Definition of skittle

An upright pin, which looks like a miniature bowling pin, cone or obelisk. Skittles, as employed in billiards games, have been so-called since at least 1634. One standardized size, for the largely Italian and South American game five-pins, is 25 mm (1 in.) tall, with 7 mm (0.28 in.) round bases, though larger variants have long existed for other games such as Danish pin billiards. Depending upon the game there may be one skittle, or several, and they may be targets to hit (often via a carom) or obstacles to avoid, usually the former. They are also sometimes called pins, though that term can be ambiguous. Because of the increasing international popularity of the Italian game five-pins), they are sometimes also known even in English by their Italian name, birilli (singular birillo). Skittles are also used as obstacles in some artistic billiards shots. #Flat, thin rectangular skittles, somewhat like large dominoes, approximately 6 in. tall by 3 in. wide, and placed upright like an obelisks on the table in specific spots, are used in the obsolescent and principally Australian games devil's pool and victory billiards. Depending upon the exact game being played, there may be one pin, or several of various colors (e.g. ten white and two black in devil's pool), and they may be targets or obstacles, most commonly the latter. They are usually made of plastic, and are increasingly difficult to obtain, even from Australian billiards suppliers. A black obelisk skittle of this sort features prominently, as a particularly dire hazard, in several scenes of sci-fi/pool film Hard Knuckle (1992, Australia). Skittles as used in billiards games date to ground billiards (13th century or earlier) played with a mace, and hand-thrown games of bowls from at least the same era using the same equipment. Ball games using a recognizable form of skittle are known from as early as ca. 3300 BCE in Ancient Egypt.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

This is a blemish added to the table in order to help execute a shot; these marks are not allowed and result in a foul.
When a ball is given as a handicap it often must be called (generally tacit). A wild handicap means the ball can be made in any manner specifically without being called.
To intentionally rebound the cue ball off both of the pocket points to achieve position.
An exhibition shot designed to impress either by a player's skill or knowledge of how to set the balls up and take advantage of the angles of the table; usually a combination of both. A trick shot may involve items otherwise never seen during the course of a game, such as bottles, baskets, etc., and even members of the audience being placed on or around the table.
This is English that turns into reverse English after contact with the object ball. This will close up the angle on a bank.
This is the white ball in carom games which is separated from the clear ball by a marking (usually a dot or spot).
This is the imaginary line that a ball would need to follow in order for it to result in an effective bank shot.
This when you receive the first legitimate shot on the next "ball on" after there had been a series of safeties to try and hurt the other players chances. This term is often used in one pocket pool.
Refers to a person gambling when he has no money. As in, "That jerk can't pay up, he was shooting air barrels the whole time".
This is a bank in which the object ball hit will cross the path of the cue ball on the way to its destination.
An abrasive tip tool used as a grinder to roughen the cue tip to better hold chalk after it has become hardened and smooth from repeated impacts with the cue ball. Tappers serve the same purpose, but are used differently. Similar to a shaper, but shallower and less rough.
This a shot that hits the object ball at the nine ball to see if you can get lucky by sinking the nine ball in any pocket. (also see Cheese the Nine and Rolling the Cheese).
In snooker, the highest-value baulk colour, worth 4 points.
Successive games won without the opponent getting to the table; a five-pack would be a package of five games.
This is a particular shot where the potential for a miscue is higher because of the amount of draw that is attempted on the cue ball.
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.
This is the raised portion on the side of the table; the cushions are essentially rubber bumpers covered in the table cloth.
This is a handicapping method where one player gets the break, and is allowed to choose any ball afterwards to put in their pocket.
(Jack and Jill) Mixed doubles match (each team has one male and one female).
A deliberate foul that leaves the balls in a safe position, reducing the risk of giving a frame-winning chance to the opponent. The miss rule in snooker was implemented primarily to discourage the professional fouls.
This is the act of disturbing you opponents good looking balls in the hope that they might move over and help you out in the game of one pocket.
Same as side rail.
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.
When the object ball banked of a rail goes directly in a pocket without kissing or touching any other object balls.