Vocabulary, Slang and Definitions

25 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Inadvertent english placed on the cueball by a failure to hit it dead center on its horizontal axis. It is both a common source of missed shots and commonly overlooked when attempts are made to determine the reason for a miss. In UK parlance this is usually called 'unwanted side'.
This is English that turns into reverse English after contact with the object ball. This will close up the angle on a bank.
A common way to keep track of games won when playing for small money is to use a coin that is placed under the rail next to the diamonds on the rail. The center diamond at the head of the table is taken as zero, and each diamond from that is considered to be one game. To go 'around the world' is to beat your opponent so badly that the coin travels all the way around the diamonds on the table.
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.
A low hit on the cue ball (but not as low as normal draw), often used to change the cue ball's angle of deflection off the object ball.
1.A (usually unmarked) line running across the table between one diamond and its corresponding diamond on the opposite rail. See also head string, foot string, long string for examples.
2.Same as wire, sense 2. Can be used as a verb, as in "string that point for me, will you?"
3.A successive series of wins, e.g. of games or frames in a match or race.
4.Chiefly British; same as lag.
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.

An attempt of a legal clean shot (not a slop shot) that goes badly wrong due to improper stroke, stance, table position or table conditions in which the result of the shot is completely unexpected and not what was predicted at all.

This is a shot where the cue ball double kisses in order to direct the object ball toward the pocket.
This is the red colored object ball in carom games.
In snooker, any of the 15 balls worth 1 point each that can be potted in any order. During the course of a break a player must first pot a red followed by a colour, and then a red and colour, etc., until the reds run out and then the re-spotted six colours must be cleared in their order. Potting more than one red in a single shot is not a foul - the player simply gets a point for each red potted.
In blackball, one of two groups of seven object balls that must be potted before the black. Reds are spotted before yellows, if balls from both group must be spotted at the same time. Compare stripes; contrast yellow ball.
In carom billiards, the object ball that is neither player's cue ball.
This is the highest number of consecutive points scored during an inning of continuous pool play.
This is when a ball is spotted because of a foul or a handicap.
Named after Chicagoan J. E. Parker, it is a 3½ × 7 inch box drawn on a balkline table from the termination of a balkline with the cushion, thus defining a restricted space in which only a set number of points may be scored before one ball must be driven from the area. Now supplanted by anchor spaces, it was developed to curtail the effectiveness of the anchor nurse, which in turn had been invented to exploit a loophole in balkline rules: so long as both object balls straddled a balkline, there was no restriction on counts, as each ball lay in a separate balk space.
When complete focus allows you to execute quality billiards play with simplicity and seeming ease.
The ornamentation on a cue is often made by inlaying exotic materials into the wood of the butt portion of the cue. Inlays of ebony and ivory are quite common. The value of a cue is often based on the number inlays.
This term refers to a cue stick that is bent or warped, so that the straightness, or lack thereof, of the cue offers less than ideal play. This can occur from storing the cue in the wrong atmosphere, i.e. too warm or humid, or from the quality of wood used during construction. Some cues are coated with fiberglass, carbon fiber or graphite in order to avoid warping.
In snooker, to leave the cue ball ball on the spot of a colour ball after potting it. This is usually performed where re-spotting of the colour ball would cause positional problems for the player, such as blocking available pots on one or more red balls.
A pool room may refer to an establishment that is the same as a pool hall. A private residence may also have a pool room. That would be a room in a house or a recreation room in an apartment building, hotel or condominium complex that has a room that the main activity is dedicated to playing pool.
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.
This refers to a shot that travels on a shallower path due to the english placed on it. This is to come up on the near side of a pocket on a bank shot.
A cue made specificaly for an individual player. The term may also describe a quality product of a low volume yielding cue maker who puts more time and effort into both the design and structural integrity of the cue stick, as opposed to a cue manufacturer that builds their cues in a more assembly line fashion.
Same as gapper
When an opponent either purposely successfully executes a defensive shot or misses their shot resulting in a bad leave for the next player.
Example: "I was left bad every time he missed his shot".
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.
(noun) An opening in a table, cut partly into the bed and partly into the rails and their cushions, into which balls are shot (pocketed or potted).
(verb) Send a ball into a pocket, usually intentionally.