Definition of key ball

The object ball involved in a key shot.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Refers to a person gambling when he has no money. As in, "That jerk can't pay up, he was shooting air barrels the whole time".
A shot where the cue ball must hit the object ball so as to make it travel out of a straight line, at a different angle, toward its destination.
Same as mechanical bridge; so-called because of its typical shape.
A stroke in which the cue's tip glances or slips off the cue ball not effectively transferring the intended force. Usually the result is a bungled shot. Common causes include a lack of chalk on the cue tip, a poorly groomed cue tip and not stroking straight through the cue ball, e.g. because of steering.
In eight-ball and related games, describes the situation in which neither player has yet claimed a suit (group) of balls. Often shortened to simply open: "Is it still an open table?" "Yes, it's open."
In snooker, the colour ball that is worth three points, being the second-least valuable colour behind the yellow. It is one of the baulk colours.
Accidentally causing the cue ball or any object ball to leave the table. It is normally a foul.
Chiefly Australian: Same as a force follow shot.
Cut Throat is a game of pocket billiards created to support three or five players. Balls are assigned to each player, and the purpose is to sink all the opponent's balls first to eliminate the other players.
This is a special shaped leather or plastic bottle that is used on the table during play in special pocket games.
A shot that has a positive outcome for the player, although it was not what the player intended. Examples of flukes include an unexpected pot off several cushions or other balls having missed the pocket aimed for, or perhaps a lucky safety position after having missed a pot. Compare fish and slop; contrast mark (sense 3) and call. It is customary to apologise to one's opponent if one does this.
This is a toned down masse shot. The cue is elevated a little and will curve a little in the direction the spin is applied. This is used to sneak around difficult shots.
Describes the propensity of pockets to more easily accept an imperfectly aimed ball shot at a relatively soft speed, that might not fall if shot with more velocity ("that ball normally wouldn't fall but he hit it at pocket speed"). The less sensitive to shot-speed that a pocket is, the "faster" it is said to be.
Describes the velocity of an object ball shot with just enough speed to reach the intended pocket and drop. "Shoot this with pocket speed only, so you don't send the cue ball too far up-table."
When you have completed a shot by pocketing a ball into a pocket.
The sides of a table's frame upon which the elastic cushions are mounted. May also be used interchangeably with cushion.
A ball hanging over the edge of a pocket.
This is to use running english or soft speed in order to open up the angle on a particular bank shot.
This is a kind of cue made of only two pieces of wood, and joined together using an advanced adhesive along the points of the cue. This connection gives the cue a flawless look and a fluid feel when shooting.
The non-red colored ball meant to be pocketed in a game of snooker, or the next ball meant to be pocketed in a particular game.
The rules played in a particular venue not necessarily in comportment with official rules, or with common local bar pool custom.
Also known as a "Dirty Defense" or "Dirty Foul". To intentionally miss a shot (that results in a foul) in order to create a position for the cue ball that makes it hard for the other player to execute their shot. Not to be confused with a "Safety", since a safety is a legal hit.
A player's turn at the table, also known as an inning.
A chiefly British term for a set of mechanical bridges. British-style rests differ from most American-style rake bridges in shape, and take several forms: the cross, the spider and the swan (or goose neck), as well as the rarer and often unsanctioned hook. When used unqualified, the word usually refers to the cross. Rests are used in snooker, English billiards, and blackball.
In snooker, a situation where the scores are tied after all the balls have been potted, and the black ball is re-spotted and the first player to pot it wins. The players toss for the first shot, which must be taken with the cue ball in the D. A safety battle typically ensues, until an error allows a player to pot the black, or a fluke or a difficult pot is made.