Definition of open table

In eight-ball and related games, describes the situation in which neither player has yet claimed a suit (group) of balls. Often shortened to simply open: "Is it still an open table?" "Yes, it's open."

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

A line, sometimes imaginary (especially in American pool), sometimes drawn on the cloth, that runs horizontally across the table from the second diamond (from the head rail) on one long rail to the corresponding second diamond on the other long rail. In most pool games, the opening break shot must be performed with the center (base) of the cue ball behind the head string (i.e. between the head string and head rail). The head string intersects the long string at the head spot, and delimits the kitchen (and, in European nine-ball, the outer boundary of the break box). The head string's position is always determined by the diamonds, in contrast to the similar but different baulk line, the position of which is determined by measurement from the bottom cushion (head cushion).
Successive games won without the opponent getting to the table; a five-pack would be a package of five games.
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.
Toward the head of the table. This is the playing area on the table above the middle pockets. The idea in an up table game is that shots are more difficult and further from the pockets in one pocket pool.
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.
To determine the order of play, players (representing only themselves, or teams) each simultaneously shoot a ball from the kitchen (or in British games, from the baulk line) to the end rail and back toward the bottom rail. Whichever shooter's ball comes to rest closest to the bottom rail gets to choose who breaks the rack. It is permissible but not required for the lagged ball to touch or rebound from the bottom rail, but not to touch the side rails. Lagging is usually a two-party activity, though there are games such as cutthroat in which three players might lag. In the case of a tie, the tying shooters re-lag. The lag is most often used in tournament play or other competitions. In hard-break games like nine-ball and eight-ball the winner of the lag would normally take the break, while in soft-break games like straight pool would likely require the loser of the lag to break, since breaking would be a disadvantage.
Chiefly American: The cushion on the head rail. Compare bottom cushion; contrast foot cushion.
Describing a ball that is safe because it is in close proximity to one or more other balls, and would need to be developed before it becomes pottable.
A shot where the cue ball must hit the object ball so as to make it travel out of a straight line, at a different angle, toward its destination.
Feel generally refers to that elusive quality that makes one cue feel special or superior to another. In essence, it is the cumulative effect of all of a cues characteristics, including weight, shaft diameter, balance, grip material, length, etc. It can vary greatly from one player to another. A cue that feels great to one player does not necessarily fell good to another.
Also lady's aid or girly stick. A denigrating term for the mechanical bridge.
When you have completed a shot by pocketing a ball into a pocket.
This term refers to a low percentage one pocket shot.
A 7 inch (17.8 cm) square box drawn on a balkline table from the termination of a balkline with the rail, thus defining a restricted space in which only 3 points may be scored before one ball must be driven from the area. It developed to curtail the effectiveness of the chuck nurse, which in turn had been invented to thwart the effectiveness of the Parker's box in stopping long, repetitive runs using the anchor nurse.
A term used in snooker for the potting of all the balls that are racked at the beginning of the frame in a single break (run). The minimum total clearance affords 72 points (barring multiple reds being potted on a single stroke), in the pattern of red then yellow repeatedly until all reds are potted, then all of the colour balls. The maximum break is 147 (barring a foul by the opponent immediately before the break began).
In a tournament, to place high enough to receive a payout. E.g., in a tournament that pays from 1st down to 5th places, to be at least 5th place is to be in the money.
This is to step up to the table and successfully execute a difficult shot.
A rare and extremely difficult trick jump shot that turns into a massé upon landing. Requires very precise application of spin in addition to the precise application of ball pressure to effectuate the jump. Turn-of-the-20th-century World Balkline Champion Jacob Schaefer Sr. was known to daringly perform jump massés in competition.
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".
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.
This is a simple method of gambling where bets are determined between each game instead of playing matches.
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.
Describes the propensity of a player losing small sums of money at gambling to suddenly sharply increase the stakes; often continuing to lose until broke. Compare Chasing one's money.
See overcut.