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

A successful attempt to get out of a snooker.
A player who during the course of a tournament does not lose focus. Typically said of those players that regularly make it to the finals of a tournament.
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.
A tournament format in which each contestant plays each of the other contestants at least once. In typical league team play, round robin format means that each member of the home team plays each member of the visiting team once. This format is used by BCAPL, VNEA and many other leagues.
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".
The act of playing a devastating safety which leaves the opponent in a situation where it is very difficult or near impossible to make a legal hit on an object ball
An intentionally amateurish stroke to disguise one's ability to play.
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."
This is a term to describe 100 break points in a game of snooker.
Playing an opponent for money who has no chance of winning based on disparity of skill levels. The term robbed is also sometimes used humorously in exclamations when a shot that looks like it would work did not, as in "Oh! You got robbed on that one!"
0-2 Barbecue is a slang billiard term that refers to a single player loosing the first 2 matches in a double elimination tournament. This double loss results in that player being knocked out of the tournament without winning even one game.
This is a ball that is positioned near your pocket that can be used to kiss off of when sinking another object ball.
Hitting the object ball with too large of a cut angle; hitting the object ball too thin. It is a well-known maxim that overcutting is preferable to undercutting in many situations, as is more often leaves the table in a disadvantageous position on the miss than does an undercut. See also professional side of the pocket.
Chiefly American: The cushion on the foot rail. Compare top cushion; contrast head cushion.
The desired angle that must be created between the path of the cue ball and the path of the object ball upon contact to pot the object ball. It is usually measured to the center of the pocket. See also aiming line.
Nine Pin (also known as Goriziana) is a carom billiards game. The game has nine pins in the center of a table. It is played by two teams of 1 or 2 players. Three balls are used of which two are cue balls. Each team (or each player) aims to hit their opponent's ball and from there score points by hitting onto the red ball and also by making the opponent's and/or the red ball knock over the pins.
The object ball involved in a key shot.
A situation in which a ball strikes another ball which is close to a rail and the struck ball rebounds back into the ball it was hit by; usually but not always unintended.
Also straight eight-ball. Same as bar pool. Not to be confused with the games of straight pool or straight rail.
When a successful non penalized break is achieved which gives the object balls a broad spread on the table.
During a set if the opponent does not win a single game, they are said to have been skunked.
A phrase used in snooker to describe the scenario whereby there are not enough available points on the table to level the scores for the frame, therefore the trailing player needs his/her opponent to foul in order to be able to make up the deficit. The name comes from the fact that this would normally have to be achieved by placing the leading player in foul-prone situations such as difficult snookers.
This is the red colored object ball in carom games.
In snooker, any of the 15 balls worth 1 point each that can be potted in any order. During the course of a break a player must first pot a red followed by a colour, and then a red and colour, etc., until the reds run out and then the re-spotted six colours must be cleared in their order. Potting more than one red in a single shot is not a foul - the player simply gets a point for each red potted.
In blackball, one of two groups of seven object balls that must be potted before the black. Reds are spotted before yellows, if balls from both group must be spotted at the same time. Compare stripes; contrast yellow ball.
In carom billiards, the object ball that is neither player's cue ball.
To maneuver a ball on a shot so that it will be favorably positioned for later play into a particular pocket, even at the expense of sacrificing position or the inning to achieve that result.