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

To play even; without a handicap. Also called heads up.
Either of the balls on the lateral extremities of a racked set of balls in position for a break shot; the two balls at the outside of a 15-ball rack in the back row, or the balls to the left and right of the 9 ball in nine-ball's diamond rack-shaped opening set up position. In nine-ball It is seen as a reliable sign of a good break (which is normally taken from close to either cushion in the kitchen) if the opposite wing ball is pocketed.
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.
Also split shot. In pool, a type of shot in which two object balls are initially contacted by the cue ball simultaneously or so close to simultaneously as for the difference to be indistinguishable to the eye. In most sets of rules it is a foul if the split is one in which one of the object balls is a (or the only) legal target (ball-on) and the other is not; however, such a split is commonly considered a legal shot in informal bar pool in many areas if it is called as a split and does appear to strike the balls simultaneously).
An imaginary line dividing the table into two equal halves lengthwise. It intersects the head string, center string and foot string at the head spot, center spot and foot spot, respectively.
This is a unique game played on a table with smaller pockets. The balls are racked in a typical pyramid, but after the break any ball can be the cue ball, and you can score by hitting a ball in or by putting the ball in after bouncing it from another object ball.
(Jack and Jill) Mixed doubles match (each team has one male and one female).
In snooker, the abandonment of a frame upon agreement between the players, so that the balls can be set up again and the frame restarted with no change to the score since the last completed frame. This is the result of situations, such as trading of containing safeties, where there is no foreseeable change to the pattern of shots being played, so the frame could go on indefinitely.
In pool, placing of the object balls back in the rack, after a foul break.
Describes tightly woven and well-used (but clean) billiard table cloth (baize), upon which the balls move quickly and roll farther, as they experience less friction than with fuzzy or dirty cloth. May be used more extendedly, as in "this is a really fast table". Fast cloth makes draw (screw) shots somewhat less effective, as there is less purchase for the cue ball's back spin. By the same token, slide and stop shots are easier on fast cloth because it is so comparatively smooth.
Also in the zone. Describes an extended period of functioning in dead stroke ("She's in the zone").
This term is used to refer to a player missing a shot.
A widespread term in US parlance describing missing a relatively easy shot—often in the face of pressure. Can be used in many forms: "I dogged the shot"; "I hope he dogs it"; "I'm such a dog."
Describing a pot played at such a pace as to just reach the pocket and drop in without hitting the back.
This is the act of keeping your ball location advantages the way they are, and not allowing your opponent to even things out in the game of one pocket.
In the UK, a long-distance shot played to pot a ball close to a pocket with heavy top spin, so that when the cue ball hits the cushion it bounces off but then stops due to the counteraction of the spin. It is not common in competitive play, being more of an exhibition shot.
The act of setting up the balls for a break shot. In tournament play this will be done by the referee, but in lower-level play, players either rack for themselves or for each other depending on convention.
A rack in the form of an equilateral triangle. There are different sizes of triangles for racking different games (which use different ball sizes and numbers of balls), including the fifteen ball racks for snooker and various pool games such as eight-ball and blackball. A larger triangle is used for the twenty-one ball rack for baseball pocket billiards). The smallest triangle rack is employed in three-ball (see illustration at that article) but is not strictly necessary, as the front of a larger rack can be used, or the balls can be arranged by hand.
The object balls in triangular formation, before the break shot, after being racked. See also pyramid.
Any one of numerous acts which unethical players employ to rattle or upset their opponent. Taking, making noise, and chalking your cue while your opponent is shooting are all considered sharking tactics.
This is to use running english or soft speed in order to open up the angle on a particular bank shot.
A unit of scoring, in games such as snooker and straight pool with numerical scoring.
A unit of scoring, in team matches in leagues that use numerical scoring instead of simple game/frame win vs. loss ratios.
Another term for knuckle / tittie.
Short for top spin, i.e. same as follow.
Chiefly British: The half of the table in which the object balls are racked (in games in which racked balls are used). This usage is conceptually opposite that in North America, where this end of the table is called the foot. In snooker, this is where the reds are racked, nearest the black spot; this is the area in which most of the game is usually played.
Chiefly American: Exactly the opposite of the above - the head end of the table. No longer in common usage.
This is to direct the cue ball by barely contacting an object ball.
Chiefly American: The cushion on the foot rail. Compare top cushion; contrast head cushion.
A style of game play in which as many players are allowed to join as the participants choose, and anyone can quit at any time. The term, most often used in the context of gambling, is borrowed from poker. The folk games three-ball and killer are usually played as open ring games, as is Kelly pool.
By extension, a multi-player game that anyone may initially join, but which has a fixed roster of competitors once it begins, is sometimes also called a ring game. Cutthroat is, by its nature, such a game. A famous regular ring game event of this sort is the Grady Mathews-hosted six-player, $3000-buy-in ring ten-ball competition at the annual Derby City Classic.
A nine-ball ring game is played by more than two players. Safeties are not allowed.
Usually a one-piece cue freely available for use by patrons in bars and pool halls.