Definition of playing the score

In one pocket pool this means that you change your play based on where the count is during the game. If you are ahead you might choose more conservative shots, and if you are behind you could choose more aggressive shots.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

This is your pocket for sinking balls in a one pocket game.
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.
Chiefly American: The half of the table from which the break shot is taken. This usage is conceptually opposite that in British English, where this end of the table is called the bottom. Contrast foot. See also kitchen.
Also bigs, big balls, big ones. In eight-ball, to be shooting the striped suit (group) of balls (9 through 15); "you're big, remember", "you're big balls" or "I've got the big ones". Compare stripes, yellows, high, overs; contrast little.
To move a ball (usually deliberately) from a safe position, e.g. close to the middle of a cushion or in a cluster, so that it becomes pottable.
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.
A cluster of balls. In snooker, the bunch of reds that are typically left below the pink spot in the early stages of a frame, not including those reds that have been released into pottable positions.
Means either push out or push shot, depending on the context.
Deviation of a ball from its initial direction of travel. Often the result of a poor-quality table and may be an artifact of the cloth, the bed, a ball with uneven weight distribution, or simply the floor the table stands on being uneven.
The upper portion of a cue which slides on a player's bridge hand and upon which the tip of the cue is mounted at its terminus. It also applies to the main, unsegmented body of a mechanical bridge.
In snooker, the pocket nearest the yellow spot.
This is a timing device for monitoring and restricting shot times for a player.
The object ball involved in a key shot.
Also known as joint caps. Plugs that screw into/onto the threads of a joint when a two-piece cue is broken down to keep foreign objects and moisture from contacting the joint mechanism.
Chiefly American: The short rail at the foot of the table. Frequently used imprecisely, to mean foot cushion. Compare top rail; contrast head rail.
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.
Side spin on the cue ball that causes it to unnaturally roll off a cushion (contacted at an angle) against rather than with the ball's momentum and direction of travel. If angling into a cushion that is on the right, then reverse english would be right english, and vice versa. The angle of deflection will be steeper (narrower) than if no english were applied. The opposite of running english, which has effects other than simply the opposites of those of reverse english.
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. See also professional side of the pocket.
This is a bank in one pocket pool that is sitting at an angle that makes it unsafe to play.
A situation where the cue ball is directly in front of another ball in the line of the shot such that the player is hampered by it, having to bridge over it awkwardly with the likelihood of a foul looming if the object ball is inadvertently touched.
Also goose neck rest. Same as swan.
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.
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 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."