Definition of 8 ball

Sometimes called spots and stripes, stripes and solids or, more rarely, bigs and littles or highs and lows.
All fifteen numbered balls are used in a conventional triangle rack.
Each player is assigned either the solid balls (1-7) or the striped balls (9-15). The object is to pocket all of your assigned balls and then pocket the 8-ball.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

A shot aimed so that the center of the cue ball is in line with the edge of the object ball, eclipsing half of the ball. "Hit it just a little thinner than half-ball." Assuming a cling does not occur, the shot will impart post-contact momentum on the object ball in a direction 30° (which is arcsin(1 - x), where x is the fraction of object ball eclipsed: ½ in this case) off the direction of the cue-ball's pre-contact momentum. Also notable because the carom angle the cue ball takes is more consistent than at other contact points.
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.
Given to the opposite player after a scratch on the cue ball has been played. This means the player with the cue ball in hand can position it wherever on the table he pleases. Sometimes there are restrictions as to where on the table the ball can be placed: in the kitchen, within the half circle, within the D. This is also known as cue ball in hand.
To play for money and lull a victim into thinking they can win, prompting them to accept higher and higher stakes, until beating them and walking off with more money than they would have been willing to bet had they been beaten soundly in the beginning. The terms hustler, for one who hustles, and hustling, describing the act, are just as common if not more so than this verb form.
Hitting the object ball with not enough of a cut angle; hitting the object ball too full or "fat". It is a well-known maxim that overcutting is preferable to undercutting.
The sides of a table's frame upon which the elastic cushions are mounted. May also be used interchangeably with cushion.
This is the way a ball rolls when impeded by something on the table or a blemish in the cloth, often times regular players will remember certain rolls and play to them.
Also semi-massé shot. A moderate curve imparted to the path of the cue ball by an elevated hit with use of english (side); or a shot using this technique. Also known as a curve (US) or swerve (UK) shot. Compare massé.
A specific ball number followed by "out" refers to a handicap in nine-ball or other rotation games where the "spot" is all balls from that designated number to the money ball. To illustrate, the 6-out in a nine-ball game would allow the player getting weight to win by legally pocketing the 6, 7, 8 or 9 balls.
Short for run out, especially as a noun: "That was a nice out."
This is an imaginary line that separates the halves of the table by crossing at the middle of the side of pockets.
This describes a shot where you bank the object ball off of a rail and then sink it in a corner pocket.
A tactic employed in UK eight-ball pool in which a player calls and pots one of the balls in a favorably lying set, then plays safe, leaving as many of his/her well-placed balls on the table as possible, until the opponents commits a foul or leaves a chance that the player feels warrants an attempt at running out.
This is when you strike a cue ball off center to gain control on the movement on the cue ball.
This is when a ball is spotted because of a foul or a handicap.
A style of game play in which as many players are allowed to join as the participants choose, and anyone can quit at any time. The term, most often used in the context of gambling, is borrowed from poker. The folk games three-ball and killer are usually played as open ring games, as is Kelly pool.
By extension, a multi-player game that anyone may initially join, but which has a fixed roster of competitors once it begins, is sometimes also called a ring game. Cutthroat is, by its nature, such a game. A famous regular ring game event of this sort is the Grady Mathews-hosted six-player, $3000-buy-in ring ten-ball competition at the annual Derby City Classic.
A nine-ball ring game is played by more than two players. Safeties are not allowed.
To win an inning that counters a good game your opponent just won.
The inning win that counters a good game your opponent just won.
See two-shot carry.
To maneuver a ball on a shot so that it will be favorably positioned for later play into a particular pocket, even at the expense of sacrificing position or the inning to achieve that result.
Three equally spaced diamonds are normally between each pocket on a pool table. On a carom table, the pockets themselves are replaced by additional diamonds. Diamonds get their name from the shape of the markings traditionally used; though many today are round, square, etc., these rail markings are still referred to as "diamonds".
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.
Three Cushion is a form of carom billiards.
The object of the game is to carom the cue ball off both object balls and contact the rail cushions at least 3 times before the last object ball. A point is scored for each successful carom.
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.
Same as duck. Derives from an easily shot ball "hanging" in the pocket.
Name for the ball that when pocketed, wins the game, or any ball that when made results in a payday such as a way in the game of Chicago.