Definition of cinch a ball

To play a shot with the stroke and speed that makes it easiest to pocket the object ball, even at the expense of sacrificing position.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

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.
The placement of the balls, especially the cue ball, relative to the next planned shot. Also known as shape.
This a shot that hits the object ball at the nine ball to see if you can get lucky by sinking the nine ball in any pocket. (also see Rolling the Cheese and Cheese the Nine).
This playing to a number less than eight in a game of one pocket.
This is to miss your shot but either luckily or on purpose leave your opponent with nothing to shoot at.
A tactic employed in UK eight-ball pool in which a player calls and pots one of the balls in a favorably lying set, then plays safe, leaving as many of his/her well-placed balls on the table as possible, until the opponents commits a foul or leaves a chance that the player feels warrants an attempt at running out.
In snooker, the colour ball that is worth three points, being the second-least valuable colour behind the yellow. It is one of the baulk colours.
To intentionally lose a game, e.g. to disguise one's actual playing ability. An extreme form of sandbagging. See also hustle. See also Match fixing for the synonym "tank", used in sports more generally.
A shot played with stun, but not quite enough to completely stop the cue ball, allowing for a little follow. It is played so that a follow shot can be controlled more reliably, with a firmer strike than for a slow roll. It is widely considered as one of the most difficult shots in the game to master, but an excellent weapon in a player's armory once it has been.
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).
Same as cue.
Also Gentleman's call. An informal approach to the "call-everything" variation of call-shot, common in bar pool. Obvious shots, such as a straight-on or near-straight shot for which the shooter is clearly aiming and which could not be mistaken for another shot, need not be called. Bank shots, kicks, caroms and combinations are usually less obvious and generally must be called, though this may depend upon the mutual skill level and shot selection perception of the players. An opponent has the right to ask what the shooter's intention is, if this is unclear.
A barrel is how much money per game a player is betting. As in, "I have ten barrels at $20 a game".
This term refers to a low percentage one pocket shot.
One of the two pockets one either side of a pool table halfway up the long rails. They are cut shallower than corner pockets because they have a 180 degree aperture, instead of 90 degrees. In the UK the term centre pocket or middle pocket are preferred.
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 shot where the cue ball follows directly behind the sunk object ball into the pocket right after it falls.
A players skill level, ball advantage or match advantage when using a handicapping system.
Alternate name for the cue ball.
In carom billiards games, a term for the opponent's cue ball, which for the shooting player is another object ball along with the red.
In snooker, a pot into any of the corner pockets where the cue ball had started in the opposite lengthwise half of the table. In other words, a pot in which the cue ball or object ball crosses an imaginary line joining the middle pockets.
This is a version of double elimination tournament play that splits the field of competitors into two brackets that come together for a single elimination championship game.
Hitting the object ball with not enough of a cut angle; hitting the object ball too full or "fat". It is a well-known maxim that overcutting is preferable to undercutting. See also professional side of the pocket.
National Amateur Pool League.
A British term (especially in snooker) for the splitting of a group of balls when another ball is sent into them, typically with the intent of deliberately moving them with the cue ball to develop them.