Definition of hug the rail

Describes a ball rolling along a rail in contact or near contact with it, or which makes multiple successive contacts with the rail.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

To bungle a shot in a manner that leaves the table in a fortuitous position for the opponent. Contrast sell the farm.
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.
This is the portion of the butt of your cue just below the handle or wrap. This portion of the cue is made separately and often times cored out to ensure the proper weight balance within the full length of the cue. This portion of the cue is usually made with exotic wood that matches the wood in the forearm or in the points on the forearm. This section is used to highlight the design of the forearm, sometimes a re-creation, a reverse, or a rendition of the same pattern on a smaller scale.
Any game which uses a rack composed of less than 15 balls.
This is to win a game by pocketing enough balls before you opponent.
This is what is brought to the table if you are playing at your best potential.
A short and loose stroke performed in a manner similar to the way one throws a dart; usually employed for a jump shot. See also nip draw.
Any shot in which the cue ball or an object ball has to squeeze by (just miss with almost no margin for error) another ball or balls in order to reach its intended target.
Used when describing perfect play. "as if the balls had strings on them"
Sometimes called spots and stripes, stripes and solids or, more rarely, bigs and littles or highs and lows.
All fifteen numbered balls are used in a conventional triangle rack.
Each player is assigned either the solid balls (1-7) or the striped balls (9-15). The object is to pocket all of your assigned balls and then pocket the 8-ball.
A predetermined number of games, usually played for a specified sum of money. Contrast race (a predetermined number of wins). Informally, sets may refer to gambling more generally, as in "I've been playing sets all day", even when the format is actually races or single games.
Technique using different wood inlays to create picture designs on the butt of the cue.
In a tournament, to place high enough to receive a payout. E.g., in a tournament that pays from 1st down to 5th places, to be at least 5th place is to be in the money.
Used by itself often with "low" and "high": "that's a low-percentage shot for me", "I should really take the high-percentage one".
A shot played with stun, but not quite enough to completely stop the cue ball, allowing for a little follow. It is played so that a follow shot can be controlled more reliably, with a firmer strike than for a slow roll. It is widely considered as one of the most difficult shots in the game to master, but an excellent weapon in a player's armory once it has been.
This describes balls that are not able to be made in a pocket, either because they are high up on the table, in a different pocket, or in a cluster that makes the shot difficult. This condition of being out of play obviously exists on different difficulty levels.
The three-foul rule describes a situation in which a player is assessed a defined penalty after committing a third successive foul. The exact penalty, its prerequisites and whether it is in place at all, vary depending on the games. In nine-ball and straight pool, a player must be the told he is on two fouls in order to transgress the rule, and if violated, results in a loss of game for the former and a special point penalty of a loss of fifteen points (plus one for the foul itself) in the latter together with the ability to require the violator to rerack and rebreak. In Irish standard pool and English billiards, it is a loss of game if a player commits a third foul while shooting at the black. In snooker, three successive fouls from an unsnookered position result in forfeiting the frame. Repeat fouls from a snookered position are quite common - Dave Harold holds the record in a competitive match, missing the same shot 14 successive times.
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).
A term applied especially in snooker for a type of double off three cushions, e.g. around the baulk colours and into a centre pocket. Such a shot is very difficult to make and would not normally be played as anything more than a shot for nothing.
A shot where the shooter was trying to make the shot but misses. However, the result of the missed shot ends up being a very good defensive play.
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 English that turns into running action after contact with the object ball. This will open up the angle on a bank.
A point bead on a scoring string.
To play a shot using a more difficult application of stroke and speed to achieve a certain desired position for the next shot, even at the expense of or sharply increasing the likelihood of a miss.