Definition of reading the stack

This is the act of looking over the stack, pile of balls in the middle of the table, to see if there are any opportunities in the game of one pocket.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

A form of Carom billiards for the masters of the game. Played the same way with two cue balls and a single object ball. Except, in between hitting the opponent's cue ball and the object ball your cue ball must bounce off of three rails (this game is played with an unpocketed specially sized table).
This is an imaginary player that you can attempt to run a rack against when playing a practice or training game.
Verb form: to shoot. The use of the cue to perform or attempt to perform a particular motion of balls on the table, such as to pocket (pot) an object ball, to achieve a successful carom (cannon), or to play a safety.
A shot in which the cue ball is struck above its equator with sufficient top spin to cause the cue ball to travel forward after it contacts an object ball. When a cue ball with follow on it contacts an object ball squarely (a center-to-center hit), the cue ball travels directly forward through the space previously occupied by the object ball (and can sometimes even be used to pocket a second ball). By contrast, on a cut shot, a cue ball with follow on it will first travel on the tangent line after striking the object ball, and then arc forward, widening the carom angle.
A shot where the shooter was trying to make the shot but misses. However, the result of the missed shot ends up being a very good defensive play.
This is a bank shot that goes off of the head rail and then straight to the pocket at the other end of the table.
This is the International Billiards and Snooker Federation. This organization governs non-professional snooker and billiards play all over the world.
Also straight eight-ball. Same as bar pool. Not to be confused with the games of straight pool or straight rail.
A cue dedicated to jumping balls; usually shorter and lighter than a playing cue and having a wider, hard tip. Also referred to as a jump stick.
The 5 out (meaning the player getting the handicap can win by making the 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 balls).
Describes the propensity of a player losing small sums of money at gambling to suddenly sharply increase the stakes; often continuing to lose until broke. Compare Chasing one's money.
In snooker, the cushion opposite the top cushion and bounded by the yellow and green pockets (i.e. same as bottom cushion).
This describes a shot in carom games where the cue ball is driven all the way across the long rail, crossing the table, to score a point.
This is to take all the money from a player or to have lost all of your own money.
Chiefly British: The rail at the Top of the table. Compare foot rail; contrast Bottom rail.
A two-piece cue constructed to resemble a house cue, with a near-invisible wood-to-wood joint. The subterfuge often enables a hustler to temporarily fool unsuspecting fish into thinking that he or she is an unskilled banger with no regard for finesse or equipment quality. Many league players also use cheap but solid sneaky petes as their break cues.
As in many other sports, "legal" means not causing or likely to cause a foul (the opposite being illegal). A legal hit is one in which the requirements for a non-foul hit are met (e.g., in nine-ball, the lowest-numbered ball on the table was hit by the cue ball first, and at least one object ball was pocketed, or any ball reached a cushion, after the hit on the first object ball.). A legal shot is one in which no foul of any kind was involved (e.g. there was not a double hit by the cue, the player's bridge hand did not move a ball, etc.). A legal stroke is one in which the cue stroke obeyed the rules (e.g. the shooter did not perform an illegal jump shot by scooping under the cue ball with the cue tip). A legal ball is a ball-on, an object ball at which it is permissible for the player to shoot. And so on. The term can be used in many ways consistent with these examples ("legal pocket" in one-pocket, "legal equipment" under tournament specifications, etc.).
This is a shot in snooker where the cue ball follows a struck object into the pocket.
In snooker, any of the three colour balls that get spotted on the baulk line: the yellow, green or brown ball.
Short for right english (side), i.e. side spin imparted to the cue ball by stroking it to the right-hand side of its vertical axis. Contrast left.
To play even; without a handicap. Also called heads up.
With draw, as in "I shot that low left", meaning "I shot that with draw and with left english". Derives from the fact that one must hit the cue ball below it's equator, i.e. "low" on the ball, to impart draw. Contrast high.
Also known as a "Dirty Defense" or "Dirty Foul". 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.
Also semi-massé shot. A moderate curve imparted to the path of the cue ball by an elevated hit with use of english (side); or a shot using this technique. Also known as a curve (US) or swerve (UK) shot. Compare massé.