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

(Computerized Numerical Control) This is a special appliance used by many cue manufacturers to design the inlays on a cue to precision accuracy. Often times it is looked down upon because this technology departs from the previous standard of "handcrafting" inlays, using a pantograph tool. However, the new technology allows for much more precise cuts at a quicker pace. If you are looking to save some money and appreciate the man made designs that are computer inlayed in your cue, then CNC is the technology for you.
The International Pool Tour is a professional sports tour created in 2005 by Kevin Trudeau and hosted by Rebecca Grant. It aims to elevate pool (pocket billiards) to the level of other modern sports.
Chiefly British: Short for side spin. In Canadian usage, the term is sometimes used as a verb, "to side".
This is a shot that is meant to remove one of your opponent's balls that lies near their pocket in the game of one pocket.
Chiefly American: The cushion on the foot rail. Compare top cushion; contrast head cushion.
The normal phenomenon where the object ball is pushed in a direction very slightly off the pure contact angle between the two balls. Caused by the friction imparted by the first ball sliding past or rotating against the other ball.
To bungle a shot in a manner that leaves the table in such a fortuitous position for the opponent that there is a strong likelihood of losing the game or match. Contrast sell out.
A highly skilled hustler making money gambling while traveling. Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler was a road player. One of the most notorious real-life road players is Keith McCready.
A break shot in which the object is to leave the incoming player with no shot or a very difficult shot, such as is normally employed in the opening break of straight pool. Cf. open break.
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.
A chiefly British term for a set of mechanical bridges. British-style rests differ from most American-style rake bridges in shape, and take several forms: the cross, the spider and the swan (or goose neck), as well as the rarer and often unsanctioned hook. When used unqualified, the word usually refers to the cross. Rests are used in snooker, English billiards, and blackball.
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.
Refers to a person gambling when he has no money. As in, "That jerk can't pay up, he was shooting air barrels the whole time".
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.
To reach a certain position in a tournament. "I placed 17th." "She will probably place in the money this time."
A players skill level, ball advantage or match advantage when using a handicapping system.
A form of doubles play in which the two team members take turns, playing alternating shots during an inning (i.e. each team's inning consists of two players' alternating visits, each of one shot only, until that team's inning ends, and the next team begins their alternating-shot turn.) Effective scotch doubles play requires close communication between team partners, especially as to desired cue ball position for the incoming player. Like "english", "scotch" is usually not capitalized in this context. The term is also used in bowling, and may have originated there.
A situation in which a ball strikes another ball which is close to a rail and the struck ball rebounds back into the ball it was hit by; usually but not always unintended.
In snooker, after particular fouls are committed, the referee can call a "free ball." This allows the next player to assign any ball as "ball on" if he or she is shooting next.
Also known as 14.1 continuous pool. This game is played on a pocketed table with the fifteen object balls and a cue ball. Every shot must begin with a call, and if made, you get to continue calling shots. The idea is to reach a predetermined score before your opponent. When all but one ball remains, the rack is started over without the apex ball in position, and the last shot is called in such a way as to break the new rack and continue play.
An imaginary line dividing the table into two equal halves lengthwise. It intersects the head string, center string and foot string at the head spot, center spot and foot spot, respectively.
The 'Lady Jane Grey' is a rarely used term to describe a shot in the game of snooker. The cue ball is baulk side of the spotted black after potting a red ball. The black is powerfully potted into a top corner pocket and the cue ball bounces off the top cushion into the red balls, moving them into space, thus allowing the continuation of a break. Named after Lady Jane Grey, the 16th Century Queen of England, possibly because the speed the cue ball must be hit matches the speed with which she was deposed from the throne.
Local Bylaws are additional rules, policies, and procedures unique to an area in addition (or subtraction) to established Pool/Billiards/Snooker league rules. They are designed to cover local situations.
One-pocket (often spelled one pocket) is a two-player (or -team) pocket billiards (pool) game. The object of the game is to score points by pocketing (potting) pool balls into specific pockets. A point is made when a player makes any object ball into that player's designated pocket. The winner is the first to score an agreed-upon number of points (most commonly 8). The player making the break shot (typically after winning the lag) chooses a foot corner pocket for the rest of the game; all of that shooter's balls must be shot into that pocket. All of the opponent's balls must be made in the other foot corner pocket.