Definition of play the percentages

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.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

In snooker, the highest-value baulk colour, worth 4 points.
A style of game play in which as many players are allowed to join as the participants choose, and anyone can quit at any time. The term, most often used in the context of gambling, is borrowed from poker. The folk games three-ball and killer are usually played as open ring games, as is Kelly pool.
By extension, a multi-player game that anyone may initially join, but which has a fixed roster of competitors once it begins, is sometimes also called a ring game. Cutthroat is, by its nature, such a game. A famous regular ring game event of this sort is the Grady Mathews-hosted six-player, $3000-buy-in ring ten-ball competition at the annual Derby City Classic.
A nine-ball ring game is played by more than two players. Safeties are not allowed.
One-pocket (often spelled one pocket) is a two-player (or -team) pocket billiards (pool) game. The object of the game is to score points by pocketing (potting) pool balls into specific pockets. A point is made when a player makes any object ball into that player's designated pocket. The winner is the first to score an agreed-upon number of points (most commonly 8). The player making the break shot (typically after winning the lag) chooses a foot corner pocket for the rest of the game; all of that shooter's balls must be shot into that pocket. All of the opponent's balls must be made in the other foot corner pocket.
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.
A tournament format in which each contestant plays each of the other contestants at least once. In typical league team play, round robin format means that each member of the home team plays each member of the visiting team once. This format is used by BCAPL, VNEA and many other leagues.
A cross-corner bank shot from one end of the table to the other (i.e. across the center string). Long banks are considerably more difficult, because of the smaller margin for error due to distance and angle widening, than cross-side banks and short cross-corner banks from the same end of the table.
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.
Either of the two longer rails of a billiards or pocket billiards table, bisected by a center pocket and bounded at both ends by a corner pocket. Also called a long rail.
This is the act of keeping your ball location advantages the way they are, and not allowing your opponent to even things out in the game of one pocket.
Also lows, low, low ones. In eight-ball, to be shooting the solid suit (group) of balls (1 through 7); "you're low, remember", "you're low balls" or "I've got the lows." Compare solids, reds, little, spots, dots, unders; contrast high.
Slang for a mechanical bridge.
Competition between an individual player and an individual opponent, as opposed to team play such as scotch doubles and other multi-player variants.
A team play format in which an individual player from the home team plays a race against an individual player from the visiting team, and then is finished for that match. Several large leagues use this format, including APA/CPA and USAPL.
Nearly table-length distance between the cue ball and target object ball, or near cue and object balls and target pocket, i.e. a potentially difficult shot ("you sure left me a lot of green on that one").
The cloth covering the table.
Also pro side of the pocket and missing on the professional (or pro) side of the pocket. Sometimes "of the pocket" is left off the phrase. To err on the side of overcutting a difficult corner pocket cut shot rather than undercutting in nine ball; "missing on the professional side of the pocket." So called because experienced players understand that on a thin cut, overcutting the object ball to a corner pocket will far more often leave the object ball in an unfavorable position for the incoming opponent than will an undercut, which often leaves the object ball sitting in front of or nearby the pocket it had been intended for on a miss. By contrast, in eight-ball, except when both players are shooting at the 8 ball, the incoming player after a miss is shooting for different object balls, so this maxim does not apply, and the opposite may be good strategy as, if the object ball stays near the pocket through an undercut, it is advantageously positioned for a subsequent turn and may block the opponent's use of the pocket.
Also double-century break. In English billiards, a break of 200-299 points (i.e. double a century). Larger multi-centuries are regularly achieved. Rare in amateur play, triple centuries are routine, and quadruples not uncommon at World Professional Billiards Championships; 2007 winner Mike Russell shot four triples in the final round alone, while of sixteen competitors, three shot quadruple centuries (one once, one twice, and Russell three times). Quintuple centuries are rare even at the professional level, with only the 494 shot by nine-time World Champion Russell (who has more such titles than any other player in history as of 2007) coming close in that event. World Champion Geet Sethi holds the world record, at a duodectuple century (and then some) of 1276 consecutive points."
This is the way your hand is configured to support the shaft of the cue during a shot.
This is the portion of your cue below joint, and includes the forearm, handle, sleeve, and the cap. Usually made with exotic wood and creatively designed to be pleasing to the eye, and often times wrapped at the handle, this is the attractive portion of the cue stick. (Sometimes this word is used alone to refer to the butt sleeve portion of the cue stick).
In the UK, one of the two pockets one either side of a pool, snooker or English billiards table halfway up the long rails.
The Union Mondiale de Billard (French for World Union of Billiards) is the world governing body for carom (carambole) billiard games. The organization was founded in Madrid, Spain on 1 June 1959, and is dedicated to promoting the modern carom billiards games. The UMB monitors and controls international carom competitions and tournaments, and organizes an annual World Three-cushion Billiards Championship.
Accidentally causing the cue ball or any object ball to leave the table. It is normally a foul.
Billiard Congress of America. The official governing body for pocket billiards in the United States.
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.
This is a shot that attempts to move a number of balls onto your side of the table in a kind of herding attempt.
A unit of scoring, in games such as snooker and straight pool with numerical scoring.
A unit of scoring, in team matches in leagues that use numerical scoring instead of simple game/frame win vs. loss ratios.
Another term for knuckle / tittie.