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

This is to use running english or soft speed in order to open up the angle on a particular bank shot.
An abrasive tip tool used as a grinder to roughen the cue tip to better hold chalk after it has become hardened and smooth from repeated impacts with the cue ball. Tappers serve the same purpose, but are used differently. Similar to a shaper, but shallower and less rough.
A pejorative term for an improper rack in which the balls are not properly in contact with their neighbors, often resulting in a poor spread on the break.
Describing a pot played at such a pace as to just reach the pocket and drop in without hitting the back.
Area on the corner of a carom table, which is defined by a line between the second diamond on the side rail and the first diamond on the end rail, where only three successive points are allowed before the object ball must be cleared out of the area.
Same as back spin.
The way in which a player holds the butt end of the cue stick.
The wrap of the cuestick where the hand is placed, also known as the "grip area."
Describing a ball that is safe because it is in close proximity to one or more other balls, and would need to be developed before it becomes pottable.
Used by itself often with "low" and "high": "that's a low-percentage shot for me", "I should really take the high-percentage one".
Also known as a "power draw", means applying very powerful draw on the cue ball thereby causing the maximum amount of draw.
In team match play when playing one-on-one matches, if one team is short a player, a player on that team is called back to play a second match.
For example: Team A has 6 players, Team B has 4 players. There will be five individual matches played. For the fifth match Team A can pick a player from Team B to play a second match against their fifth match player.
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.
Side spin on a cue ball on the opposite side of the direction of the cut angle to be played (right-hand english when cutting an object ball to the left, and vice versa). In addition to affecting cue ball position, outside english can be used to decrease throw.
This a shot that hits the object ball at the nine ball to see if you can get lucky by sinking the nine ball in any pocket. (also see Rolling the Cheese and Cheese the Nine).
Playing an opponent for money who has no chance of winning based on disparity of skill levels. The term robbed is also sometimes used humorously in exclamations when a shot that looks like it would work did not, as in "Oh! You got robbed on that one!"
This is a timing device for monitoring and restricting shot times for a player.
Chiefly American: Also known as side spin, english (which is usually not capitalized) is spin placed on the cue ball when hit with the cue tip to the left or right of the ball's center. English has a marked effect on cue ball rebound angle off cushions (though not off object balls), and is thus crucial for gaining shape; and can be used to "throw" an object ball slightly off its otherwise expected trajectory, to cheat the pocket, and for other effects. "English" is sometimes used more inclusively, to colloquially also refer to follow and draw. In combination one could say bottom-right english, or like the face of a clock (4 o'clock english). The British and Irish do not use this term, instead preferring "side".
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.
In snooker, the highest-value colour ball on the table, being worth seven points. In some (especially American) snooker ball sets it is numbered "7" on its surface.
The black ball (usually numbered "8") in the eight-ball variant game blackball (and its variants); also the common British term for the slightly larger but otherwise identical 8 ball in a kelly pool set (a.k.a. American or WPA pool set).
This term refers to a low percentage one pocket shot.
This is the white ball in carom games which is separated from the clear ball by a marking (usually a dot or spot).
This term refers to a cue stick that is bent or warped, so that the straightness, or lack thereof, of the cue offers less than ideal play. This can occur from storing the cue in the wrong atmosphere, i.e. too warm or humid, or from the quality of wood used during construction. Some cues are coated with fiberglass, carbon fiber or graphite in order to avoid warping.
Describing a difficult pot: "the awkward cueing makes this shot missable."
Billiard Congress of America. The official governing body for pocket billiards in the United States.