Definition of handicapping

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.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Same as triple.
To elevate the back of the cue on a shot.
Used in snooker in reference to the position of the cue ball. It is above the object ball if it is off-straight on the baulk cushion side of the imaginary line for a straight pot (e.g. "he'll want to finish above the blue in order to go into the pink and reds"). It is also common to use the term high instead.
In snooker, the cushion opposite the top cushion and bounded by the yellow and green pockets (i.e. same as bottom cushion).
To play for money and lull a victim into thinking they can win, prompting them to accept higher and higher stakes, until beating them and walking off with more money than they would have been willing to bet had they been beaten soundly in the beginning. The terms hustler, for one who hustles, and hustling, describing the act, are just as common if not more so than this verb form.
A predetermined number of games, usually played for a specified sum of money. Contrast race (a predetermined number of wins). Informally, sets may refer to gambling more generally, as in "I've been playing sets all day", even when the format is actually races or single games.
Ten Ball is a rotation is a rotation game very similar to nine-ball, using ten balls instead of nine, and with the 10 ball instead of the 9 as the "money ball".
The object of the game is pocket the 10-ball on any legal shot.
A shot in which the cue ball is driven to one or more rails (cushions in British English) before reaching its intended target-usually an object ball. Sometimes also known as "Kick Out" or "Skid" (British)
To shoot without taking enough warm-up strokes to properly aim and feel out the stroke and speed to be applied. One-stroking is a common symptom of nervousness and a source of missed shots and failed position.
As a result of the opening break shot (the "snap"), usually said of winning by pocketing the money ball ("won on the snap", "got it on the snap", etc.) Employed most commonly in the game of nine-ball where pocketing the 9 ball at any time in the game on a legal stroke, including the break shot, garners a win.
A slang term for a cue, usually used with "piece", as in "that's a nice piece of wood".
To intentionally lose a game, e.g. to disguise one's actual playing ability. An extreme form of sandbagging. See also hustle. See also Match fixing for the synonym "tank", used in sports more generally.
Sandbagging, in any handicapped sport, is the unethical practice of deliberately playing below your ability in order to alter your handicap so it does not reflect your true ability.
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".
A players skill level, ball advantage or match advantage when using a handicapping system.
Also tiptool, tip-tool. Any of a class of maintenance tools for cue tips, including shapers, scuffers, mushroom trimmers, tappers, burnishers and tip clamps. Road, league and tournament players often carry an array of tip tools in their cases. The term is generally not applied to cue chalk.
Also sidespin, side-spin, side. spin placed on the cue ball when hit with the cue tip to the left or right of the ball's center; usually called english in American usage. See english, in its narrower definition, for details on the effects of side spin.
In the UK, one of the two pockets one either side of a pool, snooker or English billiards table halfway up the long rails.
The ornamentation on a cue, between the wrap and the joint, is often made by inlaying exotic materials into the wood so the inlays form points. The value of a cue is often based on the number points.
This is a carom shot that utilizes english and only two rails to achieve three cushion contacts.
Used by itself often with "low" and "high": "that's a low-percentage shot for me", "I should really take the high-percentage one".
Describes a cue ball sliding on the cloth without any top spin or back spin on it.
This refers to the cluster of balls remaining in a similar position to where they were within the break
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.).