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 shot that shows great control and positioning in where the cue will be when all the balls stop rolling.
This is your pocket for sinking balls in a one pocket game.
British term referring to the base or metaphorical "feet" of a ball that rattles in the jaws of a pocket before eventually dropping. Usually said of an object ball for which the intention was to pot it.
In snooker, a situation during a frame in which the first line of the remaining reds grouped together, where the original pack was, are in a straight horizontal line. This has implications when opening the pack, as a full-ball contact off the top cushion will usually cause the cue-ball to stick to the red and fail to develop a potting opportunity.
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.
In snooker, the colour ball that is worth three points, being the second-least valuable colour behind the yellow. It is one of the baulk colours.
Chiefly British: The half of the table from which the break shot is taken. This usage is conceptually opposite that in North America, where this end of the table is called the head.
When you hit the object ball you are aiming for (or the manditory next ball) without the cue ball hitting other object balls first.
This is an object ball that essentially covers up a path necessary for sinking the desired object ball.
A game that basically cannot be lost based on disparity of skill levels; "this game is a lock for him."
This term is used to refer to a player missing a shot.
A widespread term in US parlance describing missing a relatively easy shot—often in the face of pressure. Can be used in many forms: "I dogged the shot"; "I hope he dogs it"; "I'm such a dog."
This is a shot where the cue ball caroms off a number of balls in a pin ball, back and forth, fashion to achieve a shot.
This is a player that will regularly loose money to a particular player that is obviously a better player.
This is a term used to refer to all the different aspects involved in setting up a shot, i.e. the stance, grip, bridge, and stoke.
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.
A chiefly British term for a set of mechanical bridges. British-style rests differ from most American-style rake bridges in shape, and take several forms: the cross, the spider and the swan (or goose neck), as well as the rarer and often unsanctioned hook. When used unqualified, the word usually refers to the cross. Rests are used in snooker, English billiards, and blackball.
Making all of the required shots in a game (rack) without the opponent ever getting to the table or getting back to the table.
A directional pile created by the short fuzzy ends of fibers on the surface of cloth projecting upward from the lie and which create a favorable and unfavorable direction for rolling balls. The convention in most billiards games in which directional nap cloth is used is to brush the cloth along the table in the same direction of the nap, usually from the end that a player breaks. In snooker and UK eight-ball especially, this creates the effect of creep in the direction of the nap, the most-affected shot being a slow roll into a center pocket against the nap. It is commonly referred to in the fuller term "nap of the cloth." When nap is used in relation to woven cloths that have no directional pile, such as those typically used in the U.S. for pool tables, the term simply refers to the fuzziness of the cloth.
To shoot without taking enough warm-up strokes to properly aim and feel out the stroke and speed to be applied. One-stroking is a common symptom of nervousness and a source of missed shots and failed position.
The ball meant to be struck and sunk in your called shot.
The intersection of the head string and long string, which is usually not marked on a table with a spot decal, unlike the foot spot, though some pool halls mark both spots so that racking can be done at either end of the table, and wear on the cloth from racking and breaking is more evenly distributed.
A material, usually leather, placed on the end of a cue stick that comes in contact with the cue ball.
This is an imaginary player that you can attempt to run a rack against when playing a practice or training game.
A type of nurse used in carom billiards games. With one object ball frozen to a cushion and the second object ball just slightly away from the rail, the cue ball is gently rebounded across the face of both balls, freezing the away ball to the rail and moving the frozen ball away the same distance its partner was previously, resulting in an identical but reversed configuration, in position to be struck again by the cue ball from the opposite side.