Definition of head rail

Chiefly American: The short rail at the head of the table. Traditionally this is the rail on which the table manufacturer's logo appears. Compare bottom rail, baulk rail; contrast foot rail.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

All-Africa Pool Association. The AAPA is a member of the WPA.
British: Same as cling, and kick.
A cue made specificaly for an individual player. The term may also describe a quality product of a low volume yielding cue maker who puts more time and effort into both the design and structural integrity of the cue stick, as opposed to a cue manufacturer that builds their cues in a more assembly line fashion.
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.
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.
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.
A specific way of holding the shaft in your hand. The closed hand bridge is a hand bridge where the index finger wraps over the cue stick for control.
In eight-ball and related games, describes the situation in which neither player has yet claimed a suit (group) of balls. Often shortened to simply open: "Is it still an open table?" "Yes, it's open."
Same as follow (top spin).
(Computerized Numerical Control) This is a special appliance used by many cue manufacturers to design the inlays on a cue to precision accuracy. Often times it is looked down upon because this technology departs from the previous standard of "handcrafting" inlays, using a pantograph tool. However, the new technology allows for much more precise cuts at a quicker pace. If you are looking to save some money and appreciate the man made designs that are computer inlayed in your cue, then CNC is the technology for you.
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.
In APA, once a player has received at least 10 scores in a format, they will have established their skill level. Their established skill level can go up or down depending on their performance and is calculated by the APA's Equalizer Handicap System.
A highly abrasive tip tool used to shape an unreasonably flat new cue tip, or misshapen old one, into a more usable, consistently curved profile, most commonly the curvature of a nickel or dime (or equivalently sized non-US/Canadian coin) for larger and smaller pool tips, respectively. Similar to a scuffer, but deeper and rougher.
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.
Also yellow(s).
In snooker, the lowest-value colour ball on the table, being worth two points. It is one of the baulk colours.
In blackball, one of two groups of seven object balls that must be potted before the eight ball; compare stripes; contrast red ball.
Name for the ball that when pocketed, wins the game, or any ball that when made results in a payday such as a way in the game of Chicago.
This is the portion of the joint that actually connects the two sides of the cue, often called the pin or male end. This comes in a number of different sizes and shapes which some believe has an influence on the hit of the cue stick.
The person who is a provider of all or part of a player's stake (money) for a gambling session in which one is not a player.
This term refers to a low percentage one pocket shot.
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.
This is a tool that is used to shape a cue stick. It holds the cue in place while rotating it along a cutting edge. This tool can also be used to hold the cue in place while constructing or repairing other parts on the cue.
A well calculated successful slop shot that is usually hit a little harder than it should be and results in a pocketed ball or two without any fouls.
Three Ball is a pocket billiards folk game played with three standard pool object balls and a cue ball. The goal is to pocket the three object balls in as few shots as possible.
A shooter's body position and posture during a shot.