Definition of split

In pool, the degree to which racked balls move apart upon impact by the cue ball as a result of a break shot.
In snooker, a shot sending the cue ball into the pack of red balls and separating them (after potting the ball-on). At least one split is usually necessary in each frame, since the original triangle of reds does not allow any balls to be potted reliably.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

The useless but common practice of contorting one's body while a shot is in play, usually in the direction one wishes a ball or balls to travel, as if in the vain hope that this will influence the balls' trajectories; the term is considered humorous.
As in many other sports, "legal" means not causing or likely to cause a foul (the opposite being illegal). A legal hit is one in which the requirements for a non-foul hit are met (e.g., in nine-ball, the lowest-numbered ball on the table was hit by the cue ball first, and at least one object ball was pocketed, or any ball reached a cushion, after the hit on the first object ball.). A legal shot is one in which no foul of any kind was involved (e.g. there was not a double hit by the cue, the player's bridge hand did not move a ball, etc.). A legal stroke is one in which the cue stroke obeyed the rules (e.g. the shooter did not perform an illegal jump shot by scooping under the cue ball with the cue tip). A legal ball is a ball-on, an object ball at which it is permissible for the player to shoot. And so on. The term can be used in many ways consistent with these examples ("legal pocket" in one-pocket, "legal equipment" under tournament specifications, etc.).
Also known as back spin, a type of spin applied to the cue ball by hitting it below its equator, causing it to spin backwards even as it slides forward on the cloth. Back spin slows the cue ball down, reduces its travel, and narrows both the carom angle after contact with an object ball, and angle of reflection off a cushion. There are several variant terms for this, including "bottom" and "bottom spin" in the US and "screw" in the UK. Draw is thought to be the first spin technique understood by billiards players prior to the introduction of leather tips, and was in use by the 1790s.
Describes the propensity of a player losing small sums of money at gambling to suddenly sharply increase the stakes; often continuing to lose until broke. Compare Chasing one's money.
This is another name for One Pocket pool.
Describing a situation where a pot is made more difficult, either by a pocket being partially blocked by another ball so that not all of it is available, or the cue ball path to the object ball's potting angle involves going past another ball very closely.
To play for money and lull a victim into thinking they can win, prompting them to accept higher and higher stakes, until beating them and walking off with more money than they would have been willing to bet had they been beaten soundly in the beginning. The terms hustler, for one who hustles, and hustling, describing the act, are just as common if not more so than this verb form.
This is to watch a match with such intensity that there is worry, usually because of a wager on the game.
This is to take all the money from a player or to have lost all of your own money.
American CueSports Alliance. Their mission statement is "To heighten the interest and awareness of cue sports through the support and sanctioning of organized competition throughout the United States and North America."
In the game 9 Ball, making the nine ball early with a legal shot, but not on the break.
A player skilled at very thin cut shots, and shots in which a ball must pass cleanly through a very narrow space (such as the cue ball between two of the opponent's object balls with barely enough room) to avoid a foul and/or to pocket a ball. Such shots may be referred to as "surgery", "surgical shots", "surgical cuts", etc. (chiefly US, colloquial). See also feather (US) or snick (UK).
A tournament format in which a player is out of the tournament after a single match loss.
Same as back spin.
The pocket in snooker that is closest to the green spot.
Also double-century break. In English billiards, a break of 200-299 points (i.e. double a century). Larger multi-centuries are regularly achieved. Rare in amateur play, triple centuries are routine, and quadruples not uncommon at World Professional Billiards Championships; 2007 winner Mike Russell shot four triples in the final round alone, while of sixteen competitors, three shot quadruple centuries (one once, one twice, and Russell three times). Quintuple centuries are rare even at the professional level, with only the 494 shot by nine-time World Champion Russell (who has more such titles than any other player in history as of 2007) coming close in that event. World Champion Geet Sethi holds the world record, at a duodectuple century (and then some) of 1276 consecutive points."
The forward rotation of the cue ball that results from a follow shot. Also known as top spin or top, follow is applied to the cue ball by hitting it above its equator, causing it to spin more rapidly in the direction of travel than it would simply by rolling on the cloth from a center-ball hit. Follow speeds the cue ball up, and widens both the carom angle after contact with an object ball, and angle of reflection off a cushion.
This is to intentionally foul by slightly moving the ball, or playing another type of illegally defensive shot in a game where the ball is just turned over to the other player. Like in one pocket, you still take the foul, but can leave the other player with a challenging shot.
This is your pocket for sinking balls in a one pocket game.
Also topspin, top-spin, top. Same as follow. Contrast bottom spin, back spin.
Describes a player who needs only one more game win to be victorious in the match.
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.
This is a version of double elimination tournament play that splits the field of competitors into two brackets that come together for a single elimination championship game.
The placement of the balls, especially the cue ball, relative to the next planned shot. Also known as shape.