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

Any shot in which the cue ball or an object ball has to squeeze by (just miss with almost no margin for error) another ball or balls in order to reach its intended target.
Also tiptool, tip-tool. Any of a class of maintenance tools for cue tips, including shapers, scuffers, mushroom trimmers, tappers, burnishers and tip clamps. Road, league and tournament players often carry an array of tip tools in their cases. The term is generally not applied to cue chalk.
Cut Throat is a game of pocket billiards created to support three or five players. Balls are assigned to each player, and the purpose is to sink all the opponent's balls first to eliminate the other players.
This is a style of playing a pool game with a partner playing on your team. You can either take turns or play in a tag team style. This works well when there are a lot of people around that want to play.
A form of team play in which two players compete against another team of two players in any given frame or match. In a doubles game, the first player from the breaking team is the only one who shoots during the opening inning, with control of the table passing to a member of the opposing team at the end of that inning, then upon the end of the opponent's inning to the doubles partner of the original player, and next to the second opponent, play proceeding in this doubly alternating manner until concluded. Contrast Scotch doubles.
Four-ball is a carom billiards game. The game is played on a pocketless table with four balls, usually one light red, one dark red, and two whites (or just two reds and two whites). Each player is assigned one of the white balls as his own cue ball. A point is scored when a shooter caroms on any two other balls. Two points are scored when the player caroms on each of the three other balls.
Hitting the object ball with not enough of a cut angle; hitting the object ball too full or "fat". It is a well-known maxim that overcutting is preferable to undercutting.
Three Ball is a pocket billiards folk game played with three standard pool object balls and a cue ball. The goal is to pocket the three object balls in as few shots as possible.
This is when you aim at one particular object ball that is not meant to go in the pocket, but is instead meant to contact another object ball which will continue the combination process or be pocketed.
Used with an amount to signify money added to a tournament prize fund in addition to the amount accumulated from entry fees (e.g. "$500 added").
The point on the table surface over which the apex ball of a rack is centered (in most games). It is the point half the distance between the long rails' second diamonds from the end of the racking end of the table. The foot spot is the intersection of the foot string and the long string, and is typically marked with a cloth or paper decal on pool tables.
The 5 out (meaning the player getting the handicap can win by making the 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 balls).
This is to lay down the money on the table in a betting game before play begins to ensure pay up at the end.
The angle at which a ball approaches a rail, as measured from the perpendicular to the rail.
Same as centre pocket.
This is a kind of cue made of only two pieces of wood, and joined together using an advanced adhesive along the points of the cue. This connection gives the cue a flawless look and a fluid feel when shooting.
This refers to how a player is playing on a particular occasion (a player's skill level). If their game is good, then they are at a high speed, but if they are not playing up to their potential, then they are playing at a lower speed.
In snooker, the second-highest value colour ball, being worth six points.
The Higher Education Snooker and Pool Council is a voluntary, not-for-profit organisation established to promote cue sports in institutions of higher education on the island of Ireland.
This is playing to a higher winning score than eight in the game of one pocket.
This is the way your hand is configured to support the shaft of the cue during a shot.
This is when a mistake is made in the shot and the resulting contact between balls forces you to miss the shot.
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.
Same as side rail.
The sides of a table's frame upon which the elastic cushions are mounted. May also be used interchangeably with cushion.