Definition of dead stroke

When a player is playing flawlessly, just "cannot miss" and the game seems effortless.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

The placement of player(s) automatically in a tournament where some have to qualify, or automatic placement in later rounds.
A break shot in which the object is to leave the incoming player with no shot or a very difficult shot, such as is normally employed in the opening break of straight pool. Cf. open break.
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.
A barrel is how much money per game a player is betting. As in, "I have ten barrels at $20 a game".
A rack in the form of an equilateral triangle. There are different sizes of triangles for racking different games (which use different ball sizes and numbers of balls), including the fifteen ball racks for snooker and various pool games such as eight-ball and blackball. A larger triangle is used for the twenty-one ball rack for baseball pocket billiards). The smallest triangle rack is employed in three-ball (see illustration at that article) but is not strictly necessary, as the front of a larger rack can be used, or the balls can be arranged by hand.
The object balls in triangular formation, before the break shot, after being racked. See also pyramid.
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).
Also lows, low, low ones. In eight-ball, to be shooting the solid suit (group) of balls (1 through 7); "you're low, remember", "you're low balls" or "I've got the lows." Compare solids, reds, little, spots, dots, unders; contrast high.
This is the red colored object ball in carom games.
In snooker, any of the 15 balls worth 1 point each that can be potted in any order. During the course of a break a player must first pot a red followed by a colour, and then a red and colour, etc., until the reds run out and then the re-spotted six colours must be cleared in their order. Potting more than one red in a single shot is not a foul - the player simply gets a point for each red potted.
In blackball, one of two groups of seven object balls that must be potted before the black. Reds are spotted before yellows, if balls from both group must be spotted at the same time. Compare stripes; contrast yellow ball.
In carom billiards, the object ball that is neither player's cue ball.
To determine the order of play, players (representing only themselves, or teams) each simultaneously shoot a ball from the kitchen (or in British games, from the baulk line) to the end rail and back toward the bottom rail. Whichever shooter's ball comes to rest closest to the bottom rail gets to choose who breaks the rack. It is permissible but not required for the lagged ball to touch or rebound from the bottom rail, but not to touch the side rails. Lagging is usually a two-party activity, though there are games such as cutthroat in which three players might lag. In the case of a tie, the tying shooters re-lag. The lag is most often used in tournament play or other competitions. In hard-break games like nine-ball and eight-ball the winner of the lag would normally take the break, while in soft-break games like straight pool would likely require the loser of the lag to break, since breaking would be a disadvantage.
(Computerized Numerical Control) This is a special appliance used by many cue manufacturers to design the inlays on a cue to precision accuracy. Often times it is looked down upon because this technology departs from the previous standard of "handcrafting" inlays, using a pantograph tool. However, the new technology allows for much more precise cuts at a quicker pace. If you are looking to save some money and appreciate the man made designs that are computer inlayed in your cue, then CNC is the technology for you.
Chiefly American: The short rail at the foot of the table. Frequently used imprecisely, to mean foot cushion. Compare top rail; contrast head rail.
The ornamentation on a cue, between the wrap and the joint, is often made by inlaying exotic materials into the wood so the inlays form points. The value of a cue is often based on the number points.
An unintentional and often barely perceptible curve imparted to the path of the cue ball from the use of english without a level cue. Not to be confused with a swerve shot.
Refers to a person gambling when he has no money. As in, "That jerk can't pay up, he was shooting air barrels the whole time".
Same as foul
The profile of the shaft of the cue as it as it increases in diameter from the tip to the joint. A "fast" or "slow" taper refers to how quickly the diameter increases. A "pro" taper describes a shaft that tapers rapidly from the joint size to the tip size so as to provide a long, untapered stroking area.
This is a play where the shot of the cue ball is meant to end up in a certain place to loose your turn, but makes the next attempt difficult for your opponent. The shot is turned over, but will often times lead to a foul, giving you the ball back with a different view or ball in hand. This "safety" play is important if your shot isn't ideal, and you are likely to turn the ball over anyway.
This shot refers to using heavy follow to push through an object ball on its way to its destination.
In snooker, the pocket nearest the yellow spot.
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.
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.
A shot where the cue ball must hit the object ball so as to make it travel out of a straight line, at a different angle, toward its destination.
This is a type of shot where the cue ball goes off the rail before it heads to contact the object ball, thus giving the cue better position in some shots.
Also bigs, big balls, big ones. In eight-ball, to be shooting the striped suit (group) of balls (9 through 15); "you're big, remember", "you're big balls" or "I've got the big ones". Compare stripes, yellows, high, overs; contrast little.