Definition of ball in hand

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.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Also known as back spin, a type of spin applied to the cue ball by hitting it below its equator, causing it to spin backwards even as it slides forward on the cloth. Back spin slows the cue ball down, reduces its travel, and narrows both the carom angle after contact with an object ball, and angle of reflection off a cushion. There are several variant terms for this, including "bottom" and "bottom spin" in the US and "screw" in the UK. Draw is thought to be the first spin technique understood by billiards players prior to the introduction of leather tips, and was in use by the 1790s.
A pool room employee who plays with a good degree of skill.
The area on the table behind the head string.
The origin of the term has been the subject of some speculation but the best explanation known is that in the 1800s, many homes did not have room for both a billiard table and a dining room table. The solution was a billiards table that had a cover converting it into a dining table. Kept in the dining room, play on such a table was often restricted by the size of the room, so it would be placed so that the head rail would face the connected kitchen door, thus affording a player room for the backswing without hitting a wall. A player was therefore either half or sometimes fully (literally) "in the kitchen" when breaking the balls.
In the UK, one of the two pockets one either side of a pool, snooker or English billiards table halfway up the long rails.
This is placed on a ball by hitting it slightly below center. This action makes the ball travel in a motion against its originally hit direction.
See two-shot carry.
A British term for a pot that requires very fine contact between cue ball and object ball. See also feather.
This is any game of pool played with money on the line. You can "put some action" on the game.
When you hit the object ball you are aiming for (or the manditory next ball) without the cue ball hitting other object balls first.
Same as visit.
Chiefly American: The cushion on the head rail. Compare bottom cushion; contrast foot cushion.
This is the apex ball in the triangle, racked on the foot spot in a normal game.
North American Poolshooters Association. Mission: To provide a competitive and fun amateur pool league competition with cash and prizes awarded to the players at the local level.
Also the hook. In snooker, a type of mechanical bridge that has only recently been endorsed by the WPBSA to allow its use in major tournament play. It is a normal rest with the head in line with the shaft, but the last foot or so of the shaft is curved. This allows players to position the curved end around an obstructing ball that would have otherwise left them hampered on the cue ball and in need of a spider or swan with extensions, which would have less control.
A shot that has a positive outcome for the player, although it was not what the player intended. Examples of flukes include an unexpected pot off several cushions or other balls having missed the pocket aimed for, or perhaps a lucky safety position after having missed a pot. Compare fish and slop; contrast mark (sense 3) and call. It is customary to apologise to one's opponent if one does this.
Also known as slop. To pocket a ball by luck; "he ratted in the 9 ball"; usually employed disapprovingly.
The point on the table surface over which the apex ball of a rack is centered (in most games). It is the point half the distance between the long rails' second diamonds from the end of the racking end of the table. The foot spot is the intersection of the foot string and the long string, and is typically marked with a cloth or paper decal on pool tables.
Any shot in which the cue ball or an object ball has to squeeze by (just miss with almost no margin for error) another ball or balls in order to reach its intended target.
Technique using different wood inlays to create picture designs on the butt of the cue.
Playing an opponent for money who has no chance of winning based on disparity of skill levels. The term robbed is also sometimes used humorously in exclamations when a shot that looks like it would work did not, as in "Oh! You got robbed on that one!"
Billiard Congress of America. The official governing body for pocket billiards in the United States.
Chiefly American: The short rail at the head of the table. Traditionally this is the rail on which the table manufacturer's logo appears. Compare bottom rail, baulk rail; contrast foot rail.
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.
This is playing to a higher winning score than eight in the game of one pocket.