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

Chiefly British: Same as shark (senses 1, 2). The term appears in lyrics from The Mikado (1884) in relation to billiards, and developed from sharper (in use by at least 1681, but now obsolete) meaning "hustler" but not specific to billiards.
Common slang in the US for a cheap, poorly made cue. Compare wood.
This is a toned down masse shot. The cue is elevated a little and will curve a little in the direction the spin is applied. This is used to sneak around difficult shots.
To allow an opponent to stop playing a set for money in exchange for something. If a player is winning a set by a wide margin, with $100 on the line, the player could say, "I'll let you out now for $75." This is usually meant to save pride.
Carambole billiards is a French billiards game involving two cue balls and a single red object ball. The purpose of carambole billiards is to obtain points by contacting the object ball and the opponent's cue ball in the same shot.
This is another name for One Pocket pool.
The surface of the table used for play (often made with slate).
On a shot, the extension of the cue stick through the cue ball position during the end of a player's stroke in the direction originally aimed.
New Zealand Billiards and Snooker Association.
The Higher Education Snooker and Pool Council is a voluntary, not-for-profit organisation established to promote cue sports in institutions of higher education on the island of Ireland.
The overall competition between two players, two pairs of players or two teams of players, usually consisting of a predetermined number of frames or games (sometimes organized into rounds).
Jargon for a tournament chart, showing which players are playing against whom and what the results are. Often shortened to card.
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 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.
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.
When the rules of the opening break are broken. Ex: If not enough balls contact with rails off the break.
This term is used to refer to a player missing a shot.
A widespread term in US parlance describing missing a relatively easy shot—often in the face of pressure. Can be used in many forms: "I dogged the shot"; "I hope he dogs it"; "I'm such a dog."
This is a bank in which the object ball hit will cross the path of the cue ball on the way to its destination.
The interlocking connection between the butt and shaft ends of a two-piece cue stick. Usually connects via means of a steel or wooden pin, and may be protected by a collar of metal or some other material, or may connect wood-on-wood.
A natural is an easy shot requiring no side spin. A shot is said to be natural if it does not require adjustments, such as a cut angle, side spin, or unusual force. A natural bank shot, for example, is one in which simply shooting straight into the object ball at medium speed and with no spin will send the object ball directly into the target pocket on the other side of the table.
A pejorative term for an improper rack in which the balls are not properly in contact with their neighbors, often resulting in a poor spread on the break.
When the cue ball is tucked behind the corner of a pocket, therefore not allowing a direct shot at the object ball.
(Chiefly British.) In snooker and blackball/eight-ball pool, an instance where the cue ball has been potted (pocketed) after contacting an object ball. It is a fault (foul) in most games. There is no equivalent (current) American term for this specific means of pocketing the white ball. Compare losing hazard, scratch.
In eight-ball and related games, describes the situation in which neither player has yet claimed a suit (group) of balls. Often shortened to simply open: "Is it still an open table?" "Yes, it's open."