Definition of taper

The profile of the shaft of the cue as it as it increases in diameter from the tip to the joint. A "fast" or "slow" taper refers to how quickly the diameter increases. A "pro" taper describes a shaft that tapers rapidly from the joint size to the tip size so as to provide a long, untapered stroking area.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

This is placed on a ball by hitting it slightly below center. This action makes the ball travel in a motion against its originally hit direction.
Same as stripes, in New Zealand. Compare yellows, high, big ones; contrast unders.
Same as feather (US) or snick (UK)
A tournament format in which a player is out of the tournament after a single match loss.
The interlocking connection between the butt and shaft ends of a two-piece cue stick. Usually connects via means of a steel or wooden pin, and may be protected by a collar of metal or some other material, or may connect wood-on-wood.
Same as gutter table. A table with a ball return system, as opposed to a drop pocket table.
In snooker, after particular fouls are committed, the referee can call a "free ball." This allows the next player to assign any ball as "ball on" if he or she is shooting next.
This is a term used more in snooker to refer to a follow shot, when the cue ball is hit above center to allow it to follow the object ball after impact.
This is a shot that attempts to move a number of balls onto your side of the table in a kind of herding attempt.
The sides of a table's frame upon which the elastic cushions are mounted. May also be used interchangeably with cushion.
In one pocket pool this means that you change your play based on where the count is during the game. If you are ahead you might choose more conservative shots, and if you are behind you could choose more aggressive shots.
This is the way your hand is configured to support the shaft of the cue during a shot.
One-on-one game play.
This is to watch a match with such intensity that there is worry, usually because of a wager on the game.
In snooker, to leave the cue ball ball on the spot of a colour ball after potting it. This is usually performed where re-spotting of the colour ball would cause positional problems for the player, such as blocking available pots on one or more red balls.
A rare and very difficult trick jump shot that turns into a draw shot upon landing. Requires precise application of spin in addition to the precise application of ball pressure to effectuate the jump. Jump draws are fairly often seen in professional trick shot competition.
This is the portion of the cue you would be holding if there was no wrap or grip present. This is the position where the best gripping power can be generated, and is situated below the forearm and above the butt. This portion is often covered with a wrap, but other times left bare to create a simple seamless style.
A particular shot where the object ball hits or grazes another object ball on the way to its pocket or toward hitting yet another object ball.
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.
A style of game play in which as many players are allowed to join as the participants choose, and anyone can quit at any time. The term, most often used in the context of gambling, is borrowed from poker. The folk games three-ball and killer are usually played as open ring games, as is Kelly pool.
By extension, a multi-player game that anyone may initially join, but which has a fixed roster of competitors once it begins, is sometimes also called a ring game. Cutthroat is, by its nature, such a game. A famous regular ring game event of this sort is the Grady Mathews-hosted six-player, $3000-buy-in ring ten-ball competition at the annual Derby City Classic.
A nine-ball ring game is played by more than two players. Safeties are not allowed.
Used when describing perfect play. "as if the balls had strings on them"
The number of balls pocketed in an inning in pool (e.g., a run of five balls), or points scored in a row in carom billiards (e.g., a run of five points). Compare British break (sense 2), which is applied to pool as well as snooker in British English.
Chiefly Australian: Same as a force follow shot.
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.