Definition of free ball

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.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Accidentally causing the cue ball or any object ball to leave the table. It is normally a foul.
A short and loose stroke performed in a manner similar to the way one throws a dart; usually employed for a jump shot. See also nip draw.
Used in snooker in reference to the position of the cue ball. It is "below" the object ball if it is off-straight on the top cushion side of the imaginary line for a straight pot (e.g. he will want to finish below the black in order to go into the reds).
The person who is a provider of all or part of a player's stake (money) for a gambling session in which one is not a player.
This is placed on a ball by hitting it slightly below center. This action makes the ball travel in a motion against its originally hit direction.
This is a shot on the cue ball that will push through to a frozen ball on the cue ball. If the contact is made on the object ball while the cue stick is still contacting, essentially pushing the second ball, then it is usually considered a foul.
This is a kind of cue made of four pieces of wood, the butt sleeve, the points, the handle, and the forearm, with each piece pinned, doweled, and glued together.
A form of Carom billiards for the masters of the game. Played the same way with two cue balls and a single object ball. Except, in between hitting the opponent's cue ball and the object ball your cue ball must bounce off of three rails (this game is played with an unpocketed specially sized table).
A material, usually leather, placed on the end of a cue stick that comes in contact with the cue ball.
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).
When the object ball lies behind another ball which makes it impossible to be struck by the cue with a direct hit.
Either of the two shorter rails on a standard pool, billiards or snooker table. Contrast side rail/long rail.
Random method for pairing of opponents when setting up a bracket system for a tournament.
Extreme application of draw. This when the draw back of the cue ball is your first priority, and you apply extra draw to the hit of the cue ball.
In certain carom billiards games, any shot in which the cue ball is sucessfully caromed off an object ball to strike another object ball (with or without contacting cushions in the interim) is a considered a billiards shot.
Alternate name for the cue ball.
In carom billiards games, a term for the opponent's cue ball, which for the shooting player is another object ball along with the red.
Chiefly American: Also known as side spin, english (which is usually not capitalized) is spin placed on the cue ball when hit with the cue tip to the left or right of the ball's center. English has a marked effect on cue ball rebound angle off cushions (though not off object balls), and is thus crucial for gaining shape; and can be used to "throw" an object ball slightly off its otherwise expected trajectory, to cheat the pocket, and for other effects. "English" is sometimes used more inclusively, to colloquially also refer to follow and draw. In combination one could say bottom-right english, or like the face of a clock (4 o'clock english). The British and Irish do not use this term, instead preferring "side".
This is to take all the money from a player or to have lost all of your own money.
An imaginary line running horizontally across a billiards table from the second diamond (from the foot end of the table) on one long rail to the corresponding second diamond on the other long rail. The foot string intersects the long string at the foot spot. It is rarely drawn on the table.
An organization that promotes competitive, usually team, amateur cue sports, most commonly pool, especially eight-ball and nine-ball, although there are also well-established snooker leagues. Some leagues, many of which are decades old, are entirely local and either informal or incorporated, and may use their own local rules or may have adopted more widely published rulesets, such as those of the WPA. Other leagues are organized on a multi-regional or even international level, and may be non-profit or for-profit enterprises, usually with their own fine-tuned rule books. Despite differences, the largest leagues are increasingly converging toward the WPA rules, with the exception of the APA/CPA, which retains rules much closer to US-style bar pool. At least four major pool leagues hold international championships in Las Vegas, Nevada annually (APA/CPA, BCAPL, VNEA and ACS/CCS). Some leagues also offer one-on-one tournaments, scotch doubles events, artistic pool competition, and other non-team activities.
Local Bylaws are additional rules, policies, and procedures unique to an area in addition (or subtraction) to established Pool/Billiards/Snooker league rules. They are designed to cover local situations.
The situation arising in many pool games where a ball is spotted to the table's foot spot or some other specific location and the cue ball must be shot from the kitchen or the "D". There are diamond system aiming techniques for pocketing such shots without scratching the cue ball into a pocket.
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.
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.