Definition of talc

White talcum powder placed on a player's bridge hand to reduce moisture so that a cue's shaft can slide more easily. It is not provided in many establishments as many recreational players will use far more than is necessary and transfer it all over the table's surface. Venues that do provide it usually do so in the form of compress cones about 6-inches tall. Some serious players bring their own, in a bottle or a porous bag that can be patted on the bridge hand. Many players prefer a pool glove. Talc is frequently mistakenly referred to as "hand chalk", despite not being made of chalk.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

This is the way your hand is configured to support the shaft of the cue during a shot.
Chiefly American: The short rail at the foot of the table. Frequently used imprecisely, to mean foot cushion. Compare top rail; contrast head rail.
Slang term for the cue ball.
In snooker, a shot where a player fouls by missing the ball on altogether. The miss rule allows for his opponent to have the player play exactly the same shot again, or at least as accurately as the referee is able to reproduce the ball positions. A miss usually occurs when a player makes an unsuccessful attempt at escaping from a snooker. It is a controversial rule aimed at formally discouraging deliberate fouls. In professional snooker, a referee will almost always call a miss on any foul where the player misses the ball on altogether, regardless of how close the player comes to hitting it, however no miss can be called when either of the players requires snookers to win the frame. If a player is called for a miss three times in a single visit while not snookered, he forfeits the frame; to avoid this, players almost always play an easy hit on their third attempt, even if it is likely to leave a chance for the opponent.
Name for the ball that when pocketed, wins the game, or any ball that when made results in a payday such as a way in the game of Chicago.
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".
The rules played in a particular venue not necessarily in comportment with official rules, or with common local bar pool custom.
When a ball is given as a handicap it often must be called (generally tacit). A wild handicap means the ball can be made in any manner specifically without being called.
Either of the two shorter rails on a standard pool, billiards or snooker table. Contrast side rail/long rail.
This is a handicapping method where one player gets the break, and is allowed to choose any ball afterwards to put in their pocket.
Chiefly American: The cushion on the foot rail. Compare top cushion; contrast head cushion.
Same as feather (US) or snick (UK)
This is a play where the shot of the cue ball is meant to end up in a certain place to loose your turn, but makes the next attempt difficult for your opponent. The shot is turned over, but will often times lead to a foul, giving you the ball back with a different view or ball in hand. This "safety" play is important if your shot isn't ideal, and you are likely to turn the ball over anyway.
A rack in the form of an equilateral triangle. There are different sizes of triangles for racking different games (which use different ball sizes and numbers of balls), including the fifteen ball racks for snooker and various pool games such as eight-ball and blackball. A larger triangle is used for the twenty-one ball rack for baseball pocket billiards). The smallest triangle rack is employed in three-ball (see illustration at that article) but is not strictly necessary, as the front of a larger rack can be used, or the balls can be arranged by hand.
The object balls in triangular formation, before the break shot, after being racked. See also pyramid.
Successive games won without the opponent getting to the table; a five-pack would be a package of five games.

An attempt of a legal clean shot (not a slop shot) that goes badly wrong due to improper stroke, stance, table position or table conditions in which the result of the shot is completely unexpected and not what was predicted at all.

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.
On two piece cues, the area of the cue between the joint and the wrap.
To bungle a shot in a manner that leaves the table in such a fortuitous position for the opponent that there is a strong likelihood of losing the game or match. Contrast sell out.
When the rules of the opening break are broken. Ex: If not enough balls contact with rails off the break.
A requirement under some pocket billiards rulesets that either an object ball be pocketed, or at least four object balls be driven to contact the cushions, on the opening break shot.
A multi-game division of a match, as used in some league and tournament formats. For example, in a match between 2 teams of 5 players each, a 25-game match might be divided into 5 rounds of 5 games each, in which the roster of one team moves one line down at the beginning of each round, such that by the end of the match every player on team A has played every player on team B in round robin fashion.
A level of competition elimination in a tournament, such as the quarterfinal round, semifinal round and final round.
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.
A set of paired balls in the game of cribbage pool that have a number value which combined equal 15. For example, the 8 ball and the 7 ball added together equal 15 and thus constitute one cribbage if pocketed in succession.