Vocabulary, Slang and Definitions

25 Random Essential Billiards Terms

This is a creative game played between four players, using hands instead of cue sticks. The goal is to shoot as many balls as possible into the diagonally opposing corner pocket you are standing behind. The shooting is done taking turns and rotating counter clockwise. When misses on the pocket occur, the ball is open game to be stolen and pocketed in the new opposing pocket during the new owners turn. Ties are decided by lagging with the hands, and the winner of one game is the first to shoot in the next.
In snooker, the colour ball that is worth three points, being the second-least valuable colour behind the yellow. It is one of the baulk colours.
To apply chalk to the tip of your cue before a shot.
A pejorative term for an improper rack in which the balls are not properly in contact with their neighbors, often resulting in a poor spread on the break.
This is when a ball is spotted because of a foul or a handicap.
This is what is brought to the table if you are playing at your best potential.
To intentionally miss a shot (that results in a foul) in order to create a position for the cue ball that makes it hard for the other player to execute their shot. Not to be confused with a "Safety", since a safety is a legal hit.
Also bigs, big balls, big ones. In eight-ball, to be shooting the striped suit (group) of balls (9 through 15); "you're big, remember", "you're big balls" or "I've got the big ones". Compare stripes, yellows, high, overs; contrast little.
Same as gutter table. A table with a ball return system, as opposed to a drop pocket table.
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.
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.
A natural is an easy shot requiring no side spin. A shot is said to be natural if it does not require adjustments, such as a cut angle, side spin, or unusual force. A natural bank shot, for example, is one in which simply shooting straight into the object ball at medium speed and with no spin will send the object ball directly into the target pocket on the other side of the table.
To enter the loser bracket in a double elimination tournament, or otherwise slip in standing in other tournament formats (i.e., to lose a game/frame/round/match, but still remain in the competition).
A soft joint-like plastic or linen base material. It lets the cue whip, putting more English on the cue ball.
Also lows, low, low ones. In eight-ball, to be shooting the solid suit (group) of balls (1 through 7); "you're low, remember", "you're low balls" or "I've got the lows." Compare solids, reds, little, spots, dots, unders; contrast high.
Either of the two shorter rails of a billiards or pocket billiards table.
Chiefly American, and largely obsolete: Same as referee.
A pool table where two shims have been placed on the sides of each pocket (in the jaws beneath the cloth), making the pockets "tighter" (smaller). Such tables are "tougher" than unshimmed or single-shimmed tables.
This is the highest number of consecutive points scored during an inning of continuous pool play.
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.
This is a bank shot that goes off of the head rail and then straight to the pocket at the other end of the table.
Short for right english (side), i.e. side spin imparted to the cue ball by stroking it to the right-hand side of its vertical axis. Contrast left.
American Cuemakers Association. This organization was formed in 1992 to help bring value to the development and advancement of cues in the United states.
This is a timing device for monitoring and restricting shot times for a player.
Describes the propensity of a player losing small sums of money at gambling to suddenly sharply increase the stakes; often continuing to lose until broke. Compare Chasing one's money.