Definition of key ball

The object ball involved in a key shot.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Also straight eight-ball. Same as bar pool. Not to be confused with the games of straight pool or straight rail.
This is a style of playing a pool game with a partner playing on your team. You can either take turns or play in a tag team style. This works well when there are a lot of people around that want to play.
A form of team play in which two players compete against another team of two players in any given frame or match. In a doubles game, the first player from the breaking team is the only one who shoots during the opening inning, with control of the table passing to a member of the opposing team at the end of that inning, then upon the end of the opponent's inning to the doubles partner of the original player, and next to the second opponent, play proceeding in this doubly alternating manner until concluded. Contrast Scotch doubles.
This is an instance when the person not taking their turn interferes with the game play, this is recorded as a foul.
An outgrowth of the training template concept, a racking template is a racking tool used in place of a traditional rigid ball rack for pool or snooker balls, consisting of a very thin, e.g. 0.14 mm (0.0055 in), sheet of material such as paper or plastic with holes into which object balls settle snugly against one another to form a tight rack (pack). The template is placed, stencil-like, in racking position, with the lead ball's hole directly over the center of the foot spot. The balls are then placed onto the template and arranged to settle into their holes, forming a tight rack. Unlike with a training template, the balls are not tapped to create divots, and instead the template is left in place until after the break shot at which time it can be removed (unless balls are still sitting on top of it). Manufacturers such as Magic Ball Rack insist that racking templates are designed "to affect the balls to a minimum", and while pro player Mike Immonen has endorsed that particular brand as a retail product, as of September 2010, no professional tours nor amateur leagues have adopted that or any other racking template. Although Magic Ball Rack implies development work since 2006, other evidence suggests invention, by Magic Ball Rack's founder, in mid 2009, with product announcement taking place in September of that year.
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).
Linen made from flax and produced in Ireland which is often used to wrap the gripping area of the butt of a cue.
Same as suit, predominantly in British terminology, i.e., in eight-ball either of the set of seven balls (reds or yellows) that must be cleared before potting the black. Generally used in the generic, especially in rulesets or articles, rather than colloquially by players.
An instance of contact between balls, usually used in the context of describing an object ball contacting another object ball (e.g. "the two ball kissed off the twelve ball"), or in snooker the cue ball making contact with a ball after the initial contact with the object ball. If the player's intention was to cause two object balls to kiss (e.g. to pocket a shot ball after a ricochet off a stationary one), it is often called a kiss shot.
A slang term for a cue, usually used with "piece", as in "that's a nice piece of wood".
This term refers to a foul in snooker golf.
To intentionally hide one's "speed"; "he's on the stall."
To intentionally play slowly so as to irritate one's opponent. This form of sharking has been eliminated from many tournaments with a shot clock, and from many leagues with time-limit rules.
A point bead on a scoring string.
This is to lay down the money on the table in a betting game before play begins to ensure pay up at the end.
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.
Same as feather (US) or snick (UK)
Usually a one-piece cue freely available for use by patrons in bars and pool halls.
This can be a shot where the best option for you is to sink a ball in you opponents pocket in the game of one pocket. This can also refer to the act of offering an opponent a ball adjustment to even the playing field.
A break shot in which the rack (pack) is disturbed as little as possible within the bounds of a legal shot, in order to force the opponent to have to break it up further. A soft break is desirable in some games, such as straight pool, in which breaking is a disadvantage; and forbidden by the open break rules of other games such as nine-ball and eight-ball.
Either of the two longer rails of a billiards or pocket billiards table, bisected by a center pocket and bounded at both ends by a corner pocket. Also called a long rail.
A tight, Spandex glove covering usually most or all of the thumb, index finger and middle finger, worn on the bridge hand as a more convenient and less messy alternative to using hand talc, and for the same purpose: a smooth-gliding stroke.
This is the state after which the person returning the break has had the opportunity to catch and even the field after the breakers advantage.
To apply chalk to the tip of your cue before a shot.
USA Pool League. A pool league structured exclusively around eight-ball match play.
Used when describing perfect cue ball position play.