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

The way in which a player holds the butt end of the cue stick.
The wrap of the cuestick where the hand is placed, also known as the "grip area."
(Chiefly British.) In snooker and blackball/eight-ball pool, an instance where the cue ball has been potted (pocketed) after contacting an object ball. It is a fault (foul) in most games. There is no equivalent (current) American term for this specific means of pocketing the white ball. Compare losing hazard, scratch.
Name for the ball that when pocketed, wins the game, or any ball that when made results in a payday such as a way in the game of Chicago.
This term refers to a foul in snooker golf.
Describing a pot played at such a pace as to just reach the pocket and drop in without hitting the back.
Also semi-massé shot. A moderate curve imparted to the path of the cue ball by an elevated hit with use of english (side); or a shot using this technique. Also known as a curve (US) or swerve (UK) shot. Compare massé.
This is any game of pool played with money on the line. You can "put some action" on the game.
When a player is playing flawlessly, just "cannot miss" and the game seems effortless.
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.
Sometimes called spots and stripes, stripes and solids or, more rarely, bigs and littles or highs and lows.
All fifteen numbered balls are used in a conventional triangle rack.
Each player is assigned either the solid balls (1-7) or the striped balls (9-15). The object is to pocket all of your assigned balls and then pocket the 8-ball.
Modification of the rules and/or scoring of a game to enable players of variable abilities to compete on a more even playing field. Examples of handicapping include spotting balls and giving games on the wire to an opponent. In league play, other forms of handicapping include awarding compensating points to a lesser-skilled team, or using numerical player ranking systems to adjust final scores between opponents of different skill levels.
When a particular ball is given as a handicap in nine-ball, designating that ball in turn means that it must be made in rotation, when it is the lowest numerical ball remaining on the table, and cannot be made to garner a win earlier in the game by way of a combination, carom or any other shot. For example, if a player is spotted the 8 ball, he only wins by making that ball after balls 1 through 7 have been cleared from the table.
Also shot to nothing. A British term for a shot in which a player attempts a difficult pot but with safety in mind, so that in the event of missing the pot it is likely that the opponent will not make a meaningful contribution, and will probably have to reply with a safety. The meaning refers to lack of risk, i.e. at no cost to the player ("for nothing" or coming "to nothing"). Compare two-way shot.
An imaginary line drawn from the desired path an object ball is to be sent (usually the center of a pocket) and the center of the object ball.
A British term (especially in snooker) for the splitting of a group of balls when another ball is sent into them, typically with the intent of deliberately moving them with the cue ball to develop them.
This is to take all the money from a player or to have lost all of your own money.
This is to win a game by pocketing enough balls before you opponent.
In snooker, a pot into any of the corner pockets where the cue ball had started in the opposite lengthwise half of the table. In other words, a pot in which the cue ball or object ball crosses an imaginary line joining the middle pockets.
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.
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This is the playing surface for billiards games. Consisting of 6 pockets, cushions on the side, and a felt layer covering the hard table portion, the length is usually twice as long as it is wide, but varies depending on the game at hand.
Often times a protective finish is applied to a cue stick after construction. A UV polyurethane is common, and this helps to protect the cue from fading and dings.
Also goose neck rest. Same as swan.
Describes a ball rolling along a rail in contact or near contact with it, or which makes multiple successive contacts with the rail.
A rule in blackball whereby after an opponent has faulted and thus yielded two shots, if the incoming shooter pots a ball on the first shot, (s)he is still allowed to miss in a later shot and take a second shot in-hand (from the "D" or from baulk, or if the opponent potted the cue ball, from anywhere)—even on the black, in most variants. Also called the "two visits" rule; i.e., the two penalty shots are considered independent visits to the table, and the limiting variants discussed at two shots below cannot logically apply.