Definition of soft break

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.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

A players skill level, ball advantage or match advantage when using a handicapping system.
This is the act of keeping your ball location advantages the way they are, and not allowing your opponent to even things out in the game of one pocket.
This is to watch a match with such intensity that there is worry, usually because of a wager on the game.
Either of the balls on the lateral extremities of a racked set of balls in position for a break shot; the two balls at the outside of a 15-ball rack in the back row, or the balls to the left and right of the 9 ball in nine-ball's diamond rack-shaped opening set up position. In nine-ball It is seen as a reliable sign of a good break (which is normally taken from close to either cushion in the kitchen) if the opposite wing ball is pocketed.
Same as visit.
Any ball that may be legally struck by the cue ball.
Linen made from flax and produced in Ireland which is often used to wrap the gripping area of the butt of a cue.
A highly skilled hustler making money gambling while traveling. Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler was a road player. One of the most notorious real-life road players is Keith McCready.
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.
The 'Lady Jane Grey' is a rarely used term to describe a shot in the game of snooker. The cue ball is baulk side of the spotted black after potting a red ball. The black is powerfully potted into a top corner pocket and the cue ball bounces off the top cushion into the red balls, moving them into space, thus allowing the continuation of a break. Named after Lady Jane Grey, the 16th Century Queen of England, possibly because the speed the cue ball must be hit matches the speed with which she was deposed from the throne.
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.
Also dead ball shot. A shot intended to slow down or "kill" the cue ball's speed as much as possible after contact with an object ball; usually a shot with draw, often combined with inside english. It is often shortened to kill.
To create contact with the cue ball or an object ball.
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.
This is a relatively simple machine that is used to duplicate inlay cuts within a cue so that the sizing will be accurate. When compared to the technical CNC machines, this is more like a tape measure, but when this effective tool is used to inlay a cue stick, you are getting a cue with genuine handcrafted inlays.
Chiefly American, and largely obsolete: Same as referee.
To enter the loser bracket in a double elimination tournament, or otherwise slip in standing in other tournament formats (i.e., to lose a game/frame/round/match, but still remain in the competition).
Also shake bottle, pea bottle, pill bottle, kelly bottle, tally bottle. The bottle used in various games to hold numbered peas, it is employed to assign random spots to players in a roster (such as in a tournament), or to assign random balls to players of a game.
Same as foul
To reach a certain position in a tournament. "I placed 17th." "She will probably place in the money this time."
This is to step up to the table and successfully execute a difficult shot.
A bridge formed by the hand where no finger loops over the shaft of the cue. Typically, the cue stick is channeled by a "v"-shaped groove formed by the thumb and the base of the index finger.
This is a bank shot that goes off of the head rail and then straight to the pocket at the other end of the table.
Also simply maximum. In snooker, the highest break attainable with the balls that are racked; usually 147 points starting by potting fifteen reds, in combination with blacks, and clearing the colours. Also called a 147 (one-four-seven). In six-red snooker, the maximum break is only 75 points, due to fewer red balls and thus fewer black-scoring opportunities.