Definition of table scratch

Failure to hit an object ball at all with the cue ball. In most sets of rules, this is a foul like any other. However, in some variants of bar pool a table scratch while shooting for the 8 ball is a loss of game where other more minor fouls might not be, as is scratching on the 8 ball (neither result in a loss of game in most professional rules).
By way of drift from the above definition, the term is also applied by many league players to the foul in more standardized rules of failing to drive a (any) ball to a cushion, or to pocket a legal object ball, after the cue ball's initial contact with an object ball.
By way of entirely different derivation ("scratch off the table"), it can also mean knocking the cue ball (or more loosely, any ball) completely off the table.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

English Amateur Billiards Association. The EABA is the governing body of amateur billiards in England, and as such is responsible for organizing various tournaments and events.
Making all of the required shots in a game (rack) without the opponent ever getting to the table or getting back to the table.
A shot played slowly and with heavy draw and follow-through so that the cue ball can be struck firmly but with a lot of the pace taken out, allowing more control than just a gentle tap that would travel as far. Also called "Drag Draw".
This is a creative game played between four players, using hands instead of cue sticks. The goal is to shoot as many balls as possible into the diagonally opposing corner pocket you are standing behind. The shooting is done taking turns and rotating counter clockwise. When misses on the pocket occur, the ball is open game to be stolen and pocketed in the new opposing pocket during the new owners turn. Ties are decided by lagging with the hands, and the winner of one game is the first to shoot in the next.
A type of nurse shot used in English billiards in which two coloured balls are positioned on either side of the mouth of a snooker table pocket but not touching and, thus placed, can be successively contacted and scored off over and over by the cue ball without moving them.
This is the point on the object ball where the cue exactly impacts or the point at which two balls touch when they impact.
Literally, a pocket, but generally used in the phrases losing hazard - potting (pocketing the cue ball off another ball - and winning hazard - using the cue ball to pot another ball - the two types of legal shots that pocket balls in games in which the term is used at all, which is very few today. The term principally survives in English billiards, in which both types of shots are point-scoring. Formerly, a large number of different games made use of the two types of hazards as point scorers or losers in various different ways (thus their suggestive names). The term ultimately derives from holes or pockets in the table to be avoided, in very early forms of billiards. While the terms are disused in pocket billiards today, their lingering effect is obvious, as the vast bulk of such games focus on making winning hazards and avoiding losing hazards (a notable exception being Russian pyramid in which both are legal shots).
In golf billiards, an area of the table (sometimes marked) that a player will be penalized for entering if their ball does not leave. Derives from the use of the term in the outdoor game of golf.
Also semi-massé shot. A moderate curve imparted to the path of the cue ball by an elevated hit with use of english (side); or a shot using this technique. Also known as a curve (US) or swerve (UK) shot. Compare massé.
Also highs, high balls, high ones. In eight-ball and related games, to be shooting the striped suit (group) of balls (9 through 15); "you're high balls" or "I've got the highs" ("you're high" is rare, because of the "intoxication" ambiguity). Compare stripes, yellows, big ones, overs; contrast low.
Netted or cupped pockets that do not return the balls to the foot end of the table by means of a gutter system or sloped surface beneath (they must instead be retrieved manually).
An organization that promotes competitive, usually team, amateur cue sports, most commonly pool, especially eight-ball and nine-ball, although there are also well-established snooker leagues. Some leagues, many of which are decades old, are entirely local and either informal or incorporated, and may use their own local rules or may have adopted more widely published rulesets, such as those of the WPA. Other leagues are organized on a multi-regional or even international level, and may be non-profit or for-profit enterprises, usually with their own fine-tuned rule books. Despite differences, the largest leagues are increasingly converging toward the WPA rules, with the exception of the APA/CPA, which retains rules much closer to US-style bar pool. At least four major pool leagues hold international championships in Las Vegas, Nevada annually (APA/CPA, BCAPL, VNEA and ACS/CCS). Some leagues also offer one-on-one tournaments, scotch doubles events, artistic pool competition, and other non-team activities.
The International Pool Tour is a professional sports tour created in 2005 by Kevin Trudeau and hosted by Rebecca Grant. It aims to elevate pool (pocket billiards) to the level of other modern sports.
Shooting at an object ball that is already in motion at the moment of shooting and cue ball impact; illegal in most games and usually only seen in exhibition/trick shots.
A shot where the cue ball has no top spin or back spin on it when it impacts an object ball, and "stuns" out along the tangent line. Commonly shortened to just "stun."
When complete focus allows you to execute quality billiards play with simplicity and seeming ease.
Inadvertent english placed on the cueball by a failure to hit it dead center on its horizontal axis. It is both a common source of missed shots and commonly overlooked when attempts are made to determine the reason for a miss. In UK parlance this is usually called 'unwanted side'.
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.
Same as side rail.
This refers to a shot that is not banked, does not hit a rail and goes into the pocket without contacting any other balls on the table.
To intentionally miss a shot (that results in a foul) in order to create a position for the cue ball that makes it hard for the other player to execute their shot. Not to be confused with a "Safety", since a safety is a legal hit.
This describes balls that are not able to be made in a pocket, either because they are high up on the table, in a different pocket, or in a cluster that makes the shot difficult. This condition of being out of play obviously exists on different difficulty levels.
This is when a player has scratched and the foul in one pocket calls for them to spot a ball, but not able to be spotted at the time. In this case a coin is usually placed on the side of the table to keep tabs.
Short for top spin, i.e. same as follow.
Chiefly British: The half of the table in which the object balls are racked (in games in which racked balls are used). This usage is conceptually opposite that in North America, where this end of the table is called the foot. In snooker, this is where the reds are racked, nearest the black spot; this is the area in which most of the game is usually played.
Chiefly American: Exactly the opposite of the above - the head end of the table. No longer in common usage.
A pool ball that was meant to go into the pocket, but got caught up by the jaw and ended up bouncing back and forth before stopping short of the pocket.