Definition of hazard

Literally, a pocket, but generally used in the phrases losing hazard - potting (pocketing the cue ball off another ball - and winning hazard - using the cue ball to pot another ball - the two types of legal shots that pocket balls in games in which the term is used at all, which is very few today. The term principally survives in English billiards, in which both types of shots are point-scoring. Formerly, a large number of different games made use of the two types of hazards as point scorers or losers in various different ways (thus their suggestive names). The term ultimately derives from holes or pockets in the table to be avoided, in very early forms of billiards. While the terms are disused in pocket billiards today, their lingering effect is obvious, as the vast bulk of such games focus on making winning hazards and avoiding losing hazards (a notable exception being Russian pyramid in which both are legal shots).
In golf billiards, an area of the table (sometimes marked) that a player will be penalized for entering if their ball does not leave. Derives from the use of the term in the outdoor game of golf.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

To fail to make a legal shot.
A fast paced offensive game similar to 9-ball but only using balls numbered 1 through 7.
Pocketing the 7-ball wins the game. Under the current pro rules of 7-ball, any missed shot gives your opponent ball-in-hand.
This is a term used more in snooker to refer to a follow shot, when the cue ball is hit above center to allow it to follow the object ball after impact.
Also Gentleman's call. An informal approach to the "call-everything" variation of call-shot, common in bar pool. Obvious shots, such as a straight-on or near-straight shot for which the shooter is clearly aiming and which could not be mistaken for another shot, need not be called. Bank shots, kicks, caroms and combinations are usually less obvious and generally must be called, though this may depend upon the mutual skill level and shot selection perception of the players. An opponent has the right to ask what the shooter's intention is, if this is unclear.
This is to direct the cue ball by barely contacting an object ball.
In snooker, any of the three colour balls that get spotted on the baulk line: the yellow, green or brown ball.
This describes a shot in snooker where the cue contacts more than one object ball.
Netted or cupped pockets that do not return the balls to the foot end of the table by means of a gutter system or sloped surface beneath (they must instead be retrieved manually).
Also spider rest. A type of rest, similar to a common American-style rake bridge but with longer legs supporting the head so that the cue is higher and can reach over and around an obstructing ball to reach the cue ball. See also swan.
The full fifteen ball set of pool or snooker object balls after being racked, before the break shot (i.e., same as rack, definition 2, and triangle, defn. 2). Chiefly British today, but also an American usage ca. World War I.
A bank shot is when the shooter (player) bounces the cue ball or the object ball (after it is hit by the cue ball) off a rail in an attempt to make the shot. A successful bank shot will result in sinking the object ball or a defense that will make it very difficult for the opponent to attempt their shot.
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.
One of the two pockets one either side of a pool table halfway up the long rails. They are cut shallower than corner pockets because they have a 180 degree aperture, instead of 90 degrees. In the UK the term centre pocket or middle pocket are preferred.
In snooker and British pool, the successful potting of all object balls-on in a single frame.
Any standard pool cue used to shoot the majority of shots in a match.
The desired angle that must be created between the path of the cue ball and the path of the object ball upon contact to pot the object ball. It is usually measured to the center of the pocket. See also aiming line.
To sink a ball into a pocket.
Same as solids, in New Zealand. Compare little, small, reds, low, spots, dots; contrast overs.
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.
These are fouls made in one turn and then on the next by the same player each time. Some games have a rule that a player will lose the rack or match with three succesive fouls.
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.
This is a shot where the cue ball caroms off a number of balls in a pin ball, back and forth, fashion to achieve a shot.
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.
The International Pool Tour is a professional sports tour created in 2005 by Kevin Trudeau and hosted by Rebecca Grant. It aims to elevate pool (pocket billiards) to the level of other modern sports.