Commonly shortened to just "stun."
Chiefly British: Short for side spin. In Canadian usage, the term is sometimes used as a verb, "to side".
This is a game played with the same balls and similar scoring methods of carom, but with pockets on the table, and more scoring opportunities awarded when certain balls are sunk in combination.
The white ball struck by the cue (and so used to strike other colored, numbered, object balls) during play.
Also swan rest. A type of rest, similar to a spider in that the head is raised by longer supporting legs, but instead of a selection of grooves on the top for the cue to rest in there is only one, on the end of an overhanging neck, so that a player can get to the cue ball more easily if the path is blocked by two or more obstructing balls. Also known as the goose neck.