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

White talcum powder placed on a player's bridge hand to reduce moisture so that a cue's shaft can slide more easily. It is not provided in many establishments as many recreational players will use far more than is necessary and transfer it all over the table's surface. Venues that do provide it usually do so in the form of compress cones about 6-inches tall. Some serious players bring their own, in a bottle or a porous bag that can be patted on the bridge hand. Many players prefer a pool glove. Talc is frequently mistakenly referred to as "hand chalk", despite not being made of chalk.
Also littles, little ones, little balls. In eight-ball, to be shooting the solid suit (group) of balls (1 through 7); "you're little, remember", "you're the little balls" or "I've got the littles". Compare small, solids, reds, low, spots, dots, unders; contrast big.
In snooker, the highest-value colour ball on the table, being worth seven points. In some (especially American) snooker ball sets it is numbered "7" on its surface.
The black ball (usually numbered "8") in the eight-ball variant game blackball (and its variants); also the common British term for the slightly larger but otherwise identical 8 ball in a kelly pool set (a.k.a. American or WPA pool set).
This is how the player is who is does not break before they get a chance to get out of the break. This time period is when the breaking player with a position advantage on the table.
During a set if the opponent does not win a single game, they are said to have been skunked.
A material, usually leather, placed on the end of a cue stick that comes in contact with the cue ball.
A bank shot is when the shooter (player) bounces the cue ball or the object ball (after it is hit by the cue ball) off a rail in an attempt to make the shot. A successful bank shot will result in sinking the object ball or a defense that will make it very difficult for the opponent to attempt their shot.
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 three cushion billiards shot in which the cue ball first strikes two cushions before hitting the first object ball then hits a third cushion before hitting the second object ball. So called because the shot opens up like an umbrella after hitting the third rail. Umbrella shots may be classified as inside or outside depending on which side of the first object ball the cue ball contacts.
Same as angle of reflection.
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.
An imaginary line dividing the table into two equal halves lengthwise. It intersects the head string, center string and foot string at the head spot, center spot and foot spot, respectively.
The material which covers the bed and cushions of a pool table. The cloth used to cover a pool table is very special and can come in a variety of grades. Along with the general quality of the table itself, the cloth play a very important role in how a particular table plays.
An imaginary line running horizontally across a billiards table from the second diamond (from the foot end of the table) on one long rail to the corresponding second diamond on the other long rail. The foot string intersects the long string at the foot spot. It is rarely drawn on the table.
To move a ball (usually deliberately) from a safe position, e.g. close to the middle of a cushion or in a cluster, so that it becomes pottable.
To "give someone weight" is to give them a handicap so the game is more even in skill level. If one player is significantly better than the other in a game, then you can add some weight, more or less balls for someone, to even the difficulty load between each player.
An exhibition shot designed to impress either by a player's skill or knowledge of how to set the balls up and take advantage of the angles of the table; usually a combination of both. A trick shot may involve items otherwise never seen during the course of a game, such as bottles, baskets, etc., and even members of the audience being placed on or around the table.
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.
This shot refers to using heavy follow to push through an object ball on its way to its destination.
Short for top spin, i.e. same as follow.
Chiefly British: The half of the table in which the object balls are racked (in games in which racked balls are used). This usage is conceptually opposite that in North America, where this end of the table is called the foot. In snooker, this is where the reds are racked, nearest the black spot; this is the area in which most of the game is usually played.
Chiefly American: Exactly the opposite of the above - the head end of the table. No longer in common usage.
To play even; without a handicap. Also called heads up.
To sink a ball into a pocket.
This is a bank in which the object ball hit will cross the path of the cue ball on the way to its destination.
When the contact between the cue ball and object ball is dead center.