Definition of open play

A description of play in carom billiards games in which the balls remain widely separated rather than gathered, requiring much more skill to score points and making nurse shots effectively impossible, and making for a more interesting game for onlookers. Most skilled players try to gather the balls as quickly as possible to increase their chances of continuing to score in a long run.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

This is what happens when a player sends the cue ball into a cluster of balls that will in turn spread out in an unpredictable fashion.
Also known as 14.1 continuous pool. This game is played on a pocketed table with the fifteen object balls and a cue ball. Every shot must begin with a call, and if made, you get to continue calling shots. The idea is to reach a predetermined score before your opponent. When all but one ball remains, the rack is started over without the apex ball in position, and the last shot is called in such a way as to break the new rack and continue play.
A phrase used in snooker to describe the scenario whereby there are not enough available points on the table to level the scores for the frame, therefore the trailing player needs his/her opponent to foul in order to be able to make up the deficit. The name comes from the fact that this would normally have to be achieved by placing the leading player in foul-prone situations such as difficult snookers.
This word is used as slang to define a player as amateur or recreational.
This is an attempt where one player answers the other players successful shot or run with a successful shot or run.
A successful attempt to get out of a snooker.
The placement of player(s) automatically in a tournament where some have to qualify, or automatic placement in later rounds.
This technique works to keep your shot aligned by eyeing your shot above the table, and then locking your chin into position as you lower down to take your shot.
All-Africa Pool Association. The AAPA is a member of the WPA.
This is when a mistake is made in the shot and the resulting contact between balls forces you to miss the shot.
Sometimes called a snake shot. A carom billiards shot, common in three-cushion billiards, where the cue ball is shot with reverse english at a relatively shallow angle down the rail, and spins backwards off the adjacent rail back into the first rail.
A player who was not shooting well during a match but suddenly turns it around and starts playing better and more accurately. e.g. "He was misisng everything for the first part of the match, then found a stroke to come back and win."
This is a shot where the cue ball caroms off a number of balls in a pin ball, back and forth, fashion to achieve a shot.
One of the two pockets one either side of a pool table halfway up the long rails. They are cut shallower than corner pockets because they have a 180 degree aperture, instead of 90 degrees. In the UK the term centre pocket or middle pocket are preferred.
To play a shot using a more difficult application of stroke and speed to achieve a certain desired position for the next shot, even at the expense of or sharply increasing the likelihood of a miss.
Also in the zone. Describes an extended period of functioning in dead stroke ("She's in the zone").
You can cheat the pocket by angling your shot to go in at the right or left of the pocket opening when sinking a shot. This permits the cue ball to strike the object ball at a different contact point than the most obvious one.
A natural is an easy shot requiring no side spin. A shot is said to be natural if it does not require adjustments, such as a cut angle, side spin, or unusual force. A natural bank shot, for example, is one in which simply shooting straight into the object ball at medium speed and with no spin will send the object ball directly into the target pocket on the other side of the table.
To indicate where something is to be done. To "mark the pocket" means to indicate which pocket you intend to sink an object ball.
This refers to a ball that is positioned close to a rail, offering a shot where the cue must hit the rail and the ball almost simultaneously, this position can also offer a defensive shot where the cue ball can be hidden between that object ball and the rail.
The pocket chosen to house the selected ball in your called shot.
The sides of a table's frame upon which the elastic cushions are mounted. May also be used interchangeably with cushion.
The Valley National 8-Ball League Association. Founded in 1979, VENA is a non-profit organization established to promote the game of pool on coin-operated equipment. The membership is comprised of men, women and junior players, coin machine operators and manufacturers.
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.