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

This is when it is necessary to change a set handicap after play indicates it favors one player more than the other.
White talcum powder placed on a player's bridge hand to reduce moisture so that a cue's shaft can slide more easily. It is not provided in many establishments as many recreational players will use far more than is necessary and transfer it all over the table's surface. Venues that do provide it usually do so in the form of compress cones about 6-inches tall. Some serious players bring their own, in a bottle or a porous bag that can be patted on the bridge hand. Many players prefer a pool glove. Talc is frequently mistakenly referred to as "hand chalk", despite not being made of chalk.
Technique using different wood inlays to create picture designs on the butt of the cue.
Chiefly British: The rail at the Top of the table. Compare foot rail; contrast Bottom rail.
This is a shot involving contact between the cue ball and an object ball which allows the cue ball to contact another object in order to sink a pocket with the second object ball.
"Pocket billiards," or a game in which balls are shot into pockets.
Cut Throat is a game of pocket billiards created to support three or five players. Balls are assigned to each player, and the purpose is to sink all the opponent's balls first to eliminate the other players.
Same as position. "She got good shape for the next shot". See also position play, leave.
Modification of the rules and/or scoring of a game to enable players of variable abilities to compete on a more even playing field. Examples of handicapping include spotting balls and giving games on the wire to an opponent. In league play, other forms of handicapping include awarding compensating points to a lesser-skilled team, or using numerical player ranking systems to adjust final scores between opponents of different skill levels.
This is the International Billiards and Snooker Federation. This organization governs non-professional snooker and billiards play all over the world.
This when you receive the first legitimate shot on the next "ball on" after there had been a series of safeties to try and hurt the other players chances. This term is often used in one pocket pool.
A short, jabbed draw stroke usually employed so as to not commit a foul (i.e. due to following through to a double hit) when the cue ball is very near to the target object ball.
The sides of a table's frame upon which the elastic cushions are mounted. May also be used interchangeably with cushion.
An area defined on a billiard table, in games such as pool, snooker, English billiards and bagatelle, by a single balkline (drawn or imaginary) that runs across the table near the head (bottom) end; exactly where depends upon table type and size. This balk is where the cue ball is placed in lagging for lead, for making the opening break shot, and sometimes for other purposes, depending upon the game.
To play even; without a handicap. Also called heads up.
This is a game played with the same balls and similar scoring methods of carom, but with pockets on the table, and more scoring opportunities awarded when certain balls are sunk in combination.
A tournament format in which a player must lose two matches in order to be eliminated.
Chiefly British: The half of the table from which the break shot is taken. This usage is conceptually opposite that in North America, where this end of the table is called the head.
In certain carom billiards games, any shot in which the cue ball is sucessfully caromed off an object ball to strike another object ball (with or without contacting cushions in the interim) is a considered a billiards shot.
An imaginary line drawn from the desired path an object ball is to be sent (usually the center of a pocket) and the center of the object ball.
A term used to indicate balls that are frozen, or close enough that no matter from which angle they are hit from the combination will send the outer ball the same direction. "Are the 2 and 7 pointing at the corner?? Okay, I'll use that duck to get position way over there."
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).
Also pills, tally balls and shake balls. Small, round markers typically numbered 1 through 15 or 16, which are placed in a bottle for various random assignment purposes, such as in a tournament roster, to assign order of play in a multiplayer game, or to assign particular balls to players in games such as kelly pool.
Extreme application of draw. This when the draw back of the cue ball is your first priority, and you apply extra draw to the hit of the cue ball.