24 Random Essential Billiards Terms
Chiefly British: The half of the table from which the break shot is taken. This usage is conceptually opposite that in North America, where this end of the table is called the head.
The break box is a zone in the "kitchen" of the head (British: bottom) of the table, from which the break shot must be taken with the cue ball,
In eight-ball and related games, describes the situation in which neither player has yet claimed a suit (group) of balls. Often shortened to simply open: "Is it still an open table?" "Yes, it's open."
This term is used to refer to a player missing a shot.
A widespread term in US parlance describing missing a relatively easy shot—often in the face of pressure. Can be used in many forms: "I dogged the shot"; "I hope he dogs it"; "I'm such a dog."
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.
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).
A defensive action taken when a player either has no "makeable" or "high percentage" shot or chooses to leave his opponent in a difficult situation. It is a legal shot and is not considered to be dirty pool. A safety must still conform with the rule concerning hitting the correct ball first and striking a rail afterwards. If a correct ball is accidentally pocketed while playing safe, the shooter must continue to shoot.
Chiefly British: bank shot played up and down the longer length of the table off a short rail and into a corner pocket, as opposed to the more common bank across the short length into a center pocket or corner.
A cue dedicated to jumping balls; usually shorter and lighter than a playing cue and having a wider, hard tip. Also referred to as a jump stick.
4d 23h 39m 23s
1d 17h 36m 27s
8d 14h 29m 15s
Used with an amount to signify money added to a tournament prize fund in addition to the amount accumulated from entry fees (e.g. "$500 added").
The pocket chosen to house the selected ball in your called shot.
Sometimes interchangeable with scratch, though the latter is often used only to refer to the foul of pocketing the cue ball. A violation of a particular game's rules for which a set penalty is imposed.
A Baulk line is line drawn across the table 29 inches from the bottom cushion and parallel to that cushion.
A slang term for a cue, usually used with "piece", as in "that's a nice piece of wood".
To contact the chosen object ball in such a way to make it bank off a rail before being pocketed.
1- Noun: A player's wager in a money game.
2- Verb:To provide part or all of a player's stake for a gambling session in which one is not a player. A person who stakes or backs a player is called a stakehorse or backer. "Stakehorse" can also be used as a verb.
A shot that has a positive outcome for the player, although it was not what the player intended. Examples of flukes include an unexpected pot off several cushions or other balls having missed the pocket aimed for, or perhaps a lucky safety position after having missed a pot. Compare fish and slop; contrast mark (sense 3) and call. It is customary to apologise to one's opponent if one does this.
To sink a ball into a pocket.
A requirement under some pocket billiards rulesets that either an object ball be pocketed, or at least four object balls be driven to contact the cushions, on the opening break shot.
12d 5h 11m 20s
3d 10h 44m 43s
26d 16h 32m 46s
Sometimes called a snake shot. A carom billiards shot, common in three-cushion billiards, where the cue ball is shot with reverse english at a relatively shallow angle down the rail, and spins backwards off the adjacent rail back into the first rail.
1- Short for "pool shark", poolshark (US); sharp, "pool sharp" (British)
Verb: To perform some act or make some utterance with the intent to distract, irritate or intimidate the opponent so that they do not perform well, miss a shot, etc. Most league and tournament rules forbid blatant sharking, as a form of unsportsmanlike conduct, but it is very common in bar pool.
Noun: Another term for hustler.
Noun: A very good player. This usage is common among non-players who often intend it as a compliment and are not aware of its derogatory senses .
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.
A misnomer for hand talc.
Named after their innovator, legendary cuemaker George Balabushka, Bushka rings are decorative bands of material incorporated into pool cues, commonly just above the wrap area, in the form of ebony and ivory blocks, or sometimes other materials, alternating in a checked pattern.