Definition of center string

This is an imaginary line that separates the halves of the table by crossing at the middle of the side of pockets.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Pronounced "No-Rango". A norengo refers to what should be an easy straight in shot where the object ball is usually very close to the pocket. But the shooter strikes the ball harder than they should and the result is the object ball rattling out of the pocket and a missed shot.
Also see Lorengo.
A cue made specificaly for an individual player. The term may also describe a quality product of a low volume yielding cue maker who puts more time and effort into both the design and structural integrity of the cue stick, as opposed to a cue manufacturer that builds their cues in a more assembly line fashion.
During a set if the opponent does not win a single game, they are said to have been skunked.
When a ball is in firm contact with a cushion or another ball.
A player's turn at the table, also known as an inning.
The 5 out (meaning the player getting the handicap can win by making the 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 balls).
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.
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.
To give a handicap to an opponent where they have to win a specified number less games than the other player in order to triumph in the match. The name refers to posting games on the scorekeeping mechanism known as a wire, though it is employed when no actual use of the particular device is available or intended.
This is the way your hand is configured to support the shaft of the cue during a shot.
Nearly table-length distance between the cue ball and target object ball, or near cue and object balls and target pocket, i.e. a potentially difficult shot ("you sure left me a lot of green on that one").
The cloth covering the table.
The cue ball's position after a shot. "Good" or "bad" in reference to a leave describe respectively and advantageous or disadvantageous position for the next shot, or to leave an incoming opponent safe.
This is a series of angled rails present within some pool tables that directs pocketed balls to a central location on the table for retrieval after the game.
A term used to indicate balls that are frozen, or close enough that no matter from which angle they are hit from the combination will send the outer ball the same direction. "Are the 2 and 7 pointing at the corner?? Okay, I'll use that duck to get position way over there."
Linen made from flax and produced in Ireland which is often used to wrap the gripping area of the butt of a cue.
Describing a difficult pot: "the awkward cueing makes this shot missable."
An upright pin, which looks like a miniature bowling pin, cone or obelisk. Skittles, as employed in billiards games, have been so-called since at least 1634. One standardized size, for the largely Italian and South American game five-pins, is 25 mm (1 in.) tall, with 7 mm (0.28 in.) round bases, though larger variants have long existed for other games such as Danish pin billiards. Depending upon the game there may be one skittle, or several, and they may be targets to hit (often via a carom) or obstacles to avoid, usually the former. They are also sometimes called pins, though that term can be ambiguous. Because of the increasing international popularity of the Italian game five-pins), they are sometimes also known even in English by their Italian name, birilli (singular birillo). Skittles are also used as obstacles in some artistic billiards shots. #Flat, thin rectangular skittles, somewhat like large dominoes, approximately 6 in. tall by 3 in. wide, and placed upright like an obelisks on the table in specific spots, are used in the obsolescent and principally Australian games devil's pool and victory billiards. Depending upon the exact game being played, there may be one pin, or several of various colors (e.g. ten white and two black in devil's pool), and they may be targets or obstacles, most commonly the latter. They are usually made of plastic, and are increasingly difficult to obtain, even from Australian billiards suppliers. A black obelisk skittle of this sort features prominently, as a particularly dire hazard, in several scenes of sci-fi/pool film Hard Knuckle (1992, Australia). Skittles as used in billiards games date to ground billiards (13th century or earlier) played with a mace, and hand-thrown games of bowls from at least the same era using the same equipment. Ball games using a recognizable form of skittle are known from as early as ca. 3300 BCE in Ancient Egypt.
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.
This is a player who has the ability to make difficult shots in one pocket, because they are likely proficient at other pool games first.
This shot is a minimally calculated distressed shot which makes it evident to the opponent you no longer have any hope to winning the game.
When a successful non penalized break is achieved which gives the object balls a broad spread on the table.
Also piquet. Either a massé shot with no english, or a shot in which the cue stick is steeply angled, but not held quite as vertical as it is in full massé.
This is the raised portion on the side of the table; the cushions are essentially rubber bumpers covered in the table cloth.
This technique works to keep your shot aligned by eyeing your shot above the table, and then locking your chin into position as you lower down to take your shot.