Definition of left

Short for left english (side), i.e. spin imparted to the cue ball by stroking it to the lefthand side of its vertical axis. Contrast right.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

The white ball struck by the cue (and so used to strike other colored, numbered, object balls) during play.
Sometimes interchangeable with scratch, though the latter is often used only to refer to the foul of pocketing the cue ball. A violation of a particular game's rules for which a set penalty is imposed.
A cluster of balls. In snooker, the bunch of reds that are typically left below the pink spot in the early stages of a frame, not including those reds that have been released into pottable positions.
English Amateur Billiards Association. The EABA is the governing body of amateur billiards in England, and as such is responsible for organizing various tournaments and events.
When the object balls in straight rail pool are lined up close to each other, but extending out from the cushion, and you choose to bounce off the first object ball at the cushion and then come back to graze the second object ball. This technique can be used to continue scoring points as long as you are efficient with the shot.
Also semi-massé shot. A moderate curve imparted to the path of the cue ball by an elevated hit with use of english (side); or a shot using this technique. Also known as a curve (US) or swerve (UK) shot. Compare massé.
A situation where the cue ball is directly in front of another ball in the line of the shot such that the player is hampered by it, having to bridge over it awkwardly with the likelihood of a foul looming if the object ball is inadvertently touched.
The three-foul rule describes a situation in which a player is assessed a defined penalty after committing a third successive foul. The exact penalty, its prerequisites and whether it is in place at all, vary depending on the games. In nine-ball and straight pool, a player must be the told he is on two fouls in order to transgress the rule, and if violated, results in a loss of game for the former and a special point penalty of a loss of fifteen points (plus one for the foul itself) in the latter together with the ability to require the violator to rerack and rebreak. In Irish standard pool and English billiards, it is a loss of game if a player commits a third foul while shooting at the black. In snooker, three successive fouls from an unsnookered position result in forfeiting the frame. Repeat fouls from a snookered position are quite common - Dave Harold holds the record in a competitive match, missing the same shot 14 successive times.
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.
This is a shot that is meant to remove one of your opponent's balls that lies near their pocket in the game of one pocket.
To play a shot with the stroke and speed that makes it easiest to pocket the object ball, even at the expense of sacrificing position.
A player's auction at a pool tournament. Each player is called and players and spectators bid on the player. The highest bidder(s) pays their bid to the calcutta, and by doing so invest in that player's success. If a player wins or places in the tournament, those who "bought" the player receive a percentage of the total calcutta payout, usually tracking the percentage payout of the tournament prize fund. Typically, players have the option of purchasing half of themselves when the high bid is won by a third party. Like english and scotch doubles, usually not capitalized.
When two or more object balls are frozen or nearly frozen, such that cue-ball contact with one object ball, without the necessity of great accuracy, will almost certainly pocket an intended object ball in the cluster. The most common form of dead arrangements are the dead combination or dead combo (a combination shot in which contact with the first object ball will pocket another one), and the dead kiss, in which contact with the first object ball will pocket it off of another one. See also wired.
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.
Also (chiefly British) programme. Short for shot program. The enumerated trick shots that must be performed in the fields of artistic billiards (70 pre-determined shots) and artistic pool (56 tricks in 8 "disciplines").
Also highs, high balls, high ones. In eight-ball and related games, to be shooting the striped suit (group) of balls (9 through 15); "you're high balls" or "I've got the highs" ("you're high" is rare, because of the "intoxication" ambiguity). Compare stripes, yellows, big ones, overs; contrast low.
A Carom game with lines drawn to form rectangles that restrict play and reduce the potential for high runs.
This is a shot in snooker where the cue ball follows a struck object into the pocket.
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.
Chiefly British: The cushion on the top rail. Compare foot cushion; contrast bottom cushion.
The 5 out (meaning the player getting the handicap can win by making the 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 balls).
To elevate the back of the cue on a shot.
Often times a protective finish is applied to a cue stick after construction. A UV polyurethane is common, and this helps to protect the cue from fading and dings.
Also known as back spin, a type of spin applied to the cue ball by hitting it below its equator, causing it to spin backwards even as it slides forward on the cloth. Back spin slows the cue ball down, reduces its travel, and narrows both the carom angle after contact with an object ball, and angle of reflection off a cushion. There are several variant terms for this, including "bottom" and "bottom spin" in the US and "screw" in the UK. Draw is thought to be the first spin technique understood by billiards players prior to the introduction of leather tips, and was in use by the 1790s.