Definition of out of play

This describes balls that are not able to be made in a pocket, either because they are high up on the table, in a different pocket, or in a cluster that makes the shot difficult. This condition of being out of play obviously exists on different difficulty levels.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Also shot to nothing. A British term for a shot in which a player attempts a difficult pot but with safety in mind, so that in the event of missing the pot it is likely that the opponent will not make a meaningful contribution, and will probably have to reply with a safety. The meaning refers to lack of risk, i.e. at no cost to the player ("for nothing" or coming "to nothing"). Compare two-way shot.
Short for top spin, i.e. same as follow.
Chiefly British: The half of the table in which the object balls are racked (in games in which racked balls are used). This usage is conceptually opposite that in North America, where this end of the table is called the foot. In snooker, this is where the reds are racked, nearest the black spot; this is the area in which most of the game is usually played.
Chiefly American: Exactly the opposite of the above - the head end of the table. No longer in common usage.
Chiefly American: The cushion on the foot rail. Compare top cushion; contrast head cushion.
This refers to the cluster of balls remaining in a similar position to where they were within the break.
Also dead ball shot. A shot intended to slow down or "kill" the cue ball's speed as much as possible after contact with an object ball; usually a shot with draw, often combined with inside english. It is often shortened to kill.
When a ball is given as a handicap it often must be called (generally tacit). A wild handicap means the ball can be made in any manner specifically without being called.
Same as cue.
When a player is playing flawlessly, just "cannot miss" and the game seems effortless.
The way in which a player holds the butt end of the cue stick.
The wrap of the cuestick where the hand is placed, also known as the "grip area."
Also (chiefly British) shot programme. The enumerated trick shots that must be performed in the fields of artistic billiards (70 pre-determined shots) and artistic pool (56 tricks in 8 "disciplines").
An unintentional and often barely perceptible curve imparted to the path of the cue ball from the use of english without a level cue. Not to be confused with a swerve shot.
This is a series of angled rails present within some pool tables that directs pocketed balls to a central location on the table for retrieval after the game.
This is the raised portion on the side of the table; the cushions are essentially rubber bumpers covered in the table cloth.
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, founded in 1968 and based in Bristol, England, United Kingdom is the governing body of professional snooker and English billiards. It sets the sports' rules, organises tournaments and the pro-am and pro tours, and engages in various promotional activities.
A predetermined number of games, usually played for a specified sum of money. Contrast race (a predetermined number of wins). Informally, sets may refer to gambling more generally, as in "I've been playing sets all day", even when the format is actually races or single games.
Failure to hit an object ball at all with the cue ball. In most sets of rules, this is a foul like any other. However, in some variants of bar pool a table scratch while shooting for the 8 ball is a loss of game where other more minor fouls might not be, as is scratching on the 8 ball (neither result in a loss of game in most professional rules).
By way of drift from the above definition, the term is also applied by many league players to the foul in more standardized rules of failing to drive a (any) ball to a cushion, or to pocket a legal object ball, after the cue ball's initial contact with an object ball.
By way of entirely different derivation ("scratch off the table"), it can also mean knocking the cue ball (or more loosely, any ball) completely off the table.
Same as break.
Also known as joint caps. Plugs that screw into/onto the threads of a joint when a two-piece cue is broken down to keep foreign objects and moisture from contacting the joint mechanism.
When the cue ball contacts three or more cushions in carom games.
Random method for pairing of opponents when setting up a bracket system for a tournament.
Same as position. "She got good shape for the next shot". See also position play, leave.
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.
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.
A misnomer for hand talc.