Definition of slate

The heavy, finely milled rock (slate) that forms the bed of the table, beneath the cloth. Major slate suppliers for the billiards industry are Italy, Brazil and China. Some cheaper tables, and novelty tables designed for outdoor use, do not use genuine slate beds, but artificial materials such as Slatrol.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

The placement of player(s) automatically in a tournament where some have to qualify, or automatic placement in later rounds.
English Amateur Billiards Association. The EABA is the governing body of amateur billiards in England, and as such is responsible for organizing various tournaments and events.
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.
Slang for the cue ball.
This is playing to a higher winning score than eight in the game of one pocket.
A (principally American) term in eight-ball for either of the set of seven balls (stripes or solids) that must be cleared before sinking the 8 ball. Borrowed from card games. Generally used in the generic, especially in rulesets or articles, rather than colloquially by players. See also group for the British equivalent.
The profile of the shaft of the cue as it as it increases in diameter from the tip to the joint. A "fast" or "slow" taper refers to how quickly the diameter increases. A "pro" taper describes a shaft that tapers rapidly from the joint size to the tip size so as to provide a long, untapered stroking area.
Alternate name for the cue ball.
In carom billiards games, a term for the opponent's cue ball, which for the shooting player is another object ball along with the red.
When a player is on the receiving end of a devastating safety where it is very difficult or near impossible to make a legal hit on an object ball.
The area on the table behind the head string.
The origin of the term has been the subject of some speculation but the best explanation known is that in the 1800s, many homes did not have room for both a billiard table and a dining room table. The solution was a billiards table that had a cover converting it into a dining table. Kept in the dining room, play on such a table was often restricted by the size of the room, so it would be placed so that the head rail would face the connected kitchen door, thus affording a player room for the backswing without hitting a wall. A player was therefore either half or sometimes fully (literally) "in the kitchen" when breaking the balls.
Similar to run out, but more specific to making all required shots from the start of a rack. Also known as also break and run or break and dish.
This is a low bet in a game with action.
More commonly known as "straight pool", it was for many years the most popular game in pool and the game on which all World Championships were based.
14.1 is a call-shot game played with all 15 numbered balls and cue ball. Every ball pocketed counts as one point and a game is played to a agreed up score, generally 50, 100, or 150 points.
Traditional straight pool matches are played to 150 points.14.1 is also called "continuous pool" because, after the opening break, play continues until a player reaches the winning score. When only one numbered ball is left on the table, the remaining 14 are racked (with the apex ball missing), and play continues.
Using knowledge of the game and one's own abilities and limitations to choose the manner of shooting and the particular shot from an array presented, that has a degree of likelihood of success. This often requires a player to forego a shot that if made would be very advantageous but does not have a high likelihood of success, in favor of a safety or less advantageous shot that is more realistically achievable.
Same as break.
This is a location where a player can go inexpensively to refine their pool skills. These establishments began as horserace betting houses, and are still often filled with games involving money action. If you get thirsty, many pool halls offer cold refreshments, however, be careful you are not there just for the refreshments. In that case, you may as well be playing at a bar with a bent cue on a rain table.
Slang for a mechanical bridge.
A small clamping tip tool used to firmly hold and apply pressure to a replacement cue tip until the glue holding the tip to the ferrule has fully dried.
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.
A joint type in which the butt and shaft screw together in a tight lock, resulting in a better shot with more hitting power.
This the area behind the pocket points before the pocket. The ball can get behind here and rest waiting to be pocketed, or the cue ball can get corner hooked in this location. Different tables feature a smaller or larger area here which can make these situations more or less achievable.
Two or more object balls that are touching or are close together.
This piece of armament keeps the butt of your cue safe from coincidental contact with the floor or other damaging incidents. It is usually made of a rubber composite or other durable or flexible material to absorb impact in the case of a collision.
This is how the player is who is does not break before they get a chance to get out of the break. This time period is when the breaking player with a position advantage on the table.