Definition of top

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.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

Also last pocket. A common rule in informal bar pool, especially bar/pub eight-ball, in which the money ball must be pocketed (potted) in the same pocket as the shooter's last object ball (each player may be said to eventually "own" a pocket, for the duration of the game, in which their 8 ball shot must be played if they have already run out their suit). The variant is not extremely common in the United States or the UK, but is near-universal in much of Latin America (where two cue ball scratches are permitted when attempting the 8 ball shot and count as simple fouls, with only a third scratch constituting a loss of game). Last pocket is also common in North Africa. Last-pocket rules require careful position play, and frequently result in bank and kick shots at the 8 ball.
Also string off. Chiefly British; Obsolete: Same as string or lag.
This describes a shot in snooker where the cue contacts more than one object ball.
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 Cheese the Nine and Rolling the Cheese).
When you hit the object ball you are aiming for (or the manditory next ball) without the cue ball hitting other object balls first.
This is to watch a match with such intensity that there is worry, usually because of a wager on the game.
When a player is on the receiving end of a devastating safety where it is very difficult or near impossible to make a legal hit on an object ball.
This is the stick used to contact the cue ball in pool and billiards games. The cue stick is usually made of wood, features a special contact tip, and is usually tapered to slide through your hand. The price of these tools can range from oil change to transmission change depending on the quality of craftsmanship and design.
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.
Billiard Congress of America. The official governing body for pocket billiards in the United States.
This is an imaginary line that separates the halves of the table by crossing at the middle of the side of pockets.
In snooker, the colour ball that is worth three points, being the second-least valuable colour behind the yellow. It is one of the baulk colours.
Also known as a Dead cushion. A cushion that has either lost a degree of elastic resiliency or is not firmly bolted to the frame, in both cases causing balls to rebound with less energy than is normal.
This is how the player is who is does not break before they get a chance to get out of the break. This time period is when the breaking player with a position advantage on the table.
Similar to run out, but more specific to making all required shots from the start of a rack. Also known as also break and run or break and dish.
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".
One-on-one game play.
A highly abrasive tip tool used to shape an unreasonably flat new cue tip, or misshapen old one, into a more usable, consistently curved profile, most commonly the curvature of a nickel or dime (or equivalently sized non-US/Canadian coin) for larger and smaller pool tips, respectively. Similar to a scuffer, but deeper and rougher.
This is to execute a shot where the cue ball is controlled perfectly and stops where you want it to exactly.
Basic cue tip contact points on the cue ball to impart various forms of spin. Top spin is also known as follow, side spin as english, and bottom spin as back spin, draw or screw.Rotational motion applied to a ball, especially to the cue ball by the tip of the cue, although if the cue ball is itself rotating it will impart (opposite) spin (in a lesser amount) to a contacted object ball. Types of spin include top spin, bottom or back spin (also known as draw or screw), and left and right side spin, all with widely differing and vital effects. Collectively they are often referred to in American English as "english". See also massé.
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 refers to a shot that travels on a shallower path due to the english placed on it. This is to come up on the near side of a pocket on a bank shot.
A directional pile created by the short fuzzy ends of fibers on the surface of cloth projecting upward from the lie and which create a favorable and unfavorable direction for rolling balls. The convention in most billiards games in which directional nap cloth is used is to brush the cloth along the table in the same direction of the nap, usually from the end that a player breaks. In snooker and UK eight-ball especially, this creates the effect of creep in the direction of the nap, the most-affected shot being a slow roll into a center pocket against the nap. It is commonly referred to in the fuller term "nap of the cloth." When nap is used in relation to woven cloths that have no directional pile, such as those typically used in the U.S. for pool tables, the term simply refers to the fuzziness of the cloth.
This is the white ball in carom games which is separated from the clear ball by a marking (usually a dot or spot).