Definition of billiards

A game of pool played on a table shaped like a rectangle, with or without pockets.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Describes a ball rolling along a rail in contact or near contact with it, or which makes multiple successive contacts with the rail.
The act of setting up the balls for a break shot. In tournament play this will be done by the referee, but in lower-level play, players either rack for themselves or for each other depending on convention.
This is when you strike a cue ball off center to gain control on the movement on the cue ball.
A predetermined number of games, usually played for a specified sum of money. Contrast race (a predetermined number of wins). Informally, sets may refer to gambling more generally, as in "I've been playing sets all day", even when the format is actually races or single games.
In one pocket pool this means that you change your play based on where the count is during the game. If you are ahead you might choose more conservative shots, and if you are behind you could choose more aggressive shots.
In the UK, one of the two pockets one either side of a pool, snooker or English billiards table halfway up the long rails.
The way in which a player holds the butt end of the cue stick.
The wrap of the cuestick where the hand is placed, also known as the "grip area."
An exhibition shot designed to impress either by a player's skill or knowledge of how to set the balls up and take advantage of the angles of the table; usually a combination of both. A trick shot may involve items otherwise never seen during the course of a game, such as bottles, baskets, etc., and even members of the audience being placed on or around the table.
The effect of shooting regulation-weight object balls with an old-fashioned over-weight bar table cue ball, such that the cue ball moves forward to occupy (sometimes only temporarily), or go beyond, the original position of the object ball, even on a draw or stop shot, because the mass of the cue ball exceeds that of the object ball. Players who understand smash-through well can use it intentionally for position play, such as to nudge other object balls nearby the target ball. Smash-through also makes it dangerous in bar pool (when equipped with such a cue ball) to pocket straight-on ducks with a stop shot instead of by cheating the pocket because of the likelihood of scratching the cue ball.
Also shot to nothing. A British term for a shot in which a player attempts a difficult pot but with safety in mind, so that in the event of missing the pot it is likely that the opponent will not make a meaningful contribution, and will probably have to reply with a safety. The meaning refers to lack of risk, i.e. at no cost to the player ("for nothing" or coming "to nothing"). Compare two-way shot.
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 is a unique game played on a table with smaller pockets. The balls are racked in a typical pyramid, but after the break any ball can be the cue ball, and you can score by hitting a ball in or by putting the ball in after bouncing it from another object ball.
The interlocking connection between the butt and shaft ends of a two-piece cue stick. Usually connects via means of a steel or wooden pin, and may be protected by a collar of metal or some other material, or may connect wood-on-wood.
To elevate the back of the cue on a shot.
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.
Also on the lemon. Disguising the level of one's ability to play.
A shot where the cue ball has no top spin or back spin on it when it impacts an object ball, and "stuns" out along the tangent line. Commonly shortened to just "stun."
This is the portion of the butt of your cue just below the handle or wrap. This portion of the cue is made separately and often times cored out to ensure the proper weight balance within the full length of the cue. This portion of the cue is usually made with exotic wood that matches the wood in the forearm or in the points on the forearm. This section is used to highlight the design of the forearm, sometimes a re-creation, a reverse, or a rendition of the same pattern on a smaller scale.
(Chiefly U.S.) Side spin (english) placed on a same side of the cue ball as the direction in which the object ball is being cut (left-hand english when cutting a ball to the left, and vice versa). In addition to affecting cue ball position, inside english can increase throw.
This is the final object ball you need to pocket in order to win a game of one pocket.
This is what happens when a player sends the cue ball into a cluster of balls that will in turn spread out in an unpredictable fashion.
A type of nurse used in carom billiards games. With one object ball frozen to a cushion and the second object ball just slightly away from the rail, the cue ball is gently rebounded across the face of both balls, freezing the away ball to the rail and moving the frozen ball away the same distance its partner was previously, resulting in an identical but reversed configuration, in position to be struck again by the cue ball from the opposite side.
Jargon for a tournament chart, showing which players are playing against whom and what the results are. Often shortened to card.
In snooker, a situation where the scores are tied after all the balls have been potted, and the black ball is re-spotted and the first player to pot it wins. The players toss for the first shot, which must be taken with the cue ball in the D. A safety battle typically ensues, until an error allows a player to pot the black, or a fluke or a difficult pot is made.