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

One of two sharp, jutting curves of the cushions either side of a pocket at the points where cushion and pocket meet, forming the jaws of the pockets. Also known as a point, a tittie or a horn.
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.
Chiefly British. This is a shot in a snooker game where the first object ball hit contacts another object ball and the second one is pocketed. If both of the balls are red, or if the second ball would be on if the first ball had not been deemed free then it is an allowed 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.
The collar is the portion of the joint that is attached to the top of the forearm. This is often stainless steel, wood, ivory, or molded phenolic resin, but in any case, made out of a solid material. This portion of the cue is glued on and threaded to reinforce the pin at the end of the shaft, and to offer a stabilized shot out of its solid construction.
Also massé shot. A steep curve or complete reversal of cue ball direction without the necessity of any rail or object ball being struck, due to extreme spin imparted to the cue ball by a steeply elevated cue. For Example: shooting with extreme english by holding the cue at a position of 30-90 degrees while applying left or right spin.
Also lady's aid or girly stick. A denigrating term for the mechanical bridge.
In snooker, a phrase used to describe a situation where the player has an easy pot and in general the balls are in a position to go on to make a sizeable break.
This term refers to a cue stick that is bent or warped, so that the straightness, or lack thereof, of the cue offers less than ideal play. This can occur from storing the cue in the wrong atmosphere, i.e. too warm or humid, or from the quality of wood used during construction. Some cues are coated with fiberglass, carbon fiber or graphite in order to avoid warping.
A cut shot in which if a line were drawn from the cue ball to the rail behind the targeted object ball, perpendicular to that rail, the object ball would lie beyond the line with respect to the pocket being targeted.
Using knowledge of the game and one's own abilities and limitations to choose the manner of shooting and the particular shot from an array presented, that has a degree of likelihood of success. This often requires a player to forego a shot that if made would be very advantageous but does not have a high likelihood of success, in favor of a safety or less advantageous shot that is more realistically achievable.
The deciding match between two tied opponents. Compare hill, hill.
Netted or cupped pockets that do not return the balls to the foot end of the table by means of a gutter system or sloped surface beneath (they must instead be retrieved manually).
An intentionally amateurish stroke to disguise one's ability to play.
An agreement between two players in a tournament, one of whom will advance to a guaranteed money prize if the match is won, to give a certain percentage of that money to the loser of the match. Also known as a saver.
This is a player who has the ability to make difficult shots in one pocket, because they are likely proficient at other pool games first.
The use of the correct amount of cue ball speed in position play to achieve proper shape for a subsequent shot.
Any shot where the cue ball stops immediately after hitting an object ball. Generally requires a full hit.
When the cue ball is tucked behind the corner of a pocket, therefore not allowing a direct shot at the object ball without it bouncing of the corner of the rail.
A player who was playing very well but suddenly starts playing badly. e.g. "He was making everything on every shot, then lost his stroke and couldn't hit anything, costing him the match."
A bank shot is when the shooter (player) bounces the cue ball or the object ball (after it is hit by the cue ball) off a rail in an attempt to make the shot. A successful bank shot will result in sinking the object ball or a defense that will make it very difficult for the opponent to attempt their shot.
When a ball is in firm contact with a cushion or another ball.
Slang term for the cue ball.
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".