Vocabulary, Slang and Definitions

25 Random Essential Billiards Terms

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.
Australian: Defeated with all seven of one's object balls (in blackball or eight-ball) remaining on the table.
The horizontal plane directly in the center of the cue ball, which when hit exactly by the cue tip should impart no follow or draw.
Also shortstop, short-stop. This is a player that is excellent at pool, but tends to fall short of number one. A shortstop is the best player relative to a particular scene. A second-tier professional who is not (yet) ready for World Championship competition. It can also be applied by extension to a player who is one of the best in a region but not quite good enough to consistently beat serious road players and tournament pros. The term was borrowed from baseball.
The white ball struck by the cue (and so used to strike other colored, numbered, object balls) during play.
In team match play when playing one-on-one matches, if one team is short a player, a player on that team is called back to play a second match.
For example: Team A has 6 players, Team B has 4 players. There will be five individual matches played. For the fifth match Team A can pick a player from Team B to play a second match against their fifth match player.
American Poolplayers Association. This is the largest association of pool players in the world, and includes The Canadian Poolplayers Association. With numerous tournaments, including the U.S. Amateur championship, they are a force on the competition scene.
The APA has established the use of the "Equalizer" which offers handicaps to players and equalizes the playing field like in golf.
This is the highest number of consecutive points scored during an inning of continuous pool play.
To take one's two-piece cue stick apart. When done before a game's conclusion, it often indicates that the game is conceded.
Chiefly British: The rail at the Top of the table. Compare foot rail; contrast Bottom rail.
When the object ball banked of a rail goes directly in a pocket without kissing or touching any other object balls.
A player's turn at the table, also known as an inning.

1- Pocketing of the cue ball in pocket billiards. In most games, a scratch is a type of foul. "Scratch" is sometimes used to refer to all types of fouls.

2- British term/slang for Draw

As an adjective or compound noun: push-out. A rule in many games (most notably nine-ball, after and only after the break shot), allowing a player to "push out" the cue ball to a new position without having to contact any ball, much less pocket one or drive it to a cushion, but not counting any pocketed ball as valid (other foul rules apply, such as double hits, scratching the cue ball, etc.), with the caveat that the opponent may shoot from the new cue ball position or give the shot back to the pusher who must shoot from the new position. In nine-ball particularly, and derived games such as seven-ball and ten-ball, pocketing the money ball on a push-out results in that ball being respotted (which can be used to strategic advantage in certain circumstances, such as when the break leaves no shot on the ball-on, and failure to hit it would give the incoming player an instant-win combination shot on the money ball).
Also lady's aid or girly stick. A denigrating term for the mechanical bridge.
This is the white ball in carom games which is separated from the clear ball by a marking (usually a dot or spot).
The Valley National 8-Ball League Association. Founded in 1979, VENA is a non-profit organization established to promote the game of pool on coin-operated equipment. The membership is comprised of men, women and junior players, coin machine operators and manufacturers.
A shot in which the cue ball is driven first to one or more rails, then hits an object ball and kisses back to the last rail contacted. It is a common shot in carom games, but can be applied to such an instance in any relevant cue sport.
As in many other sports, "legal" means not causing or likely to cause a foul (the opposite being illegal). A legal hit is one in which the requirements for a non-foul hit are met (e.g., in nine-ball, the lowest-numbered ball on the table was hit by the cue ball first, and at least one object ball was pocketed, or any ball reached a cushion, after the hit on the first object ball.). A legal shot is one in which no foul of any kind was involved (e.g. there was not a double hit by the cue, the player's bridge hand did not move a ball, etc.). A legal stroke is one in which the cue stroke obeyed the rules (e.g. the shooter did not perform an illegal jump shot by scooping under the cue ball with the cue tip). A legal ball is a ball-on, an object ball at which it is permissible for the player to shoot. And so on. The term can be used in many ways consistent with these examples ("legal pocket" in one-pocket, "legal equipment" under tournament specifications, etc.).
A shot in which if the target is missed, the opponent is safe or will not have a desirable shot;
A shot in which there are two ways to score;
A shot in which a second ball is targeted to be pocketed, broken out of a cluster, repositioned or some other secondary goal is also intended.
The BCA Pool League is one of the major amateur pool leagues in the United States and is present in over a dozen other countries outside the U.S., with a significant presence in Canada
The lamentable practice of not following through with the cue straight, but veering off in the direction of the shot's travel or the side english is applied, away from the proper aiming line; a common source of missed shots.
The pocket chosen to house the selected ball in your called shot.
This is a shot on the cue ball that will push through to a frozen ball on the cue ball. If the contact is made on the object ball while the cue stick is still contacting, essentially pushing the second ball, then it is usually considered a foul.
The table reserved for games played for money or the best table in the house. This table is always of better quality and regularly maintained. Money tables are most commonly reserved for big action.