Definition of head cushion

Chiefly American: The cushion on the head rail. Compare bottom cushion; contrast foot cushion.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

A form of Carom billiards for the masters of the game. Played the same way with two cue balls and a single object ball. Except, in between hitting the opponent's cue ball and the object ball your cue ball must bounce off of three rails (this game is played with an unpocketed specially sized table).
Also known as a Dead cushion. A cushion that has either lost a degree of elastic resiliency or is not firmly bolted to the frame, in both cases causing balls to rebound with less energy than is normal.
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.
The forward rotation of the cue ball that results from a follow shot. Also known as top spin or top, follow is applied to the cue ball by hitting it above its equator, causing it to spin more rapidly in the direction of travel than it would simply by rolling on the cloth from a center-ball hit. Follow speeds the cue ball up, and widens both the carom angle after contact with an object ball, and angle of reflection off a cushion.
The number of balls pocketed in an inning in pool (e.g., a run of five balls), or points scored in a row in carom billiards (e.g., a run of five points). Compare British break (sense 2), which is applied to pool as well as snooker in British English.
Also pro side of the pocket and missing on the professional (or pro) side of the pocket. Sometimes "of the pocket" is left off the phrase. To err on the side of overcutting a difficult corner pocket cut shot rather than undercutting in nine ball; "missing on the professional side of the pocket." So called because experienced players understand that on a thin cut, overcutting the object ball to a corner pocket will far more often leave the object ball in an unfavorable position for the incoming opponent than will an undercut, which often leaves the object ball sitting in front of or nearby the pocket it had been intended for on a miss. By contrast, in eight-ball, except when both players are shooting at the 8 ball, the incoming player after a miss is shooting for different object balls, so this maxim does not apply, and the opposite may be good strategy as, if the object ball stays near the pocket through an undercut, it is advantageously positioned for a subsequent turn and may block the opponent's use of the pocket.
To determine the order of play, players (representing only themselves, or teams) each simultaneously shoot a ball from the kitchen (or in British games, from the baulk line) to the end rail and back toward the bottom rail. Whichever shooter's ball comes to rest closest to the bottom rail gets to choose who breaks the rack. It is permissible but not required for the lagged ball to touch or rebound from the bottom rail, but not to touch the side rails. Lagging is usually a two-party activity, though there are games such as cutthroat in which three players might lag. In the case of a tie, the tying shooters re-lag. The lag is most often used in tournament play or other competitions. In hard-break games like nine-ball and eight-ball the winner of the lag would normally take the break, while in soft-break games like straight pool would likely require the loser of the lag to break, since breaking would be a disadvantage.
This is what is brought to the table if you are playing at your best potential.
Also pills, tally balls and shake balls. Small, round markers typically numbered 1 through 15 or 16, which are placed in a bottle for various random assignment purposes, such as in a tournament roster, to assign order of play in a multiplayer game, or to assign particular balls to players in games such as kelly pool.
A ball hanging over the edge of a pocket.
This is what happens when a player sends the cue ball into a cluster of balls that will in turn spread out in an unpredictable fashion.
Toward the head of the table. This is the playing area on the table above the middle pockets. The idea in an up table game is that shots are more difficult and further from the pockets in one pocket pool.
One of two sharp, jutting curves of the cushions either side of a pocket at the points where cushion and pocket meet, forming the jaws of the pockets. Also known as a point, a tittie or a horn.
Cut Throat is a game of pocket billiards created to support three or five players. Balls are assigned to each player, and the purpose is to sink all the opponent's balls first to eliminate the other players.
This when you receive the first legitimate shot on the next "ball on" after there had been a series of safeties to try and hurt the other players chances. This term is often used in one pocket pool.
Principally US: One or more sets, usually in the context of gambling. See also ahead race (a.k.a. ahead session) for a more specialized usage.
Principally British: Any of a group of pre-determined frames played in a match too long to be completed within a single day's play. A best of 19 frame match, for example, is generally played with two "sessions", the first composed of nine frames, the second of ten. This term is generally used only in the context of professional snooker, as matches at the amateur level are rarely played over more than nine frames. Longer matches can be split into three or four sessions.
In the APA League, session refers to the season in which League play took place. There are three sessions in each League Year-Summer Session, Fall Session and Spring Session.
A requirement under some pocket billiards rulesets that either an object ball be pocketed, or at least four object balls be driven to contact the cushions, on the opening break shot.

An attempt of a legal clean shot (not a slop shot) that goes badly wrong due to improper stroke, stance, table position or table conditions in which the result of the shot is completely unexpected and not what was predicted at all.

Side spin on the cue ball that causes it to roll off a cushion (contacted at an angle) with rather than against the ball's natural momentum and direction of travel. If angling into a rail that is on the right, then running english would be left english, and vice versa. The angle of deflection will be wider than if no english were applied to the cue ball. But more importantly, because the ball is rolling instead of sliding against the rail, the angle will be more consistent. For this reason, running English is routinely used. Also called running side in British terminology. Contrast reverse english.
A 7 inch (17.8 cm) square box drawn on a balkline table from the termination of a balkline with the rail, thus defining a restricted space in which only 3 points may be scored before one ball must be driven from the area. It developed to curtail the effectiveness of the chuck nurse, which in turn had been invented to thwart the effectiveness of the Parker's box in stopping long, repetitive runs using the anchor nurse.
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.
An agreement between two players in a tournament, one of whom will advance to a guaranteed money prize if the match is won, to give a certain percentage of that money to the loser of the match. Also known as a saver.
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.
American Poolplayers Association. This is the largest association of pool players in the world, and includes The Canadian Poolplayers Association. With numerous tournaments, including the U.S. Amateur championship, they are a force on the competition scene.
The APA has established the use of the "Equalizer" which offers handicaps to players and equalizes the playing field like in golf.