Definition of key ball

The object ball involved in a key shot.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Skilled playing in which knowledge of ball speed, angles, post-impact trajectory, and other factors are used to gain position (i.e. a good leave) after the target ball is struck. The goals of position play are generally to ensure that the next shot is easy or at least makeable, and/or to play a safety in the advent of a miss (intentional or otherwise).
An upright pin, which looks like a miniature bowling pin, cone or obelisk. Skittles, as employed in billiards games, have been so-called since at least 1634. One standardized size, for the largely Italian and South American game five-pins, is 25 mm (1 in.) tall, with 7 mm (0.28 in.) round bases, though larger variants have long existed for other games such as Danish pin billiards. Depending upon the game there may be one skittle, or several, and they may be targets to hit (often via a carom) or obstacles to avoid, usually the former. They are also sometimes called pins, though that term can be ambiguous. Because of the increasing international popularity of the Italian game five-pins), they are sometimes also known even in English by their Italian name, birilli (singular birillo). Skittles are also used as obstacles in some artistic billiards shots. #Flat, thin rectangular skittles, somewhat like large dominoes, approximately 6 in. tall by 3 in. wide, and placed upright like an obelisks on the table in specific spots, are used in the obsolescent and principally Australian games devil's pool and victory billiards. Depending upon the exact game being played, there may be one pin, or several of various colors (e.g. ten white and two black in devil's pool), and they may be targets or obstacles, most commonly the latter. They are usually made of plastic, and are increasingly difficult to obtain, even from Australian billiards suppliers. A black obelisk skittle of this sort features prominently, as a particularly dire hazard, in several scenes of sci-fi/pool film Hard Knuckle (1992, Australia). Skittles as used in billiards games date to ground billiards (13th century or earlier) played with a mace, and hand-thrown games of bowls from at least the same era using the same equipment. Ball games using a recognizable form of skittle are known from as early as ca. 3300 BCE in Ancient Egypt.
When the contact between the cue ball and object ball is dead center.
A bye is a missing team or player on a league schedule or tournament bracket. In other words, a person or team does not have an opponent that date (schedule) or round (tournament bracket). If a team or player has a bye on a scheduled date, they will not be playing that day. If a team or player has a bye on a tournament bracket, they automaticly advance to the next round without having to play another team or person.
A sleeve, fitted onto the lathed-down tip end of the cue, made from fiberglass, phenolic resin, brass, ivory, horn or antler, melamine, plastic, or other rigid material, upon which the cue tip is mounted and which protects the shaft wood from splitting from impact with the cue ball.
The triangular device, generally plastic, used to group the balls in a pyramid form prior to the beginning of a game.
A ball hanging over the edge of a pocket.
Two or more object balls that are touching or are close together.
A rare and very difficult trick jump shot that turns into a draw shot upon landing. Requires precise application of spin in addition to the precise application of ball pressure to effectuate the jump. Jump draws are fairly often seen in professional trick shot competition.
A tactic employed in UK eight-ball pool in which a player calls and pots one of the balls in a favorably lying set, then plays safe, leaving as many of his/her well-placed balls on the table as possible, until the opponents commits a foul or leaves a chance that the player feels warrants an attempt at running out.
Used when describing perfect cue ball position play.
This is a relatively simple machine that is used to duplicate inlay cuts within a cue so that the sizing will be accurate. When compared to the technical CNC machines, this is more like a tape measure, but when this effective tool is used to inlay a cue stick, you are getting a cue with genuine handcrafted inlays.
Successive games won without the opponent getting to the table; a five-pack would be a package of five games.
A slang term for a cue, usually used with "piece", as in "that's a nice piece of wood".
When you have completed a shot by pocketing a ball into a pocket.
In the game 9 Ball, making the nine ball early with a legal shot, but not on the break.
Also known as Free-stroking. This is slang for when a player begins to play untroubled and relaxed because they have built up a substantial lead.
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.
Same as foot spot. Chiefly British today, but also an American usage ca. World War I.
A player who was not shooting well during a match but suddenly turns it around and starts playing better and more accurately. Also known as "Finding a stroke" or "Found their stroke".
When a particular ball is given as a handicap in nine-ball, designating that ball in turn means that it must be made in rotation, when it is the lowest numerical ball remaining on the table, and cannot be made to garner a win earlier in the game by way of a combination, carom or any other shot. For example, if a player is spotted the 8 ball, he only wins by making that ball after balls 1 through 7 have been cleared from the table.
Name for the ball that when pocketed, wins the game, or any ball that when made results in a payday such as a way in the game of Chicago.
Also on the lemon. Disguising the level of one's ability to play.
Also known as a Dead cushion. A cushion that has either lost a degree of elastic resiliency or is not firmly bolted to the frame, in both cases causing balls to rebound with less energy than is normal.