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

A player skilled at very thin cut shots, and shots in which a ball must pass cleanly through a very narrow space (such as the cue ball between two of the opponent's object balls with barely enough room) to avoid a foul and/or to pocket a ball. Such shots may be referred to as "surgery", "surgical shots", "surgical cuts", etc. (chiefly US, colloquial). See also feather (US) or snick (UK).
This refers to a shot that is not banked, does not hit a rail and goes into the pocket without contacting any other balls on the table.
Same as cheating the pocket. Principally used in snooker.
A soft joint-like plastic or linen base material. It lets the cue whip, putting more English on the cue ball.
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".
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.
In snooker, the pocket nearest the yellow spot.
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.
A misnomer for hand talc.
Billiard Congress of America. The official governing body for pocket billiards in the United States.
0-2 Barbecue is a slang billiard term that refers to a single player loosing the first 2 matches in a double elimination tournament. This double loss results in that player being knocked out of the tournament without winning even one game.
Technique using different wood inlays to create picture designs on the butt of the cue.
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.
Chiefly Australian: Same as a force follow shot.
Cueing and timing the balls well; in good form, where pocketing (potting), safety and clarity of thinking seem to come easily.
A shooter's body position and posture during a shot.
The point in match play where both players (or teams) need only one more game (frame) victory to win the match or race.
A situation in which a ball strikes another ball which is close to a rail and the struck ball rebounds back into the ball it was hit by; usually but not always unintended.
Ten Ball is a rotation is a rotation game very similar to nine-ball, using ten balls instead of nine, and with the 10 ball instead of the 9 as the "money ball".
The object of the game is pocket the 10-ball on any legal shot.
When complete focus allows you to execute quality billiards play with simplicity and seeming ease.
Chiefly British: Same as duck, and stemming from the same obvious etymology.
Also pro side of the pocket and missing on the professional (or pro) side of the pocket. Sometimes "of the pocket" is left off the phrase. To err on the side of overcutting a difficult corner pocket cut shot rather than undercutting in nine ball; "missing on the professional side of the pocket." So called because experienced players understand that on a thin cut, overcutting the object ball to a corner pocket will far more often leave the object ball in an unfavorable position for the incoming opponent than will an undercut, which often leaves the object ball sitting in front of or nearby the pocket it had been intended for on a miss. By contrast, in eight-ball, except when both players are shooting at the 8 ball, the incoming player after a miss is shooting for different object balls, so this maxim does not apply, and the opposite may be good strategy as, if the object ball stays near the pocket through an undercut, it is advantageously positioned for a subsequent turn and may block the opponent's use of the pocket.
Also spider rest. A type of rest, similar to a common American-style rake bridge but with longer legs supporting the head so that the cue is higher and can reach over and around an obstructing ball to reach the cue ball. See also swan.
Displacement of the cue ball's path away from the parallel line formed by the cue stick's direction of travel; occurs every time english is employed. The degree of deflection increases as the amount of english applied increases. It is also called squirt, typically in the United States.