Definition of percentage

Used by itself often with "low" and "high": "that's a low-percentage shot for me", "I should really take the high-percentage one".

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

This is a shot in snooker where the cue ball follows a struck object into the pocket.
This is the white ball in carom games which is separated from the clear ball by a marking (usually a dot or spot).
Either to hit the balls hard with no intention in mind other than to get lucky (or 'hit-and-hope'), or to shoot hard at the money ball ball with the same intention. Compare slop and fluke.
To take one's two-piece cue stick apart. When done before a game's conclusion, it often indicates that the game is conceded.
Also bigs, big balls, big ones. In eight-ball, to be shooting the striped suit (group) of balls (9 through 15); "you're big, remember", "you're big balls" or "I've got the big ones". Compare stripes, yellows, high, overs; contrast little.
Side spin on the cue ball that causes it to unnaturally roll off a cushion (contacted at an angle) against rather than with the ball's momentum and direction of travel. If angling into a cushion that is on the right, then reverse english would be right english, and vice versa. The angle of deflection will be steeper (narrower) than if no english were applied. The opposite of running english, which has effects other than simply the opposites of those of reverse english.
Adjectival expression for a player's deadly game; "watch out, he plays jam up.
The heavy, finely milled rock (slate) that forms the bed of the table, beneath the cloth. Major slate suppliers for the billiards industry are Italy, Brazil and China. Some cheaper tables, and novelty tables designed for outdoor use, do not use genuine slate beds, but artificial materials such as Slatrol.
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 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).
A game that basically cannot be lost based on disparity of skill levels; "this game is a lock for him."
Same as triple.
Area on the corner of a carom table, which is defined by a line between the second diamond on the side rail and the first diamond on the end rail, where only three successive points are allowed before the object ball must be cleared out of the area.
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.
The desired angle that must be created between the path of the cue ball and the path of the object ball upon contact to pot the object ball. It is usually measured to the center of the pocket. See also aiming line.
A specific ball number followed by "out" refers to a handicap in nine-ball or other rotation games where the "spot" is all balls from that designated number to the money ball. To illustrate, the 6-out in a nine-ball game would allow the player getting weight to win by legally pocketing the 6, 7, 8 or 9 balls.
Short for run out, especially as a noun: "That was a nice out."
A slang term for a cue, usually used with "piece", as in "that's a nice piece of wood".
Chiefly American: Also known as side spin, english (which is usually not capitalized) is spin placed on the cue ball when hit with the cue tip to the left or right of the ball's center. English has a marked effect on cue ball rebound angle off cushions (though not off object balls), and is thus crucial for gaining shape; and can be used to "throw" an object ball slightly off its otherwise expected trajectory, to cheat the pocket, and for other effects. "English" is sometimes used more inclusively, to colloquially also refer to follow and draw. In combination one could say bottom-right english, or like the face of a clock (4 o'clock english). The British and Irish do not use this term, instead preferring "side".
The table reserved for games played for money or the best table in the house. This table is always of better quality and regularly maintained. Money tables are most commonly reserved for big action.
Sandbagging, in any handicapped sport, is the unethical practice of deliberately playing below your ability in order to alter your handicap so it does not reflect your true ability.
To create contact with the cue ball or an object ball.
A British term for a pot that requires very fine contact between cue ball and object ball. See also feather.
(Chiefly British.) In snooker and blackball/eight-ball pool, an instance where the cue ball has been potted (pocketed) after contacting an object ball. It is a fault (foul) in most games. There is no equivalent (current) American term for this specific means of pocketing the white ball. Compare losing hazard, scratch.
To fail to make a legal shot.