Definition of defensive play

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.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Nine Pin (also known as Goriziana) is a carom billiards game. The game has nine pins in the center of a table. It is played by two teams of 1 or 2 players. Three balls are used of which two are cue balls. Each team (or each player) aims to hit their opponent's ball and from there score points by hitting onto the red ball and also by making the opponent's and/or the red ball knock over the pins.
To enter the loser bracket in a double elimination tournament, or otherwise slip in standing in other tournament formats (i.e., to lose a game/frame/round/match, but still remain in the competition).
Nickname for the nine ball, usually only used when playing the game 9-Ball.
To bungle a shot in a manner that leaves the table in a fortuitous position for the opponent. Contrast sell the farm.
Used by itself often with "low" and "high": "that's a low-percentage shot for me", "I should really take the high-percentage one".
Feel generally refers to that elusive quality that makes one cue feel special or superior to another. In essence, it is the cumulative effect of all of a cues characteristics, including weight, shaft diameter, balance, grip material, length, etc. It can vary greatly from one player to another. A cue that feels great to one player does not necessarily fell good to another.
See two-shot carry.
Either of the balls on the lateral extremities of a racked set of balls in position for a break shot; the two balls at the outside of a 15-ball rack in the back row, or the balls to the left and right of the 9 ball in nine-ball's diamond rack-shaped opening set up position. In nine-ball It is seen as a reliable sign of a good break (which is normally taken from close to either cushion in the kitchen) if the opposite wing ball is pocketed.
This is a blemish added to the table in order to help execute a shot; these marks are not allowed and result in a foul.
The placement of player(s) automatically in a tournament where some have to qualify, or automatic placement in later rounds.
The forward rotation of the cue ball that results from a follow shot. Also known as top spin or top, follow is applied to the cue ball by hitting it above its equator, causing it to spin more rapidly in the direction of travel than it would simply by rolling on the cloth from a center-ball hit. Follow speeds the cue ball up, and widens both the carom angle after contact with an object ball, and angle of reflection off a cushion.
A (principally American) term in eight-ball for either of the set of seven balls (stripes or solids) that must be cleared before sinking the 8 ball. Borrowed from card games. Generally used in the generic, especially in rulesets or articles, rather than colloquially by players. See also group for the British equivalent.
Actual wire or string with multiple beads strung (like an abacus) used for keeping score. Points "on the wire" are a type of handicap used, where a weaker player will be given a certain number of points before the start of the game.
American CueSports Alliance. Their mission statement is "To heighten the interest and awareness of cue sports through the support and sanctioning of organized competition throughout the United States and North America."
To shoot without taking enough warm-up strokes to properly aim and feel out the stroke and speed to be applied. One-stroking is a common symptom of nervousness and a source of missed shots and failed position.
This is the white ball in carom games which is separated from the clear ball by a marking (usually a dot or spot).
New Zealand Billiards and Snooker Association.
When two or more object balls are frozen or nearly frozen, such that cue-ball contact with one object ball, without the necessity of great accuracy, will almost certainly pocket an intended object ball in the cluster. The most common form of dead arrangements are the dead combination or dead combo (a combination shot in which contact with the first object ball will pocket another one), and the dead kiss, in which contact with the first object ball will pocket it off of another one. See also wired.
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".
The area on the table behind the head string.
The origin of the term has been the subject of some speculation but the best explanation known is that in the 1800s, many homes did not have room for both a billiard table and a dining room table. The solution was a billiards table that had a cover converting it into a dining table. Kept in the dining room, play on such a table was often restricted by the size of the room, so it would be placed so that the head rail would face the connected kitchen door, thus affording a player room for the backswing without hitting a wall. A player was therefore either half or sometimes fully (literally) "in the kitchen" when breaking the balls.
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.
To take one's two-piece cue stick apart. When done before a game's conclusion, it often indicates that the game is conceded.
Adjectival expression for a player's deadly game; "watch out, he plays jam up.
This is a very easy and safe shot to execute in the game of one pocket.