Definition of race

A predetermined, fixed number of games players must win to win a match; "a race to seven" means whomever wins seven games first wins the match.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Also known as slop. To pocket a ball by luck; "he ratted in the 9 ball"; usually employed disapprovingly.
Descriptive of any game in which the object balls must be struck in numerical order. Billiard researcher Mike Shamos observes that it would be more intuitive to call such games "'series' or 'sequence'". The term actually derives from the set-up of the game Chicago, in which the balls are not racked, but placed numerically around the table along the cushions (and must to be shot in ascending order). Other common rotation games include pool (obviously), nine-ball, seven-ball, ten-ball.
The white ball struck by the cue (and so used to strike other colored, numbered, object balls) during play.
Also known as "Break and Dish". In pool games, when a player breaks the racked object balls, pockets at least one ball on the break, and commences to run out the remaining object balls without the opponent getting a visit at the table.
A requirement under some pocket billiards rulesets that either an object ball be pocketed, or at least four object balls be driven to contact the cushions, on the opening break shot.
The forward rotation of the cue ball that results from a follow shot. Also known as top spin or top, follow is applied to the cue ball by hitting it above its equator, causing it to spin more rapidly in the direction of travel than it would simply by rolling on the cloth from a center-ball hit. Follow speeds the cue ball up, and widens both the carom angle after contact with an object ball, and angle of reflection off a cushion.
Either of the two shorter rails on a standard pool, billiards or snooker table. Contrast side rail/long rail.
This describes a shot where you bank the object ball off of a rail and then sink it in a side pocket.
Pronounced "No-Rango". A norengo refers to what should be an easy straight in shot where the object ball is usually very close to the pocket. But the shooter strikes the ball harder than they should and the result is the object ball rattling out of the pocket and a missed shot.
Also see Lorengo.
A description of play in carom billiards games in which the balls remain widely separated rather than gathered, requiring much more skill to score points and making nurse shots effectively impossible, and making for a more interesting game for onlookers. Most skilled players try to gather the balls as quickly as possible to increase their chances of continuing to score in a long run.
A British term (especially in snooker) for the splitting of a group of balls when another ball is sent into them, typically with the intent of deliberately moving them with the cue ball to develop them.
Same as foul
Nearly table-length distance between the cue ball and target object ball, or near cue and object balls and target pocket, i.e. a potentially difficult shot ("you sure left me a lot of green on that one").
The cloth covering the table.
Either of the balls on the lateral extremities of a racked set of balls in position for a break shot; the two balls at the outside of a 15-ball rack in the back row, or the balls to the left and right of the 9 ball in nine-ball's diamond rack-shaped opening set up position. In nine-ball It is seen as a reliable sign of a good break (which is normally taken from close to either cushion in the kitchen) if the opposite wing ball is pocketed.
The point in match play where both players (or teams) need only one more game (frame) victory to win the match or race.
Short for left english (side), i.e. spin imparted to the cue ball by stroking it to the lefthand side of its vertical axis. Contrast right.
This is a long distance shot that is given to your opponent as a challenge to make because it often works well as a safety (defense) when a better one is not available.
A barrel is how much money per game a player is betting. As in, "I have ten barrels at $20 a game".
The deciding match between two tied opponents. Compare hill, hill.
The ornamentation on a cue, between the wrap and the joint, is often made by inlaying exotic materials into the wood so the inlays form points. The value of a cue is often based on the number points.
A short, jabbed draw stroke usually employed so as to not commit a foul (i.e. due to following through to a double hit) when the cue ball is very near to the target object ball.
A pool table where two shims have been placed on the sides of each pocket (in the jaws beneath the cloth), making the pockets "tighter" (smaller). Such tables are "tougher" than unshimmed or single-shimmed tables.
Also shortstop, short-stop. This is a player that is excellent at pool, but tends to fall short of number one. A shortstop is the best player relative to a particular scene. A second-tier professional who is not (yet) ready for World Championship competition. It can also be applied by extension to a player who is one of the best in a region but not quite good enough to consistently beat serious road players and tournament pros. The term was borrowed from baseball.
Any mechanical aid that serves to extend the length of the player's cue, normally added to the end of the butt either by clipping around the end or screwing into the base. Though extensions are used for pool, it is more common in snooker because of the significantly larger table size.
In a tournament where players get limited time to make their shots (common in televised matches), an extension is extra time granted before making a shot; players have a limited number of extensions in each frame.