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

In snooker, a situation where the scores are tied after all the balls have been potted, and the black ball is re-spotted and the first player to pot it wins. The players toss for the first shot, which must be taken with the cue ball in the D. A safety battle typically ensues, until an error allows a player to pot the black, or a fluke or a difficult pot is made.
An illegal shot (foul) in which the cue stick's tip contacts the cue ball twice during a single stroke. Double hits often occur when a player shoots the cue ball when it is very close to an object ball or cushion, because it is difficult to move the cue stick away quickly enough after the cue ball rebounds from the cushion or object ball.
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.
This is the stick used to contact the cue ball in pool and billiards games. The cue stick is usually made of wood, features a special contact tip, and is usually tapered to slide through your hand. The price of these tools can range from oil change to transmission change depending on the quality of craftsmanship and design.
Chiefly American: The cushion on the foot rail. Compare top cushion; contrast head cushion.
A common aiming method in which a phantom ball is imagined frozen to the object ball at the point where an imaginary line drawn between their centers is aimed at the desired target; the cue ball may then be shot at the center of the "ghost" ball and, ideally, impact the object ball at the proper aiming contact point. The ghost ball method of aiming results in misses where adjustment is not made for collision induced throw.
Same as visit.
A break shot in which the rack (pack) is disturbed as little as possible within the bounds of a legal shot, in order to force the opponent to have to break it up further. A soft break is desirable in some games, such as straight pool, in which breaking is a disadvantage; and forbidden by the open break rules of other games such as nine-ball and eight-ball.
National Amateur Pool League.
The surface of the table used for play (often made with slate).
Four-ball is a carom billiards game. The game is played on a pocketless table with four balls, usually one light red, one dark red, and two whites (or just two reds and two whites). Each player is assigned one of the white balls as his own cue ball. A point is scored when a shooter caroms on any two other balls. Two points are scored when the player caroms on each of the three other balls.
Three Cushion is a form of carom billiards.
The object of the game is to carom the cue ball off both object balls and contact the rail cushions at least 3 times before the last object ball. A point is scored for each successful carom.
A Carom game with lines drawn to form rectangles that restrict play and reduce the potential for high runs.
Short for right english (side), i.e. side spin imparted to the cue ball by stroking it to the right-hand side of its vertical axis. Contrast left.
A shot where the cue ball must hit the object ball so as to make it travel out of a straight line, at a different angle, toward its destination.
The sides of a table's frame upon which the elastic cushions are mounted. May also be used interchangeably with cushion.
A British term describing when a ball is tight on the cushion and a player sends the cue ball to hit both the object ball and the rail at nearly the same time; the object ball, ideally, stays tight to the rail and is thus "velcroed" to the rail. Inside english is often employed to achieve this effect, hitting slightly before the ball. The movement of a ball just next to the rail (but not the shot described to achieve this movement) is called hugging the rail in both the UK and the US.
Also straight eight-ball. Same as bar pool. Not to be confused with the games of straight pool or straight rail.
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.
The pocket chosen to house the selected ball in your called shot.
A stroking technique in which a player releases his gripping hand briefly and re-grasps the cue farther back on the butt just before hitting the cue ball.
When a successful non penalized break is achieved which gives the object balls a broad spread on the table.
The motion of the cue stick and the player's arm on a shot;
The strength, fluidity and finesse of a player's shooting technique; "she has a good stroke."
A combination of finesse, good judgement, accuracy and confidence.
A tournament format in which a player is out of the tournament after a single match loss.