Definition of handicap

A players skill level, ball advantage or match advantage when using a handicapping system.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

A shot where the cue ball has no top spin or back spin on it when it impacts an object ball, and "stuns" out along the tangent line. Commonly shortened to just "stun."
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.
This is when a player has scratched and the foul in one pocket calls for them to spot a ball, but not able to be spotted at the time. In this case a coin is usually placed on the side of the table to keep tabs.
0-2 Barbecue is a slang billiard term that refers to a single player loosing the first 2 matches in a double elimination tournament. This double loss results in that player being knocked out of the tournament without winning even one game.
A small clamping tip tool used to firmly hold and apply pressure to a replacement cue tip until the glue holding the tip to the ferrule has fully dried.
When you have completed a shot by pocketing a ball into a pocket.
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.
Using knowledge of the game and one's own abilities and limitations to choose the manner of shooting and the particular shot from an array presented, that has a degree of likelihood of success. This often requires a player to forego a shot that if made would be very advantageous but does not have a high likelihood of success, in favor of a safety or less advantageous shot that is more realistically achievable.
Common slang in the US for a cheap, poorly made cue. Compare wood.
A stroke in which the cue's tip glances or slips off the cue ball not effectively transferring the intended force. Usually the result is a bungled shot. Common causes include a lack of chalk on the cue tip, a poorly groomed cue tip and not stroking straight through the cue ball, e.g. because of steering.
The ease with which a player is generating cue power, due to well-timed acceleration of the cue at the appropriate point in a shot.
This is a timing device for monitoring and restricting shot times for a player.
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.
This is a slang term created by Freddy Bentivegna to refer to a cluster of balls on your side of the table that do not lend to easy pocketing in a game of one pocket.
When the cue ball is tucked behind the corner of a pocket or behind other object balls against a rail, therefore not allowing a direct shot at the object ball without the cue bouncing off the corner of the rail.
A term also used to mean when the object ball you must hit next is hidden behind other balls against a rail and you are not able to get a clean hit (without hitting other object balls first) on it. e.g. "You hooked me".
In snooker, to leave the cue ball ball on the spot of a colour ball after potting it. This is usually performed where re-spotting of the colour ball would cause positional problems for the player, such as blocking available pots on one or more red balls.
As in many other sports, "legal" means not causing or likely to cause a foul (the opposite being illegal). A legal hit is one in which the requirements for a non-foul hit are met (e.g., in nine-ball, the lowest-numbered ball on the table was hit by the cue ball first, and at least one object ball was pocketed, or any ball reached a cushion, after the hit on the first object ball.). A legal shot is one in which no foul of any kind was involved (e.g. there was not a double hit by the cue, the player's bridge hand did not move a ball, etc.). A legal stroke is one in which the cue stroke obeyed the rules (e.g. the shooter did not perform an illegal jump shot by scooping under the cue ball with the cue tip). A legal ball is a ball-on, an object ball at which it is permissible for the player to shoot. And so on. The term can be used in many ways consistent with these examples ("legal pocket" in one-pocket, "legal equipment" under tournament specifications, etc.).
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.
The imaginary line drawn perpendicular to the impact line between the cue ball and an object ball. The cue ball will travel along this line after impact with an object ball if it has no vertical spin on it (is sliding) at the moment of impact on a non-center-to-center collision. See also stun shot.
Billiard Congress of America. The official governing body for pocket billiards in the United States.
Side spin on a cue ball on the opposite side of the direction of the cut angle to be played (right-hand english when cutting an object ball to the left, and vice versa). In addition to affecting cue ball position, outside english can be used to decrease throw.
In pool, the degree to which racked balls move apart upon impact by the cue ball as a result of a break shot.
In snooker, a shot sending the cue ball into the pack of red balls and separating them (after potting the ball-on). At least one split is usually necessary in each frame, since the original triangle of reds does not allow any balls to be potted reliably.
British: Same as cling, and kick.
This refers to the cluster of balls remaining in a similar position to where they were within the break.