Definition of button

A point bead on a scoring string.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

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.
Any system for banking or kicking balls multiple rails which uses table diamonds as aiming references.
(Jack and Jill) Mixed doubles match (each team has one male and one female).
In eight-ball, when all object balls are balls-on for either player.
A description of a break shot in which the rack (pack) is spread apart well. See also the open break requirement in some games' rules, including eight-ball and nine-ball.
In carom billiards, descriptive of play in which the balls are not gathered.
A slang term for a cue, usually used with "piece", as in "that's a nice piece of wood".
Also (chiefly British) shot programme. The enumerated trick shots that must be performed in the fields of artistic billiards (70 pre-determined shots) and artistic pool (56 tricks in 8 "disciplines").
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 three cushion billiards shot in which the cue ball first strikes two cushions before hitting the first object ball then hits a third cushion before hitting the second object ball. So called because the shot opens up like an umbrella after hitting the third rail. Umbrella shots may be classified as inside or outside depending on which side of the first object ball the cue ball contacts.
Artistic pool is a trick shot competition, inspired by the related discipline of artistic billiards.
A line, sometimes imaginary (especially in American pool), sometimes drawn on the cloth, that runs horizontally across the table from the second diamond (from the head rail) on one long rail to the corresponding second diamond on the other long rail. In most pool games, the opening break shot must be performed with the center (base) of the cue ball behind the head string (i.e. between the head string and head rail). The head string intersects the long string at the head spot, and delimits the kitchen (and, in European nine-ball, the outer boundary of the break box). The head string's position is always determined by the diamonds, in contrast to the similar but different baulk line, the position of which is determined by measurement from the bottom cushion (head cushion).
This refers to a shot that is not banked, does not hit a rail and goes into the pocket without contacting any other balls on the table.
Any one of numerous acts which unethical players employ to rattle or upset their opponent. Taking, making noise, and chalking your cue while your opponent is shooting are all considered sharking tactics.
This is an attempt where one player answers the other players successful shot or run with a successful shot or run.
Verb: "To Clock" To carefully note the abilities or betting inclinations of other players for future reference.
A stroke in which the cue's tip glances or slips off the cue ball not effectively transferring the intended force. Usually the result is a bungled shot. Common causes include a lack of chalk on the cue tip, a poorly groomed cue tip and not stroking straight through the cue ball, e.g. because of steering.
The person in charge of the game whose primary role is to ensure adherence by both players to the appropriate rules of the game being played. Other duties of the referee include racking each frame, re-spotting balls during the course of a game, maintaining the equipment associated with the table (e.g. keeping the balls clean), controlling the crowd and, if necessary, controlling the players. Formerly sometimes referred to as the umpire.
Usually a one-piece cue freely available for use by patrons in bars and pool halls.
Also known as slop. To pocket a ball by luck; "he ratted in the 9 ball"; usually employed disapprovingly.
In the carom games, any shot where the end result is all the balls near each other; ideally, in position for the start of a nurse on the next stroke.
Also split shot. In pool, a type of shot in which two object balls are initially contacted by the cue ball simultaneously or so close to simultaneously as for the difference to be indistinguishable to the eye. In most sets of rules it is a foul if the split is one in which one of the object balls is a (or the only) legal target (ball-on) and the other is not; however, such a split is commonly considered a legal shot in informal bar pool in many areas if it is called as a split and does appear to strike the balls simultaneously).
British term referring to the base or metaphorical "feet" of a ball that rattles in the jaws of a pocket before eventually dropping. Usually said of an object ball for which the intention was to pot it.
In the eight-ball game variant blackball, also known as eight-ball pool, a differently colored but otherwise identical replacement for the red group (i.e., what would be the solids in an American-style pool ball set).
A common aiming method in which a phantom ball is imagined frozen to the object ball at the point where an imaginary line drawn between their centers is aimed at the desired target; the cue ball may then be shot at the center of the "ghost" ball and, ideally, impact the object ball at the proper aiming contact point. The ghost ball method of aiming results in misses where adjustment is not made for collision induced throw.
Also shake bottle, pea bottle, pill bottle, kelly bottle, tally bottle. The bottle used in various games to hold numbered peas, it is employed to assign random spots to players in a roster (such as in a tournament), or to assign random balls to players of a game.
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