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

In snooker, where the cue ball is resting in contact with another ball. If this ball is a ball that may legally be hit, then it is allowable to simply hit away from it and it counts as having hit it in the shot. If the ball moves, then a push shot must have occurred, in which case it is a foul.
A pocket; usually used in disgust when describing a scratch (e.g., "the cue ball's gone down the sewer").
Same as duck. Derives from an easily shot ball "hanging" in the pocket.
To shoot without taking enough warm-up strokes to properly aim and feel out the stroke and speed to be applied. One-stroking is a common symptom of nervousness and a source of missed shots and failed position.
Three Ball is a pocket billiards folk game played with three standard pool object balls and a cue ball. The goal is to pocket the three object balls in as few shots as possible.
This is to direct the cue ball by barely contacting an object ball.
Also split shot. In pool, a type of shot in which two object balls are initially contacted by the cue ball simultaneously or so close to simultaneously as for the difference to be indistinguishable to the eye. In most sets of rules it is a foul if the split is one in which one of the object balls is a (or the only) legal target (ball-on) and the other is not; however, such a split is commonly considered a legal shot in informal bar pool in many areas if it is called as a split and does appear to strike the balls simultaneously).
National Amateur Pool League.
A tight, Spandex glove covering usually most or all of the thumb, index finger and middle finger, worn on the bridge hand as a more convenient and less messy alternative to using hand talc, and for the same purpose: a smooth-gliding stroke.
Any mechanical aid that serves to extend the length of the player's cue, normally added to the end of the butt either by clipping around the end or screwing into the base. Though extensions are used for pool, it is more common in snooker because of the significantly larger table size.
In a tournament where players get limited time to make their shots (common in televised matches), an extension is extra time granted before making a shot; players have a limited number of extensions in each frame.
This is when you aim at one particular object ball that is not meant to go in the pocket, but is instead meant to contact another object ball which will continue the combination process or be pocketed.
Describes tightly woven and well-used (but clean) billiard table cloth (baize), upon which the balls move quickly and roll farther, as they experience less friction than with fuzzy or dirty cloth. May be used more extendedly, as in "this is a really fast table". Fast cloth makes draw (screw) shots somewhat less effective, as there is less purchase for the cue ball's back spin. By the same token, slide and stop shots are easier on fast cloth because it is so comparatively smooth.
A stroking technique in which a player releases his gripping hand briefly and re-grasps the cue farther back on the butt just before hitting the cue ball.
This is when you win a game of one pocket on your opponents break.
A tournament format in which a player must lose two matches in order to be eliminated.
The three-foul rule describes a situation in which a player is assessed a defined penalty after committing a third successive foul. The exact penalty, its prerequisites and whether it is in place at all, vary depending on the games. In nine-ball and straight pool, a player must be the told he is on two fouls in order to transgress the rule, and if violated, results in a loss of game for the former and a special point penalty of a loss of fifteen points (plus one for the foul itself) in the latter together with the ability to require the violator to rerack and rebreak. In Irish standard pool and English billiards, it is a loss of game if a player commits a third foul while shooting at the black. In snooker, three successive fouls from an unsnookered position result in forfeiting the frame. Repeat fouls from a snookered position are quite common - Dave Harold holds the record in a competitive match, missing the same shot 14 successive times.
Often times a protective finish is applied to a cue stick after construction. A UV polyurethane is common, and this helps to protect the cue from fading and dings.
Any game which uses a rack composed of less than 15 balls.
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).
This is the playing surface for billiards games. Consisting of 6 pockets, cushions on the side, and a felt layer covering the hard table portion, the length is usually twice as long as it is wide, but varies depending on the game at hand.
A player's turn at the table, also known as an inning.
This is to miss your shot but either luckily or on purpose leave your opponent with nothing to shoot at.
Hitting the object ball with too large of a cut angle; hitting the object ball too thin. It is a well-known maxim that overcutting is preferable to undercutting in many situations, as is more often leaves the table in a disadvantageous position on the miss than does an undercut. See also professional side of the pocket.
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.