Definition of balk

An area defined on a billiard table, in games such as pool, snooker, English billiards and bagatelle, by a single balkline (drawn or imaginary) that runs across the table near the head (bottom) end; exactly where depends upon table type and size. This balk is where the cue ball is placed in lagging for lead, for making the opening break shot, and sometimes for other purposes, depending upon the game.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

The forward rotation of the cue ball that results from a follow shot. Also known as top spin or top, follow is applied to the cue ball by hitting it above its equator, causing it to spin more rapidly in the direction of travel than it would simply by rolling on the cloth from a center-ball hit. Follow speeds the cue ball up, and widens both the carom angle after contact with an object ball, and angle of reflection off a cushion.
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.
In nine-ball, especially in the UK, a break shot that pots the 9 ball without fouling, in which case the player wins in one shot. See also on the break/snap.
To allow an opponent to stop playing a set for money in exchange for something. If a player is winning a set by a wide margin, with $100 on the line, the player could say, "I'll let you out now for $75." This is usually meant to save pride.
Five-pin billiards is a today usually a carom but sometimes still a pocket form of cue sport, popular especially in Italy and Argentina but also in some other parts of Latin America and Europe, with international, televised professional tournaments. The game is sometimes referred to as Italian five-pins or Italian billiards.
This a shot that hits the object ball at the nine ball to see if you can get lucky by sinking the nine ball in any pocket. (also see Rolling the Cheese and Cheese the Nine).
Also money-added. Said of a tournament in which the pot of money to pay out to the winner(s) contains sponsor monies in addition to competitor entry fees. Often used as an adjective: "a money-added event".
This is a special shaped leather or plastic bottle that is used on the table during play in special pocket games.
Descriptive of any game in which the object balls must be struck in numerical order. Billiard researcher Mike Shamos observes that it would be more intuitive to call such games "'series' or 'sequence'". The term actually derives from the set-up of the game Chicago, in which the balls are not racked, but placed numerically around the table along the cushions (and must to be shot in ascending order). Other common rotation games include pool (obviously), nine-ball, seven-ball, ten-ball.
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 term refers to a foul in snooker golf.
A British term for someone with little experience or understanding of the game, who may be skilled at potting individual balls but does not consider tactics such as position or safety; "he's a potter not a player." See also banger.
To seal the pores of a wooden cue's shaft or to smooth out minor dents in the shaft by rubbing vigorously with some material.
To similarly vigorously rub the edge of a cue tip (especially a new one) to fortify it against mushrooming and ensure that it is perfectly flush with the ferrule.
A two-piece cue constructed to resemble a house cue, with a near-invisible wood-to-wood joint. The subterfuge often enables a hustler to temporarily fool unsuspecting fish into thinking that he or she is an unskilled banger with no regard for finesse or equipment quality. Many league players also use cheap but solid sneaky petes as their break cues.
In snooker, a pot into any of the corner pockets where the cue ball had started in the opposite lengthwise half of the table. In other words, a pot in which the cue ball or object ball crosses an imaginary line joining the middle pockets.
The ball required to guarantee victory in a match. Sometimes used figuratively to mean the last difficult ball required (chiefly British and usually used in multi-frame matches, particularly snooker).
Also last pocket. A common rule in informal bar pool, especially bar/pub eight-ball, in which the money ball must be pocketed (potted) in the same pocket as the shooter's last object ball (each player may be said to eventually "own" a pocket, for the duration of the game, in which their 8 ball shot must be played if they have already run out their suit). The variant is not extremely common in the United States or the UK, but is near-universal in much of Latin America (where two cue ball scratches are permitted when attempting the 8 ball shot and count as simple fouls, with only a third scratch constituting a loss of game). Last pocket is also common in North Africa. Last-pocket rules require careful position play, and frequently result in bank and kick shots at the 8 ball.
This is when a player has scratched and the foul in one pocket calls for them to spot a ball, but not able to be spotted at the time. In this case a coin is usually placed on the side of the table to keep tabs.
When a ball is in firm contact with a cushion or another ball.
This when you receive the first legitimate shot on the next "ball on" after there had been a series of safeties to try and hurt the other players chances. This term is often used in one pocket pool.
Nine Ball is a rotation game so a player must hit the lowest numbered ball first.
The object of the game is pocket the 9-ball on any legal shot.
This is a shot in one pocket pool where you simple aim at a cluster of balls near your opponents pocket to attempt to make something good happen out of desperation because other shots are not feasible.
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.
An intentionally amateurish stroke to disguise one's ability to play.