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

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.
This is the highest number of consecutive points scored during an inning of continuous pool play.
This is when you aim at one particular object ball that is not meant to go in the pocket, but is instead meant to contact another object ball which will continue the combination process or be pocketed.
Describes the propensity of a player losing small sums of money at gambling to suddenly sharply increase the stakes; often continuing to lose until broke. Compare Chasing one's money.
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.
This is a bank shot that goes off of the head rail and then straight to the pocket at the other end of the table.
This is an attempt where one player answers the other players successful shot or run with a successful shot or run.
This refers to the distance of deflection that the ball comes off of the cue stick after a hit is applied with side spin on it.
This when you receive the first legitimate shot on the next "ball on" after there had been a series of safeties to try and hurt the other players chances. This term is often used in one pocket pool.
This refers to how a player is playing on a particular occasion (a player's skill level). If their game is good, then they are at a high speed, but if they are not playing up to their potential, then they are playing at a lower speed.
This is a term used to refer to all the different aspects involved in setting up a shot, i.e. the stance, grip, bridge, and stoke.
A pocket; usually used in disgust when describing a scratch (e.g., "the cue ball's gone down the sewer").
Chiefly British: Short for side spin. In Canadian usage, the term is sometimes used as a verb, "to side".
This describes a shot where you bank the object ball off of a rail and then sink it in a side pocket.
Describing a pot played at such a pace as to just reach the pocket and drop in without hitting the back.
The surface of the table used for play (often made with slate).
The lamentable practice of not following through with the cue straight, but veering off in the direction of the shot's travel or the side english is applied, away from the proper aiming line; a common source of missed shots.
Balls remain unmoved after a player's shot.
Also the hook. In snooker, a type of mechanical bridge that has only recently been endorsed by the WPBSA to allow its use in major tournament play. It is a normal rest with the head in line with the shaft, but the last foot or so of the shaft is curved. This allows players to position the curved end around an obstructing ball that would have otherwise left them hampered on the cue ball and in need of a spider or swan with extensions, which would have less control.
A player skilled at very thin cut shots, and shots in which a ball must pass cleanly through a very narrow space (such as the cue ball between two of the opponent's object balls with barely enough room) to avoid a foul and/or to pocket a ball. Such shots may be referred to as "surgery", "surgical shots", "surgical cuts", etc. (chiefly US, colloquial). See also feather (US) or snick (UK).
The angle at which a ball approaches a rail, as measured from the perpendicular to the rail.
A cut shot in which if a line were drawn from the cue ball to the rail behind the targeted object ball, perpendicular to that rail, the object ball would lie beyond the line with respect to the pocket being targeted.
A shot, especially common in straight pool and in some variants of blackball (but not WEPF/EPA rules), in which a player intentionally commits a foul with the object in mind of either leaving the opponent with little chance of running out or simply to avoid shooting where no good shot is presented and to do anything else would give the opponent an advantage. It is often referred to in straight pool as a "back scratch."
A break shot in which the rack (pack) is disturbed as little as possible within the bounds of a legal shot, in order to force the opponent to have to break it up further. A soft break is desirable in some games, such as straight pool, in which breaking is a disadvantage; and forbidden by the open break rules of other games such as nine-ball and eight-ball.