Definition of safety

A defensive action taken when a player either has no "makeable" or "high percentage" shot or chooses to leave his opponent in a difficult situation. It is a legal shot and is not considered to be dirty pool. A safety must still conform with the rule concerning hitting the correct ball first and striking a rail afterwards. If a correct ball is accidentally pocketed while playing safe, the shooter must continue to shoot.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Also swan rest. A type of rest, similar to a spider in that the head is raised by longer supporting legs, but instead of a selection of grooves on the top for the cue to rest in there is only one, on the end of an overhanging neck, so that a player can get to the cue ball more easily if the path is blocked by two or more obstructing balls. Also known as the goose neck.
A shot where the cue ball has no top spin or back spin on it when it impacts an object ball, and "stuns" out along the tangent line. Commonly shortened to just "stun."
Also pills, tally balls and shake balls. Small, round markers typically numbered 1 through 15 or 16, which are placed in a bottle for various random assignment purposes, such as in a tournament roster, to assign order of play in a multiplayer game, or to assign particular balls to players in games such as kelly pool.
A shot in which if the target is missed, the opponent is safe or will not have a desirable shot;
A shot in which there are two ways to score;
A shot in which a second ball is targeted to be pocketed, broken out of a cluster, repositioned or some other secondary goal is also intended.
One-on-one game play.
Three equally spaced diamonds are normally between each pocket on a pool table. On a carom table, the pockets themselves are replaced by additional diamonds. Diamonds get their name from the shape of the markings traditionally used; though many today are round, square, etc., these rail markings are still referred to as "diamonds".
A ball hanging over the edge of a pocket.
Common slang in the US for a cheap, poorly made cue. Compare wood.
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.
Either of the two shorter rails on a standard pool, billiards or snooker table. Contrast side rail/long rail.
Used when describing perfect play. "as if the balls had strings on them"
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.
This is a relatively simple machine that is used to duplicate inlay cuts within a cue so that the sizing will be accurate. When compared to the technical CNC machines, this is more like a tape measure, but when this effective tool is used to inlay a cue stick, you are getting a cue with genuine handcrafted inlays.
To disguise the level of one's ability to play in various ways such as using a lemonade stroke; intentionally missing shots; making an uneven game appear "close"; purposefully losing early, inconsequential games. Sandbagging is a form of hustling, and in handicapped leagues, considered a form of cheating. See also dump and on the lemonade.
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 miss your shot but either luckily or on purpose leave your opponent with nothing to shoot at.
Also littles, little ones, little balls. In eight-ball, to be shooting the solid suit (group) of balls (1 through 7); "you're little, remember", "you're the little balls" or "I've got the littles". Compare small, solids, reds, low, spots, dots, unders; contrast big.
This refers to a ball that is positioned close to a rail, offering a shot where the cue must hit the rail and the ball almost simultaneously, this position can also offer a defensive shot where the cue ball can be hidden between that object ball and the rail.
To give a handicap to an opponent where they have to win a specified number less games than the other player in order to triumph in the match. The name refers to posting games on the scorekeeping mechanism known as a wire, though it is employed when no actual use of the particular device is available or intended.
This is a version of double elimination tournament play that splits the field of competitors into two brackets that come together for a single elimination championship game.
Also known as 14.1 continuous pool. This game is played on a pocketed table with the fifteen object balls and a cue ball. Every shot must begin with a call, and if made, you get to continue calling shots. The idea is to reach a predetermined score before your opponent. When all but one ball remains, the rack is started over without the apex ball in position, and the last shot is called in such a way as to break the new rack and continue play.
Literally, a pocket, but generally used in the phrases losing hazard - potting (pocketing the cue ball off another ball - and winning hazard - using the cue ball to pot another ball - the two types of legal shots that pocket balls in games in which the term is used at all, which is very few today. The term principally survives in English billiards, in which both types of shots are point-scoring. Formerly, a large number of different games made use of the two types of hazards as point scorers or losers in various different ways (thus their suggestive names). The term ultimately derives from holes or pockets in the table to be avoided, in very early forms of billiards. While the terms are disused in pocket billiards today, their lingering effect is obvious, as the vast bulk of such games focus on making winning hazards and avoiding losing hazards (a notable exception being Russian pyramid in which both are legal shots).
In golf billiards, an area of the table (sometimes marked) that a player will be penalized for entering if their ball does not leave. Derives from the use of the term in the outdoor game of golf.
A player's (or doubles team's) turn at the table, usually ending with a failure to score a point or to pocket a ball, depending on the game, a foul, a safety or with a win. In some games, such as five-pins and killer, a player's inning is always limited to one shot, regardless of the intent and result of the shot. Usually synonymous with visit, except in scotch doubles format. The term is sometimes used to mean both players'/teams' visits combined, e.g. when referring to which inning in which a memorable shot occurred.
An area defined on a billiard table, in games such as pool, snooker, English billiards and bagatelle, by a single balkline (drawn or imaginary) that runs across the table near the head (bottom) end; exactly where depends upon table type and size. This balk is where the cue ball is placed in lagging for lead, for making the opening break shot, and sometimes for other purposes, depending upon the game.