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

A rack in the form of an equilateral triangle. There are different sizes of triangles for racking different games (which use different ball sizes and numbers of balls), including the fifteen ball racks for snooker and various pool games such as eight-ball and blackball. A larger triangle is used for the twenty-one ball rack for baseball pocket billiards). The smallest triangle rack is employed in three-ball (see illustration at that article) but is not strictly necessary, as the front of a larger rack can be used, or the balls can be arranged by hand.
The object balls in triangular formation, before the break shot, after being racked. See also pyramid.
The overall competition between two players, two pairs of players or two teams of players, usually consisting of a predetermined number of frames or games (sometimes organized into rounds).
The inside walls of a pocket billiards table's pockets.
This term refers to a low percentage one pocket shot.
When the tip of the cue begins to hang over the sides of the ferrule from constant use. This is the action of mushrooming, and it is important to use a tip tool to reshape the tip to fit the ferrule.
The wrap is situated over the handle of the cue, below the forearm and above the butt. Common materials used are Irish linen, leather, or cork. These materials make sense, because they provide a sure grip, long life, and help to absorb moisture from the hand when you are sweating through a difficult rack. In addition, wraps are used to compliment the color or style of the cue stick and to elegantly complete the look.
This playing to a number less than eight in a game of one pocket.
This refers to the cluster of balls remaining in a similar position to where they were within the break.
When the cue ball is tucked behind the corner of a pocket, therefore not allowing a direct shot at the object ball.
A break shot in which the rack (pack) is disturbed as little as possible within the bounds of a legal shot, in order to force the opponent to have to break it up further. A soft break is desirable in some games, such as straight pool, in which breaking is a disadvantage; and forbidden by the open break rules of other games such as nine-ball and eight-ball.
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.
This is the way a ball rolls when impeded by something on the table or a blemish in the cloth, often times regular players will remember certain rolls and play to them.
The sides of a table's frame upon which the elastic cushions are mounted. May also be used interchangeably with cushion.
Actual wire or string with multiple beads strung (like an abacus) used for keeping score. Points "on the wire" are a type of handicap used, where a weaker player will be given a certain number of points before the start of the game.
A pool room may refer to an establishment that is the same as a pool hall. A private residence may also have a pool room. That would be a room in a house or a recreation room in an apartment building, hotel or condominium complex that has a room that the main activity is dedicated to playing pool.
Same as stripes, in New Zealand. Compare yellows, high, big ones; contrast unders.
This is a shot in snooker where the cue ball follows a struck object into the pocket.
When the object ball lies behind another ball which makes it impossible to be struck by the cue with a direct hit.
To play even; without a handicap. Also called heads up.
Named after Chicagoan J. E. Parker, it is a 3½ × 7 inch box drawn on a balkline table from the termination of a balkline with the cushion, thus defining a restricted space in which only a set number of points may be scored before one ball must be driven from the area. Now supplanted by anchor spaces, it was developed to curtail the effectiveness of the anchor nurse, which in turn had been invented to exploit a loophole in balkline rules: so long as both object balls straddled a balkline, there was no restriction on counts, as each ball lay in a separate balk space.
Term for object balls in the game of Chicago that are each assigned as having a set money value; typically the 5, 8, 10, 13 and 15. In games where multiple balls must be pocketed in succession to score a point, such as cribbage pool or thirty-ball, when the last ball necessary to score has been potted, the points given is referred to as a way.
This describes a shot in carom games where the cue ball is driven all the way across the long rail, crossing the table, to score a point.
This is a shot that attempts to move a number of balls onto your side of the table in a kind of herding attempt.
All-Africa Pool Association. The AAPA is a member of the WPA.