Definition of foul

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.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Also pro side of the pocket and missing on the professional (or pro) side of the pocket. Sometimes "of the pocket" is left off the phrase. To err on the side of overcutting a difficult corner pocket cut shot rather than undercutting in nine ball; "missing on the professional side of the pocket." So called because experienced players understand that on a thin cut, overcutting the object ball to a corner pocket will far more often leave the object ball in an unfavorable position for the incoming opponent than will an undercut, which often leaves the object ball sitting in front of or nearby the pocket it had been intended for on a miss. By contrast, in eight-ball, except when both players are shooting at the 8 ball, the incoming player after a miss is shooting for different object balls, so this maxim does not apply, and the opposite may be good strategy as, if the object ball stays near the pocket through an undercut, it is advantageously positioned for a subsequent turn and may block the opponent's use of the pocket.
Any shot in which the cue ball or an object ball has to squeeze by (just miss with almost no margin for error) another ball or balls in order to reach its intended target.
In eight-ball, when all object balls are balls-on for either player.
A description of a break shot in which the rack (pack) is spread apart well. See also the open break requirement in some games' rules, including eight-ball and nine-ball.
In carom billiards, descriptive of play in which the balls are not gathered.
Balls remain unmoved after a player's shot.
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.
This is a shot that is meant to remove one of your opponent's balls that lies near their pocket in the game of one pocket.
This is a method of handicapping that designates a wild ball for a lesser player to be able to pocket at any point during a game in order to win.
When playing 9 Ball, a dead ball is an object ball the falls into a pocket when a foul has been committed (for example, the shooter scratches or does not hit the lowest ball first). If keeping score by counting balls fallen, neither player gets the point for that ball.
Common slang in the US for a cheap, poorly made cue. Compare wood.
In the carom games, any shot where the end result is all the balls near each other; ideally, in position for the start of a nurse on the next stroke.
A set practice routine.
In British terminology, a bank shot.
(noun) An opening in a table, cut partly into the bed and partly into the rails and their cushions, into which balls are shot (pocketed or potted).
(verb) Send a ball into a pocket, usually intentionally.
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.
A type of nurse shot used in English billiards in which two coloured balls are positioned on either side of the mouth of a snooker table pocket but not touching and, thus placed, can be successively contacted and scored off over and over by the cue ball without moving them.
When the cue ball is tucked behind the corner of a pocket, therefore not allowing a direct shot at the object ball without it bouncing of the corner of the rail.
Successive games won without the opponent getting to the table; a five-pack would be a package of five games.
On two piece cues, the area of the cue between the joint and the wrap.
Also dead ball shot. A shot intended to slow down or "kill" the cue ball's speed as much as possible after contact with an object ball; usually a shot with draw, often combined with inside english. It is often shortened to kill.
In snooker, a situation where the scores are tied after all the balls have been potted, and the black ball is re-spotted and the first player to pot it wins. The players toss for the first shot, which must be taken with the cue ball in the D. A safety battle typically ensues, until an error allows a player to pot the black, or a fluke or a difficult pot is made.
Chiefly American: The cushion on the foot rail. Compare top cushion; contrast head cushion.
Slang for a mechanical bridge.
Side spin on the cue ball that causes it to unnaturally roll off a cushion (contacted at an angle) against rather than with the ball's momentum and direction of travel. If angling into a cushion that is on the right, then reverse english would be right english, and vice versa. The angle of deflection will be steeper (narrower) than if no english were applied. The opposite of running english, which has effects other than simply the opposites of those of reverse english.
Deviation of a ball from its initial direction of travel. Often the result of a poor-quality table and may be an artifact of the cloth, the bed, a ball with uneven weight distribution, or simply the floor the table stands on being uneven.
Accidentally causing the cue ball or any object ball to leave the table. It is normally a foul.