Definition of insurance ball

A ball that is easily made from many positions on the table but which is left untouched while the rack is played, so that in the event the player gets out of position, the shooter has an insurance shot. Typically an insurance ball will be in or near the jaws of a pocket.
This is a ball that is left in a position that allows an easy shot, while time is spent working with other balls to better your position in the game.

23 Random Essential Billiards Terms

This is the act of looking over the stack, pile of balls in the middle of the table, to see if there are any opportunities in the game of one pocket.
A two-piece cue constructed to resemble a house cue, with a near-invisible wood-to-wood joint. The subterfuge often enables a hustler to temporarily fool unsuspecting fish into thinking that he or she is an unskilled banger with no regard for finesse or equipment quality. Many league players also use cheap but solid sneaky petes as their break cues.
In snooker, the pocket nearest the yellow spot.
Chiefly British: Same as duck, and stemming from the same obvious etymology.
A shot in which the cue ball is driven to one or more rails (cushions in British English) before reaching its intended target-usually an object ball. Sometimes also known as "Kick Out" or "Skid" (British)
This is a shot in one pocket pool where you simple aim at a cluster of balls near your opponents pocket to attempt to make something good happen out of desperation because other shots are not feasible.
Also shot to nothing. A British term for a shot in which a player attempts a difficult pot but with safety in mind, so that in the event of missing the pot it is likely that the opponent will not make a meaningful contribution, and will probably have to reply with a safety. The meaning refers to lack of risk, i.e. at no cost to the player ("for nothing" or coming "to nothing"). Compare two-way shot.
To enter the loser bracket in a double elimination tournament, or otherwise slip in standing in other tournament formats (i.e., to lose a game/frame/round/match, but still remain in the competition).
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.
In the UK, a long-distance shot played to pot a ball close to a pocket with heavy top spin, so that when the cue ball hits the cushion it bounces off but then stops due to the counteraction of the spin. It is not common in competitive play, being more of an exhibition shot.
Same as gutter table. A table with a ball return system, as opposed to a drop pocket table.
In snooker, a situation during a frame in which the first line of the remaining reds grouped together, where the original pack was, are in a straight horizontal line. This has implications when opening the pack, as a full-ball contact off the top cushion will usually cause the cue-ball to stick to the red and fail to develop a potting opportunity.
This is a creative game played between four players, using hands instead of cue sticks. The goal is to shoot as many balls as possible into the diagonally opposing corner pocket you are standing behind. The shooting is done taking turns and rotating counter clockwise. When misses on the pocket occur, the ball is open game to be stolen and pocketed in the new opposing pocket during the new owners turn. Ties are decided by lagging with the hands, and the winner of one game is the first to shoot in the next.
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.
Also last pocket. A common rule in informal bar pool, especially bar/pub eight-ball, in which the money ball must be pocketed (potted) in the same pocket as the shooter's last object ball (each player may be said to eventually "own" a pocket, for the duration of the game, in which their 8 ball shot must be played if they have already run out their suit). The variant is not extremely common in the United States or the UK, but is near-universal in much of Latin America (where two cue ball scratches are permitted when attempting the 8 ball shot and count as simple fouls, with only a third scratch constituting a loss of game). Last pocket is also common in North Africa. Last-pocket rules require careful position play, and frequently result in bank and kick shots at the 8 ball.
This is to have control on the cue ball in your shots.
The Billiards World Cup Association. The Billiards World Cup Association (BWA) was a governing body for carom billiards, like its competitor and successor, Union Mondiale de Billard. After staging several three-cushion billiards championships, BWA met its demise in 2004 due to financial problems and failing relations with the UMB, leaving the latter as the only carom governing body.
This is the white ball in carom games which is separated from the clear ball by a marking (usually a dot or spot).
This is an object sometimes placed underneath the cue tip.
A shot, especially common in straight pool and in some variants of blackball (but not WEPF/EPA rules), in which a player intentionally commits a foul with the object in mind of either leaving the opponent with little chance of running out or simply to avoid shooting where no good shot is presented and to do anything else would give the opponent an advantage. It is often referred to in straight pool as a "back scratch."
Also striped ones, striped balls. The ball suit (group) of a fifteen ball set that are numbered 9 through 15 and have a wide colored bar around the middle. Compare bigs, highs, yellows, overs; contrast solids.
The point on the table surface over which the apex ball of a rack is centered (in most games). It is the point half the distance between the long rails' second diamonds from the end of the racking end of the table. The foot spot is the intersection of the foot string and the long string, and is typically marked with a cloth or paper decal on pool tables.
An illegal shot (foul) in which the cue stick's tip contacts the cue ball twice during a single stroke. Double hits often occur when a player shoots the cue ball when it is very close to an object ball or cushion, because it is difficult to move the cue stick away quickly enough after the cue ball rebounds from the cushion or object ball.