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

This is a very easy and safe shot to execute in the game of one pocket.
Chiefly American, and largely obsolete: Same as referee.
1.A (usually unmarked) line running across the table between one diamond and its corresponding diamond on the opposite rail. See also head string, foot string, long string for examples.
2.Same as wire, sense 2. Can be used as a verb, as in "string that point for me, will you?"
3.A successive series of wins, e.g. of games or frames in a match or race.
4.Chiefly British; same as lag.
To take one's two-piece cue stick apart. When done before a game's conclusion, it often indicates that the game is conceded.
See two-shot carry.
A multi-game division of a match, as used in some league and tournament formats. For example, in a match between 2 teams of 5 players each, a 25-game match might be divided into 5 rounds of 5 games each, in which the roster of one team moves one line down at the beginning of each round, such that by the end of the match every player on team A has played every player on team B in round robin fashion.
A level of competition elimination in a tournament, such as the quarterfinal round, semifinal round and final round.
The horizontal plane directly in the center of the cue ball, which when hit exactly by the cue tip should impart no follow or draw.
When two objects balls are lined up so that you aim to pocket the nearest object ball, the second object ball will pocket. "That was an easy combination shot, the six ball was wired to the four ball". Also wired combination/combo, wired kiss.
To bungle a shot in a manner that leaves the table in such a fortuitous position for the opponent that there is a strong likelihood of losing the game or match. Contrast sell out.
Side spin on the cue ball that causes it to roll off a cushion (contacted at an angle) with rather than against the ball's natural momentum and direction of travel. If angling into a rail that is on the right, then running english would be left english, and vice versa. The angle of deflection will be wider than if no english were applied to the cue ball. But more importantly, because the ball is rolling instead of sliding against the rail, the angle will be more consistent. For this reason, running English is routinely used. Also called running side in British terminology. Contrast reverse english.
Same as cheating the pocket. Principally used in snooker.
To intentionally miss a shot (that results in a foul) in order to create a position for the cue ball that makes it hard for the other player to execute their shot. Not to be confused with a "Safety", since a safety is a legal hit.
A player who was playing very well but suddenly starts playing badly. e.g. "He was making everything on every shot, then lost his stroke and couldn't hit anything, costing him the match."
Powdered chalk housed in a cube. This chalk is rubbed into the tip of your cue to help with grip between the tip of the cue and the cue ball. This is more important to use if you are using a medium or hard tip, as opposed to a soft tip, which already provides some good grip. As a warning when purchasing a type of chalk, there is much debate over which chalk offers the best friction, so you best do your research!
Also highs, high balls, high ones. In eight-ball and related games, to be shooting the striped suit (group) of balls (9 through 15); "you're high balls" or "I've got the highs" ("you're high" is rare, because of the "intoxication" ambiguity). Compare stripes, yellows, big ones, overs; contrast low.
English Amateur Billiards Association. The EABA is the governing body of amateur billiards in England, and as such is responsible for organizing various tournaments and events.
Similar to run out, but more specific to making all required shots from the start of a rack. Also known as also break and run or break and dish.
This is a shot in one pocket pool where you simple aim at a cluster of balls near your opponents pocket to attempt to make something good happen out of desperation because other shots are not feasible.
Three Cushion is a form of carom billiards.
The object of the game is to carom the cue ball off both object balls and contact the rail cushions at least 3 times before the last object ball. A point is scored for each successful carom.
A type of spin imparted to the cue ball to make it rebound from a cushion at a shallower angle than it would if the spin had not been used.
(Computerized Numerical Control) This is a special appliance used by many cue manufacturers to design the inlays on a cue to precision accuracy. Often times it is looked down upon because this technology departs from the previous standard of "handcrafting" inlays, using a pantograph tool. However, the new technology allows for much more precise cuts at a quicker pace. If you are looking to save some money and appreciate the man made designs that are computer inlayed in your cue, then CNC is the technology for you.
A tight, Spandex glove covering usually most or all of the thumb, index finger and middle finger, worn on the bridge hand as a more convenient and less messy alternative to using hand talc, and for the same purpose: a smooth-gliding stroke.
A player who was not shooting well during a match but suddenly turns it around and starts playing better and more accurately. e.g. "He was misisng everything for the first part of the match, then found a stroke to come back and win."
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.