Letter x Vocabulary

25 Random Essential Billiards Terms

An imaginary line dividing the table into two equal halves lengthwise. It intersects the head string, center string and foot string at the head spot, center spot and foot spot, respectively.
On a shot, the extension of the cue stick through the cue ball position during the end of a player's stroke in the direction originally aimed.
This is to win a game by pocketing enough balls before you opponent.
The angle from which a ball rebounds from a rail, as measured from the perpendicular to the rail.
Also the hook. In snooker, a type of mechanical bridge that has only recently been endorsed by the WPBSA to allow its use in major tournament play. It is a normal rest with the head in line with the shaft, but the last foot or so of the shaft is curved. This allows players to position the curved end around an obstructing ball that would have otherwise left them hampered on the cue ball and in need of a spider or swan with extensions, which would have less control.
A shot played with stun, but not quite enough to completely stop the cue ball, allowing for a little follow. It is played so that a follow shot can be controlled more reliably, with a firmer strike than for a slow roll. It is widely considered as one of the most difficult shots in the game to master, but an excellent weapon in a player's armory once it has been.
(Chiefly U.S.) Side spin (english) placed on a same side of the cue ball as the direction in which the object ball is being cut (left-hand english when cutting a ball to the left, and vice versa). In addition to affecting cue ball position, inside english can increase throw.
The desired angle that must be created between the path of the cue ball and the path of the object ball upon contact to pot the object ball. It is usually measured to the center of the pocket. See also aiming line.
To play a shot with the stroke and speed that makes it easiest to pocket the object ball, even at the expense of sacrificing position.
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 shot is a minimally calculated distressed shot which makes it evident to the opponent you no longer have any hope to winning the game.
A bank shot that follows a Z shaped pattern as it bounces off of two rails.
In nine-ball, especially in the UK, a break shot that pots the 9 ball without fouling, in which case the player wins in one shot. See also on the break/snap.
This is an instance when the person not taking their turn interferes with the game play, this is recorded as a foul.
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.
A pool room employee who plays with a good degree of skill.
This is a version of double elimination tournament play that splits the field of competitors into two brackets that come together for a single elimination championship game.
This term refers to a cue stick that is bent or warped, so that the straightness, or lack thereof, of the cue offers less than ideal play. This can occur from storing the cue in the wrong atmosphere, i.e. too warm or humid, or from the quality of wood used during construction. Some cues are coated with fiberglass, carbon fiber or graphite in order to avoid warping.
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.
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, founded in 1968 and based in Bristol, England, United Kingdom is the governing body of professional snooker and English billiards. It sets the sports' rules, organises tournaments and the pro-am and pro tours, and engages in various promotional activities.
The placement of player(s) automatically in a tournament where some have to qualify, or automatic placement in later rounds.
The wrap is situated over the handle of the cue, below the forearm and above the butt. Common materials used are Irish linen, leather, or cork. These materials make sense, because they provide a sure grip, long life, and help to absorb moisture from the hand when you are sweating through a difficult rack. In addition, wraps are used to compliment the color or style of the cue stick and to elegantly complete the look.
Also known as back spin, a type of spin applied to the cue ball by hitting it below its equator, causing it to spin backwards even as it slides forward on the cloth. Back spin slows the cue ball down, reduces its travel, and narrows both the carom angle after contact with an object ball, and angle of reflection off a cushion. There are several variant terms for this, including "bottom" and "bottom spin" in the US and "screw" in the UK. Draw is thought to be the first spin technique understood by billiards players prior to the introduction of leather tips, and was in use by the 1790s.
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.
In snooker, to leave the cue ball ball on the spot of a colour ball after potting it. This is usually performed where re-spotting of the colour ball would cause positional problems for the player, such as blocking available pots on one or more red balls.