Letter x Vocabulary

25 Random Essential Billiards Terms

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.
Pronounced "No-Rango". A norengo refers to what should be an easy straight in shot where the object ball is usually very close to the pocket. But the shooter strikes the ball harder than they should and the result is the object ball rattling out of the pocket and a missed shot.
Also see Lorengo.
The rules played in a particular venue not necessarily in comportment with official rules, or with common local bar pool custom.
A ball that is easily made from many positions on the table but which is left untouched while the rack is played, so that in the event the player gets out of position, the shooter has an insurance shot. Typically an insurance ball will be in or near the jaws of a pocket.
Named after Chicagoan J. E. Parker, it is a 3½ × 7 inch box drawn on a balkline table from the termination of a balkline with the cushion, thus defining a restricted space in which only a set number of points may be scored before one ball must be driven from the area. Now supplanted by anchor spaces, it was developed to curtail the effectiveness of the anchor nurse, which in turn had been invented to exploit a loophole in balkline rules: so long as both object balls straddled a balkline, there was no restriction on counts, as each ball lay in a separate balk space.
Sometimes interchangeable with scratch, though the latter is often used only to refer to the foul of pocketing the cue ball. A violation of a particular game's rules for which a set penalty is imposed.
This is when, after playing an opponent for a while you both break even as far as money exchange, and the only person to get paid is the house for use of their table.
Toward the head of the table. This is the playing area on the table above the middle pockets. The idea in an up table game is that shots are more difficult and further from the pockets in one pocket pool.
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.
Descriptive of any game in which the object balls must be struck in numerical order. Billiard researcher Mike Shamos observes that it would be more intuitive to call such games "'series' or 'sequence'". The term actually derives from the set-up of the game Chicago, in which the balls are not racked, but placed numerically around the table along the cushions (and must to be shot in ascending order). Other common rotation games include pool (obviously), nine-ball, seven-ball, ten-ball.
National Amateur Pool League.
A shot that only a novice or fool would take. Usually because it is a guaranteed scratch or other foul, or because it has a low percentage of being pocketed and is likely to leave the opponent in good position.
A phrase used in snooker to describe the scenario whereby there are not enough available points on the table to level the scores for the frame, therefore the trailing player needs his/her opponent to foul in order to be able to make up the deficit. The name comes from the fact that this would normally have to be achieved by placing the leading player in foul-prone situations such as difficult snookers.
Same as position. "She got good shape for the next shot". See also position play, leave.
Also called a rake. A special stick with a grooved, slotted or otherwise supportive end attachment that helps guide the cue stick - a stand-in for the bridge hand. It is usually used only when the shot cannot be comfortably reached with a hand bridge. Often shortened to bridge or called a bridge stick. An entire class of different mechanical bridges exist for snooker, called rests (see that entry for details), also commonly used in blackball and English billiards.
This is to step up to the table and successfully execute a difficult shot.
To reach a certain position in a tournament. "I placed 17th." "She will probably place in the money this time."
Describes a ball rolling along a rail in contact or near contact with it, or which makes multiple successive contacts with the rail.
Principally British: In snooker, if a player wins a match without the need for the final session to be played (for example, if a player wins a best-of-25-frames match split into three sessions - two sessions of eight frames and one of nine - by a margin of say, 13 frames to 3), then they are said to have won the match "with a session to spare".
Displacement of the cue ball's path away from the parallel line formed by the cue stick's direction of travel; occurs every time english is employed. The degree of deflection increases as the amount of english applied increases. It is also called squirt, typically in the United States.
This is the apex ball in the triangle, racked on the foot spot in a normal game.
This is a timing device for monitoring and restricting shot times for a player.
Same as stripes, in New Zealand. Compare yellows, high, big ones; contrast unders.
Also smalls, small ones, small balls. In eight-ball, to be shooting the solid suit (group) of balls (1 through 7); "you're the small one" or "I've got the smalls". Compare little, solids, reds, low, spots, dots, unders; contrast big.
An imaginary line running horizontally across a billiards table from the second diamond (from the foot end of the table) on one long rail to the corresponding second diamond on the other long rail. The foot string intersects the long string at the foot spot. It is rarely drawn on the table.