Definition of top rail

Chiefly British: The rail at the Top of the table. Compare foot rail; contrast Bottom rail.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

This is a low bet in a game with action.
This is the portion of your cue below joint, and includes the forearm, handle, sleeve, and the cap. Usually made with exotic wood and creatively designed to be pleasing to the eye, and often times wrapped at the handle, this is the attractive portion of the cue stick. (Sometimes this word is used alone to refer to the butt sleeve portion of the cue stick).
Either of the two longer rails of a billiards or pocket billiards table, bisected by a center pocket and bounded at both ends by a corner pocket. Also called a long rail.
Principally US: One or more sets, usually in the context of gambling. See also ahead race (a.k.a. ahead session) for a more specialized usage.
Principally British: Any of a group of pre-determined frames played in a match too long to be completed within a single day's play. A best of 19 frame match, for example, is generally played with two "sessions", the first composed of nine frames, the second of ten. This term is generally used only in the context of professional snooker, as matches at the amateur level are rarely played over more than nine frames. Longer matches can be split into three or four sessions.
In the APA League, session refers to the season in which League play took place. There are three sessions in each League Year-Summer Session, Fall Session and Spring Session.
Also known as "Break and Dish". In pool games, when a player breaks the racked object balls, pockets at least one ball on the break, and commences to run out the remaining object balls without the opponent getting a visit at the table.
To sink a ball into a pocket.
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.
The pocket chosen to house the selected ball in your called shot.
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 American, and largely obsolete: Same as referee.
When two or more object balls are frozen or nearly frozen, such that cue-ball contact with one object ball, without the necessity of great accuracy, will almost certainly pocket an intended object ball in the cluster. The most common form of dead arrangements are the dead combination or dead combo (a combination shot in which contact with the first object ball will pocket another one), and the dead kiss, in which contact with the first object ball will pocket it off of another one. See also wired.
A line, sometimes imaginary (especially in American pool), sometimes drawn on the cloth, that runs horizontally across the table from the second diamond (from the head rail) on one long rail to the corresponding second diamond on the other long rail. In most pool games, the opening break shot must be performed with the center (base) of the cue ball behind the head string (i.e. between the head string and head rail). The head string intersects the long string at the head spot, and delimits the kitchen (and, in European nine-ball, the outer boundary of the break box). The head string's position is always determined by the diamonds, in contrast to the similar but different baulk line, the position of which is determined by measurement from the bottom cushion (head cushion).
This is a shot on the cue ball that will push through to a frozen ball on the cue ball. If the contact is made on the object ball while the cue stick is still contacting, essentially pushing the second ball, then it is usually considered a foul.
A player who during the course of a tournament does not lose focus. Typically said of those players that regularly make it to the finals of a tournament.
Jargon for a tournament chart, showing which players are playing against whom and what the results are. Often shortened to card.
A semicircle with an 11½ inch (291 mm) radius, drawn behind a snooker table's baulk line, centred on the middle of the line, and resembling the upper case letter "D" in shape. The "D" is also used in English billiards and sometimes also in blackball and other pool games played on British-style tables.
The horizontal plane directly in the center of the cue ball, which when hit exactly by the cue tip should impart no follow or draw.
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.
This is a kind of cue made of only two pieces of wood, and joined together using an advanced adhesive along the points of the cue. This connection gives the cue a flawless look and a fluid feel when shooting.
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This is a toned down masse shot. The cue is elevated a little and will curve a little in the direction the spin is applied. This is used to sneak around difficult shots.
Nine Pin (also known as Goriziana) is a carom billiards game. The game has nine pins in the center of a table. It is played by two teams of 1 or 2 players. Three balls are used of which two are cue balls. Each team (or each player) aims to hit their opponent's ball and from there score points by hitting onto the red ball and also by making the opponent's and/or the red ball knock over the pins.
The area on the table behind the head string.
The origin of the term has been the subject of some speculation but the best explanation known is that in the 1800s, many homes did not have room for both a billiard table and a dining room table. The solution was a billiards table that had a cover converting it into a dining table. Kept in the dining room, play on such a table was often restricted by the size of the room, so it would be placed so that the head rail would face the connected kitchen door, thus affording a player room for the backswing without hitting a wall. A player was therefore either half or sometimes fully (literally) "in the kitchen" when breaking the balls.
Alternate name for the cue ball.
In carom billiards games, a term for the opponent's cue ball, which for the shooting player is another object ball along with the red.
The deciding match between two tied opponents. Compare hill, hill.