Definition of pool

"Pocket billiards," or a game in which balls are shot into pockets.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Principally US: One or more sets, usually in the context of gambling. See also ahead race (a.k.a. ahead session) for a more specialized usage.
Principally British: Any of a group of pre-determined frames played in a match too long to be completed within a single day's play. A best of 19 frame match, for example, is generally played with two "sessions", the first composed of nine frames, the second of ten. This term is generally used only in the context of professional snooker, as matches at the amateur level are rarely played over more than nine frames. Longer matches can be split into three or four sessions.
In the APA League, session refers to the season in which League play took place. There are three sessions in each League Year-Summer Session, Fall Session and Spring Session.
A predetermined number of games, usually played for a specified sum of money. Contrast race (a predetermined number of wins). Informally, sets may refer to gambling more generally, as in "I've been playing sets all day", even when the format is actually races or single games.
This is a simple method of gambling where bets are determined between each game instead of playing matches.
To enter the loser bracket in a double elimination tournament, or otherwise slip in standing in other tournament formats (i.e., to lose a game/frame/round/match, but still remain in the competition).
This is to execute a shot where the cue ball is controlled perfectly and stops where you want it to exactly.
When you have completed a shot by pocketing a ball into a pocket.
The white ball struck by the cue (and so used to strike other colored, numbered, object balls) during play.
The 'Lady Jane Grey' is a rarely used term to describe a shot in the game of snooker. The cue ball is baulk side of the spotted black after potting a red ball. The black is powerfully potted into a top corner pocket and the cue ball bounces off the top cushion into the red balls, moving them into space, thus allowing the continuation of a break. Named after Lady Jane Grey, the 16th Century Queen of England, possibly because the speed the cue ball must be hit matches the speed with which she was deposed from the throne.
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 common way to keep track of games won when playing for small money is to use a coin that is placed under the rail next to the diamonds on the rail. The center diamond at the head of the table is taken as zero, and each diamond from that is considered to be one game. To go 'around the world' is to beat your opponent so badly that the coin travels all the way around the diamonds on the table.
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.
(Chiefly British.) In snooker and blackball/eight-ball pool, an instance where the cue ball has been potted (pocketed) after contacting an object ball. It is a fault (foul) in most games. There is no equivalent (current) American term for this specific means of pocketing the white ball. Compare losing hazard, scratch.
Modification of the rules and/or scoring of a game to enable players of variable abilities to compete on a more even playing field. Examples of handicapping include spotting balls and giving games on the wire to an opponent. In league play, other forms of handicapping include awarding compensating points to a lesser-skilled team, or using numerical player ranking systems to adjust final scores between opponents of different skill levels.
Competition between an individual player and an individual opponent, as opposed to team play such as scotch doubles and other multi-player variants.
A team play format in which an individual player from the home team plays a race against an individual player from the visiting team, and then is finished for that match. Several large leagues use this format, including APA/CPA and USAPL.
This is a slang term created by Freddy Bentivegna to refer to a cluster of balls on your side of the table that do not lend to easy pocketing in a game of one pocket.
This is to intentionally foul by slightly moving the ball, or playing another type of illegally defensive shot in a game where the ball is just turned over to the other player. Like in one pocket, you still take the foul, but can leave the other player with a challenging shot.
When the cue ball is tucked behind the corner of a pocket or behind other object balls against a rail, therefore not allowing a direct shot at the object ball without the cue bouncing off the corner of the rail.
A term also used to mean when the object ball you must hit next is hidden behind other balls against a rail and you are not able to get a clean hit (without hitting other object balls first) on it. e.g. "You hooked me".
This is a kind of cue made of four pieces of wood, the butt sleeve, the points, the handle, and the forearm, with each piece pinned, doweled, and glued together.
In nine-ball, especially in the UK, a break shot that pots the 9 ball without fouling, in which case the player wins in one shot. See also on the break/snap.
This is the ball that sits in the front, or apex, position in the rack.
The lamentable practice of not following through with the cue straight, but veering off in the direction of the shot's travel or the side english is applied, away from the proper aiming line; a common source of missed shots.
Also known as a Dead cushion. A cushion that has either lost a degree of elastic resiliency or is not firmly bolted to the frame, in both cases causing balls to rebound with less energy than is normal.
A tactic employed in UK eight-ball pool in which a player calls and pots one of the balls in a favorably lying set, then plays safe, leaving as many of his/her well-placed balls on the table as possible, until the opponents commits a foul or leaves a chance that the player feels warrants an attempt at running out.
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.