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

A player who during the course of a tournament does not lose focus. Typically said of those players that regularly make it to the finals of a tournament.
This term is much like rain table and refers to a table is playing soggy due to humid conditions.
This refers to the cluster of balls remaining in a similar position to where they were within the break.
The precise center of the pool table.
The 5 out (meaning the player getting the handicap can win by making the 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 balls).
This is a play where the shot of the cue ball is meant to end up in a certain place to loose your turn, but makes the next attempt difficult for your opponent. The shot is turned over, but will often times lead to a foul, giving you the ball back with a different view or ball in hand. This "safety" play is important if your shot isn't ideal, and you are likely to turn the ball over anyway.
In three cushion billiards, the most standard shot where the third ball is advantageously placed in a corner.
Also simply maximum. In snooker, the highest break attainable with the balls that are racked; usually 147 points starting by potting fifteen reds, in combination with blacks, and clearing the colours. Also called a 147 (one-four-seven). In six-red snooker, the maximum break is only 75 points, due to fewer red balls and thus fewer black-scoring opportunities.
A Baulk line is line drawn across the table 29 inches from the bottom cushion and parallel to that cushion.
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.
When the cue ball is tucked behind the corner of a pocket, therefore not allowing a direct shot at the object ball without it bouncing of the corner of the rail.
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.
A shot in which the cue ball is driven first to one or more rails, then hits an object ball and kisses back to the last rail contacted. It is a common shot in carom games, but can be applied to such an instance in any relevant cue sport.
One-pocket (often spelled one pocket) is a two-player (or -team) pocket billiards (pool) game. The object of the game is to score points by pocketing (potting) pool balls into specific pockets. A point is made when a player makes any object ball into that player's designated pocket. The winner is the first to score an agreed-upon number of points (most commonly 8). The player making the break shot (typically after winning the lag) chooses a foot corner pocket for the rest of the game; all of that shooter's balls must be shot into that pocket. All of the opponent's balls must be made in the other foot corner pocket.
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.
Describes a player who needs only one more game win to be victorious in the match.
The tip of your cue is the smallest but most important piece on all of the stick. Ranging between 12 mm and 14 mm depending on the taper of you shaft, the average and most common tip size is 13 mm. The tip is usually made from treated and compressed leather and is attached at the top of your cue by screw or glue to the ferrule. There are variances in cue tip resistance from soft to hard. The softer offering more chalk retention, and the harder offering more longevity and power transferred through your shot (the hardest, phenolic tips are often used on the break). Because the surface of the tip is beveled it offers you control on the spin and direction of the cue ball in your shot. To keep this control, it is important to scuff up the surface of your cue a little so as to enhance the chalk retention potential. In addition to keeping you tip chalked, you want avoid it mushrooming over the ends of the ferrule after too many impacts without refinement. To much use, and not enough care with proper tools can hinder your ability to master the control from your cue tip to your shot.
Australian: Defeated with all seven of one's object balls (in blackball or eight-ball) remaining on the table.
Certain rules say you must designate your shot before taking it. Generally this is just calling the ball to be sunk in which pocket, and is not dependent on touching rails or other balls, but very well can be.
A combination shot, where hitting the first ball rubs it against the center connecting line of two frozen object balls throwing the second out.
The game of snooker. This is a very demanding game that isn't played as often in the U.S. as it is in other countries. The table needed is slightly larger, and there are 15 red object balls needed in addition to six color balls. After the balls are set up according to the rules, play resumes in turns with points scored as one on each red ball, and as is denoted with each other colored ball sunk. This is a challenging game that demands skill and excellent execution.
To leave the opponent (accidentally or by means of a safety) so that a certain shot on a preferred object ball cannot be played directly in a straight line by normal cueing. It most commonly means that the object ball cannot be hit, because it is hidden by another ball or, more rarely, the knuckle of a pocket (see corner-hooked). It can also refer to the potting angle or another significant point of contact on the object ball, blocking an otherwise more straightforward shot, even if an edge can be seen. A common related adjective describing a player in this situation is snookered. Also known as "to hook", for which the corresponding adjective "hooked" is also common. See also free ball.
An instance of this situation (e.g. "she's put him in a difficult snooker"). A player can choose a range of shots to get out of a snooker; usually a kick shot will be implemented but semi-massés are often preferred, and in games where it is not a foul, jump shots may be employed that often yield good results for skilled players. "Snooker" is used loosely (when used at all; "hook" is favored) in the US, but has very specific definitions and subtypes (such as the total snooker) in blackball.
American CueSports Alliance. Their mission statement is "To heighten the interest and awareness of cue sports through the support and sanctioning of organized competition throughout the United States and North America."
Chiefly British: The rail at the Top of the table. Compare foot rail; contrast Bottom rail.
Describing a ball that is safe because it is in close proximity to one or more other balls, and would need to be developed before it becomes pottable.