Definition of small

Also smalls, small ones, small balls. In eight-ball, to be shooting the solid suit (group) of balls (1 through 7); "you're the small one" or "I've got the smalls". Compare little, solids, reds, low, spots, dots, unders; contrast big.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

To play even; without a handicap. Also called heads up.
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 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.
A common way to keep track of games won when playing for small money is to use a coin that is placed under the rail next to the diamonds on the rail. The center diamond at the head of the table is taken as zero, and each diamond from that is considered to be one game. To go 'around the world' is to beat your opponent so badly that the coin travels all the way around the diamonds on the table.
When two objects balls are lined up so that you aim to pocket the nearest object ball, the second object ball will pocket. "That was an easy combination shot, the six ball was wired to the four ball". Also wired combination/combo, wired kiss.
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.
To determine the order of play, players (representing only themselves, or teams) each simultaneously shoot a ball from the kitchen (or in British games, from the baulk line) to the end rail and back toward the bottom rail. Whichever shooter's ball comes to rest closest to the bottom rail gets to choose who breaks the rack. It is permissible but not required for the lagged ball to touch or rebound from the bottom rail, but not to touch the side rails. Lagging is usually a two-party activity, though there are games such as cutthroat in which three players might lag. In the case of a tie, the tying shooters re-lag. The lag is most often used in tournament play or other competitions. In hard-break games like nine-ball and eight-ball the winner of the lag would normally take the break, while in soft-break games like straight pool would likely require the loser of the lag to break, since breaking would be a disadvantage.
The act of setting up the balls for a break shot. In tournament play this will be done by the referee, but in lower-level play, players either rack for themselves or for each other depending on convention.
Jargon for a tournament chart, showing which players are playing against whom and what the results are. Often shortened to card.
Same as visit.
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.
The angle at which a ball approaches a rail, as measured from the perpendicular to the rail.
A player who was not shooting well during a match but suddenly turns it around and starts playing better and more accurately. e.g. "He was misisng everything for the first part of the match, then found a stroke to come back and win."
An intentionally amateurish stroke to disguise one's ability to play.
This is the portion of the butt of your cue just below the handle or wrap. This portion of the cue is made separately and often times cored out to ensure the proper weight balance within the full length of the cue. This portion of the cue is usually made with exotic wood that matches the wood in the forearm or in the points on the forearm. This section is used to highlight the design of the forearm, sometimes a re-creation, a reverse, or a rendition of the same pattern on a smaller scale.
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.
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 foot spot. Chiefly British today, but also an American usage ca. World War I.
To sink a ball into a pocket.
In snooker, after particular fouls are committed, the referee can call a "free ball." This allows the next player to assign any ball as "ball on" if he or she is shooting next.
Either of the two longer rails of a billiards or pocket billiards table, bisected by a center pocket and bounded at both ends by a corner pocket. Also called a long rail.
A term applied especially in snooker for a type of double off three cushions, e.g. around the baulk colours and into a centre pocket. Such a shot is very difficult to make and would not normally be played as anything more than a shot for nothing.
The placement of the balls, especially the cue ball, relative to the next planned shot. Also known as shape.
This is the white ball in carom games which is separated from the clear ball by a marking (usually a dot or spot).