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

A tournament format in which a player is out of the tournament after a single match loss.
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.
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.
The BCA Pool League is one of the major amateur pool leagues in the United States and is present in over a dozen other countries outside the U.S., with a significant presence in Canada
Any game which uses a rack composed of less than 15 balls.
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.
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.
A point bead on a scoring string.
When two objects balls are lined up so that you aim to pocket the nearest object ball, the second object ball will pocket. "That was an easy combination shot, the six ball was wired to the four ball". Also wired combination/combo, wired kiss.
Also bar box, pub table, tavern table. Distinctive pool tables found in bars/pubs/taverns, and often in various other venues such as family entertainment centers and arcade rooms at bowling alleys. They are almost always coin-operated and smaller than tables found in pool halls. Typical bar boxes are 3.5 ft (1.1 m) × 7 ft (2.1 m).
In snooker, the colour ball worth 5 points, whose spot is at the center of the table.
A specific ball number followed by "out" refers to a handicap in nine-ball or other rotation games where the "spot" is all balls from that designated number to the money ball. To illustrate, the 6-out in a nine-ball game would allow the player getting weight to win by legally pocketing the 6, 7, 8 or 9 balls.
Short for run out, especially as a noun: "That was a nice out."
Also pills, tally balls and shake balls. Small, round markers typically numbered 1 through 15 or 16, which are placed in a bottle for various random assignment purposes, such as in a tournament roster, to assign order of play in a multiplayer game, or to assign particular balls to players in games such as kelly pool.
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.
The triangular device, generally plastic, used to group the balls in a pyramid form prior to the beginning of a game.
An outgrowth of the training template concept, a racking template is a racking tool used in place of a traditional rigid ball rack for pool or snooker balls, consisting of a very thin, e.g. 0.14 mm (0.0055 in), sheet of material such as paper or plastic with holes into which object balls settle snugly against one another to form a tight rack (pack). The template is placed, stencil-like, in racking position, with the lead ball's hole directly over the center of the foot spot. The balls are then placed onto the template and arranged to settle into their holes, forming a tight rack. Unlike with a training template, the balls are not tapped to create divots, and instead the template is left in place until after the break shot at which time it can be removed (unless balls are still sitting on top of it). Manufacturers such as Magic Ball Rack insist that racking templates are designed "to affect the balls to a minimum", and while pro player Mike Immonen has endorsed that particular brand as a retail product, as of September 2010, no professional tours nor amateur leagues have adopted that or any other racking template. Although Magic Ball Rack implies development work since 2006, other evidence suggests invention, by Magic Ball Rack's founder, in mid 2009, with product announcement taking place in September of that year.
This is playing to a higher winning score than eight in the game of one pocket.
Also lows, low, low ones. In eight-ball, to be shooting the solid suit (group) of balls (1 through 7); "you're low, remember", "you're low balls" or "I've got the lows." Compare solids, reds, little, spots, dots, unders; contrast high.
Also known as 14.1 continuous pool. This game is played on a pocketed table with the fifteen object balls and a cue ball. Every shot must begin with a call, and if made, you get to continue calling shots. The idea is to reach a predetermined score before your opponent. When all but one ball remains, the rack is started over without the apex ball in position, and the last shot is called in such a way as to break the new rack and continue play.
A player's turn at the table, also known as an inning.
Successive games won without the opponent getting to the table; a five-pack would be a package of five games.
A rule in blackball whereby after an opponent has faulted and thus yielded two shots, if the incoming shooter pots a ball on the first shot, (s)he is still allowed to miss in a later shot and take a second shot in-hand (from the "D" or from baulk, or if the opponent potted the cue ball, from anywhere)—even on the black, in most variants. Also called the "two visits" rule; i.e., the two penalty shots are considered independent visits to the table, and the limiting variants discussed at two shots below cannot logically apply.
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.
More commonly known as "straight pool", it was for many years the most popular game in pool and the game on which all World Championships were based.
14.1 is a call-shot game played with all 15 numbered balls and cue ball. Every ball pocketed counts as one point and a game is played to a agreed up score, generally 50, 100, or 150 points.
Traditional straight pool matches are played to 150 points.14.1 is also called "continuous pool" because, after the opening break, play continues until a player reaches the winning score. When only one numbered ball is left on the table, the remaining 14 are racked (with the apex ball missing), and play continues.