Definition of head string

A line, sometimes imaginary (especially in American pool), sometimes drawn on the cloth, that runs horizontally across the table from the second diamond (from the head rail) on one long rail to the corresponding second diamond on the other long rail. In most pool games, the opening break shot must be performed with the center (base) of the cue ball behind the head string (i.e. between the head string and head rail). The head string intersects the long string at the head spot, and delimits the kitchen (and, in European nine-ball, the outer boundary of the break box). The head string's position is always determined by the diamonds, in contrast to the similar but different baulk line, the position of which is determined by measurement from the bottom cushion (head cushion).

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

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.
This is when a ball is spotted because of a foul or a handicap.
Chiefly American: Also known as side spin, english (which is usually not capitalized) is spin placed on the cue ball when hit with the cue tip to the left or right of the ball's center. English has a marked effect on cue ball rebound angle off cushions (though not off object balls), and is thus crucial for gaining shape; and can be used to "throw" an object ball slightly off its otherwise expected trajectory, to cheat the pocket, and for other effects. "English" is sometimes used more inclusively, to colloquially also refer to follow and draw. In combination one could say bottom-right english, or like the face of a clock (4 o'clock english). The British and Irish do not use this term, instead preferring "side".
A barrel is how much money per game a player is betting. As in, "I have ten barrels at $20 a game".
To give a handicap to an opponent where they have to win a specified number less games than the other player in order to triumph in the match. The name refers to posting games on the scorekeeping mechanism known as a wire, though it is employed when no actual use of the particular device is available or intended.
A shot in which if the target is missed, the opponent is safe or will not have a desirable shot;
A shot in which there are two ways to score;
A shot in which a second ball is targeted to be pocketed, broken out of a cluster, repositioned or some other secondary goal is also intended.
In blackball, a situation where the player cannot see any of the balls she/he wants to hit due to obstruction by other balls or the knuckle of a pocket. The player must call "total snooker" to the referee, which allows a dispensation to the player from having to hit a cushion after contacting the object ball, which is otherwise a foul.
Also bar box, pub table, tavern table. Distinctive pool tables found in bars/pubs/taverns, and often in various other venues such as family entertainment centers and arcade rooms at bowling alleys. They are almost always coin-operated and smaller than tables found in pool halls. Typical bar boxes are 3.5 ft (1.1 m) × 7 ft (2.1 m).
This is placed on a ball by hitting it slightly below center. This action makes the ball travel in a motion against its originally hit direction.
The ornamentation on a cue is often made by inlaying exotic materials into the wood of the butt portion of the cue. Inlays of ebony and ivory are quite common. The value of a cue is often based on the number inlays.
Chiefly American: The cushion on the head rail. Compare bottom cushion; contrast foot cushion.
Actual wire or string with multiple beads strung (like an abacus) used for keeping score. Points "on the wire" are a type of handicap used, where a weaker player will be given a certain number of points before the start of the game.
Technique using different wood inlays to create picture designs on the butt of the cue.
Nine Ball is a rotation game so a player must hit the lowest numbered ball first.
The object of the game is pocket the 9-ball on any legal shot.
This a shot that hits the object ball at the nine ball to see if you can get lucky by sinking the nine ball in any pocket. (also see Cheese the Nine and Rolling the Cheese).
Same as foul
A pool table spread in which the balls are extremely easily positioned for a run out, and where little movement of the cue ball on each shot is necessary to obtain position on the next.
Also known as a "power draw", means applying very powerful draw on the cue ball thereby causing the maximum amount of draw.
This is the portion of your cue below joint, and includes the forearm, handle, sleeve, and the cap. Usually made with exotic wood and creatively designed to be pleasing to the eye, and often times wrapped at the handle, this is the attractive portion of the cue stick. (Sometimes this word is used alone to refer to the butt sleeve portion of the cue stick).
To allow an opponent to stop playing a set for money in exchange for something. If a player is winning a set by a wide margin, with $100 on the line, the player could say, "I'll let you out now for $75." This is usually meant to save pride.
The profile of the shaft of the cue as it as it increases in diameter from the tip to the joint. A "fast" or "slow" taper refers to how quickly the diameter increases. A "pro" taper describes a shaft that tapers rapidly from the joint size to the tip size so as to provide a long, untapered stroking area.
This is the highest number of consecutive points scored during an inning of continuous pool play.
The deciding match between two tied opponents. Compare hill, hill.
Chiefly British: Same as duck, and stemming from the same obvious etymology.