Appendix:Glossary of pool, billiards and snooker

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The following is a glossary of traditional terms used in the three main cue sport disciplines: pool, which denotes a host of games played on a table with six pockets such as straight pool, eight-ball, nine-ball, one-pocket and bank pool; carom billiards referring to the various carom games played on a table without pockets such as straight-rail, three-cushion, balkline and artistic billiards; and snooker played on a special table which, like a pool table, has six pockets, but is significantly larger and has specialized refinements. The term billiards is sometimes also used to refer to all of the cue sports.

Table of Contents: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

0–9[edit]

8 (eight) ball 
See 8 ball, under "E", for the ball. See eight-ball main article for the game.
9 (nine) ball 
See 9 ball, under "N", for the ball. See nine-ball main article for the game.

A[edit]

Above 
Used in snooker in reference to the position of the cue ball. It is above the object ball if it is off-straight on the baulk cushion side of the imaginary line for a straight pot (e.g. "he'll want to finish above the blue in order to go into the pink and reds"). It is also common to use the term high instead[1]
Action 
#Gambling or the potential for gambling (US).
  1. Lively results on a ball (usually the cue ball) from the application of english.
Ahead race or session 
A match format in which a player has to establish a lead of an agreed number of racks in order to win (e.g. in a ten ahead race a player wins when she/he has ten more racks than the opponent).[1]
Aiming line 
An imaginary line drawn from the desired path an object ball is to be sent (usually the center of a pocket) and the center of the object ball.
Angle of incidence 
The angle at which a ball approaches a rail, as measured from the perpendicular to the rail. The phrase has been in use since as early as 1653.[1]
Angle of reflection 
The angle from which a ball rebounds from a rail, as measured from the perpendicular to the rail.[1]
Arc 

The arc of the cue ball is the extent to which it curves as a result of a semi-massé or massé shot.

B[edit]

Back 
Same as stake.[1]
Back cut 
A cut shot in which if a line were drawn from the cue ball to the rail behind the targeted object ball, perpendicular to that rail, the object ball would lie beyond the line with respect to the pocket being targeted.
Backer 
Same as stakehorse.
Backspin 
Also back spin.[1]

Same as draw. Contrast topspin.

Baize 
A cloth material used to cover billiard tables, usually green in colour and sometimes called felt based on a similarity on appearance, though very different in makeup.[1] See Baize main article.
Balance point 
The point, usually around 18″ from the bottom of a cue, at which the cue will balance when resting on one hand.[1]
Balkline 
#A type of carom billiards game created to eliminate very high runs in straight-rail.
  1. A line drawn horizontally from a point on the billiard table's long rail to the corresponding point on the opposite long rail, from which the game of balkine takes its name.[1]

Not to be confused with baulk line.

Ball-in-hand 
The option of placing the cue ball anywhere on the table prior to shooting. Usually only available to a player when the opposing player has committed some type of foul under a particular game's rules.[1] (Cf. the free throw in basketball by way of comparison.)
Ball-on 
Any legally strikable ball on the table in British terminology. For example, in WEPF/UK eight-ball[2], if a player is playing yellows, any yellow ball (or any solid, from 1 to 7, if using a solids and stripes ball set) can be the "ball-on" until they are all potted, in which case the 8 ball is the ball-on. In snooker, at the beginning of a player's turn, unless all are already potted, any red ball can be the "ball-on". Plural: "balls-on". Compare object ball.[1]
Banger 
A derogatory term for a recreational or beginning player who "bangs" the balls without any thought for position nor attempt to control the cue ball; also a reference to the predilection of beginners to often hit the cue ball far harder than necessary. See also potter.
Bank shot/bank 
A shot in which an object ball is driven to one or more rails prior to being pocketed (or in some contexts, prior to reaching its intended target; not necessarily a pocket). Sometimes "bank" is conflated to refer to kick shots as well, and in the UK it is often called a double.[1]
Bar player or Bar league player 
A player that predominantly plays in bars or is in a bar-based pool league. Often used pejoratively by pool room players to refer to a perceived lesser skill level of such players.
Bar pool 
Also bar rules.

Pool, almost always a variant of eight-ball, that is played by bar players on a bar table. Bar pool has rules that vary from region to region, sometimes even from pub to pub in the same city, especially in the U.S. It is thus always a good idea to understand/agree to rules before engaging in a money game under bar rules. Typical differences between bar pool and tournament eight-ball are the lack of ball-in-hand after a foul, the elimination of a number of fouls, and (in U.S. bar pool) the requirement that most aspects of a shot (rails and other balls to be contacted) be called, not just the object ball and pocket. Bar pool has evolved into this "nitpicky" version principally to make the games last longer, since bar pool is typically played on coin-operated tables that cost money per-game rather than per-hour. Competitive league pool played on bar tables, however, usually uses international, national or local/regional league rules, and is not what is usually meant by "bar pool". Depending on local dialect may also be called tavern pool, pub pool, etc. Not to be confused with the game of Bar billiards.

Bar table 
Also bar box.

Distinctive pool tables found in bars/taverns. They are almost always coin-operated and smaller than regulation-sized tables (3.5 ft. x 7 ft. is typical of bar boxes, though 4x8 and even 3x6 examples can sometimes be found). Most North American brands of bar tables have pocket proportions confusingly opposite those of regular tables — the side pockets are remarkably tight, while the corners are more generous than those of pool hall tables. Because they are coin-operated and capture pocketed balls, they employ one of several mechanisms to return a scratched cue ball. The oversized, and extra-dense cue ball methods are deprecated, because these cue balls do not play correctly (especially with regard to cut and stop/draw shots, respectively; cf. smash-through). Modern bar tables make use of a magnet and a regulation or near-regulation size and weight cue ball with an iron core, to separate the cue ball from the others and return it to the players.[3] Pool hall players complain also that the cloth used on bar tables is often greatly inferior (in particular that it is "slow" and that english does not "take" enough), and also often find that the cushions are not as responsive as they are used to.[1]

Baulk 
In snooker, English billiards, and WEPF/UK eight-ball[2], the area between the baulk line and the baulk cushion, which houses the "D" and is analogous to the kitchen in American pool.[1]
Baulk colour 
In snooker, any of the three colour balls that get spotted on the baulk line: the yellow, green or brown ball.[1]
Baulk cushion 
In snooker, the cushion opposite the top cushion and bounded by the yellow and green pockets.[1]
Baulk line 
A straight line drawn 29″ from the face of the bottom cushion on a snooker table. Similar to the head string on a pool table.[1] Not to be confused with balkline.
Bed 
The playing area of a table, exclusive of the cushions.[1]
Below 
Used in snooker in reference to the position of the cue ball. It is "below" the object ball if it is off-straight on the top cushion side of the imaginary line for a straight pot (e.g. he'll want to finish below the black in order to go into the reds). This may seem counterintuitive, see above for an explanation.
Big 
Also bigs, big balls, big ones.

In eight-ball, to be shooting the striped suit (group) of balls (9 through 15); "you're big, remember", "you're big balls" or "I've got the big ones".[1] Compare stripes, yellows, high; contrast little. Not to be confused with the carom billiards concept of a big ball.

Big ball 
A carom billiards metaphor, it refers to an object ball positioned and being approached in such a manner that a near miss will rebound off a cushion and still score. It is as if the ball were larger than normal, making it easier to contact. Normally a ball a couple inches from a rail is a big ball, but only if being approached from an angle and if all the prerequisite rails have already been contacted. A ball near a corner can effectively be a foot wide.

Not to be confused with the eight-ball term "the big balls". In older British usage the concept was referred to as "large ball".[1] See also "big pocket".

Big pocket 
A pocket billiards term (inherited from carom billards by way of "big ball", above), it is a metaphor for a shot that is very difficult to miss pocketing for any of a number of reasons, most commonly either because the object ball is positioned such that a near miss on one side of it will likely cause the cue ball to rebound into the object ball off of the rail and pocket it anyway, or another ball is positioned such that if the target ball does not go straight in, it is still likely to go in off of the other ball in a kiss. It is as if the pocket, for this one shot, had become larger. The term can also refer to the angle of shot toward a pocket, especially a side pocket; the pocket is said to be "bigger", for example, on a shot that is only a 5-degree angle away from straight on, than on a 45-degree angle shot which is much more likely to hit one of the cushion points and bounce away.
Billiard 
Also billiard shot.
  1. Any shot in which the cue ball is caromed off an object ball to strike another object ball (with or without contacting cushions in the interim).[1]
  2. In certain carom billiards games such as three-cushion, a successful attempt at making a scoring billiard shot under the rules for that game (such as contacting three cushions with the cue ball while executing the billiard). A failed attempt at scoring would, in this context, not be called "a billiard" by players of such games even if it satisfied the first, more general definition.
Billiards 
In the US, generally refers to the carom games, or sometimes to all cue sports. In the UK, it usually means the game of English billiards. In Europe and otherwise outside the US and UK, it usually refers to carom games. Historically, it universally meant cue sports in general.
Black ball 
Also the black.
  1. In snooker, the highest-value colour ball on the table, being worth seven points.[1] In some (especially American) snooker ball sets it is numbered "7" on its surface.
  2. The black ball (usually numbered "8") in the eight-ball variant games blackball and WEPF/UK eight-ball.[2] See also 8 ball.
Blood test 
Any very difficult shot that must be made under pressure.
Blue ball 
#In snooker, the colour ball worth 5 points, whose spot is at the center of the table.[1]
  1. Also the blues. In the eight-ball game variant blackball, and sometimes in UK eight-ball more generally, a differently colored but otherwise identical replacement for the red group (i.e., what would be the solids in an American-style pool ball set.[4]
Body english 
The useless but common practice of contorting one's body while a shot is in play, in the vain hope that that will influence the balls' paths of travel; the term is considered humorous.[1]
Bottom spin 
Same as backspin.
Break 
#Typically describes the first shot in most types of billiards games. In carom games it describes the first point attempt, as shot from an unvarying cue ball and object balls placement; in many pocket billiard games it describes the first shot which is used to break open the balls which have been racked together;[1]
  1. Also describes a series of consecutive pots by a player during a single turn. More typically applied in Snooker, e.g., "The player had a break of 89 points."[1] (Chiefly British; compare run.)
Break and dish 
Same as Break and run. (Chiefly British.)
Break and run 
Also break and run out.

In pocket billiards, when a player breaks the balls, pockets at least one ball on the break, and commences to run out the remaining balls without the opponent getting a turn at the table. Multiple break-and-runs occur quite frequently in professional play, but anything higher than five racks in a row is considered very good (Earl Strickland once broke and ran eleven racks in a row to win $1,000,000 during a tournament that had a promotion that anyone who could break and run ten in row would win the million.Template:cn) See also run the rack.

Break down one's cue 
To take one's two-piece cue stick apart, often indicating that the game is over or conceded.[1]
Bridge 
Either the player's hand or a mechanical bridge used to support the shaft end of the cue stick during a shot. Also the particular hand formation used for this purpose.[1]
Bridge hand 
The hand used by a player as a bridge during a normal shot that doesn't involve a mechanical bridge. The bridge hand is usually a player's non-dominant hand.[1]
Brown 
In snooker, the highest-value baulk colour, being worth 4 points.[1]
Bumper 
The rubber bumper on the bottom of a cue.[1]
Burnish 
To seal the pores of a wooden cue by rubbing it vigorously with some material, usually leather; also done to the edge of a cue tip to fortify it against mushrooming.
Business, doing 
Collusion between matchplay opponents who prearrange who will win a match on which other people's money is wagered, in order to guarantee a payday.[1]
Butt 
The bottom portion of a pool cue which is gripped by a player's hand.[1]

C[edit]

Calcutta 
A player's auction at a pool tournament. Each player is called and players and spectators bid on the player. The highest bidder pays their bid to the calcutta, and then essentially has invested in that player's success. The highest bidder(s) on the player(s) that win or advance far enough in the tournament is/are entitled to their share of all money used for bids.
Call 
Any instance of a player having to say what they are about to do, or have already done. For example, in eight ball a player must call the pocket in which a ball is intended to be potted. Contrast fish.
Call-shot 
Also called-shot.

Any game in which during normal play a player must call the ball to be hit and the intended pocket; "eight-ball is a call-shot game." Sometimes referred to as "call[ed] pocket" to distinguish it from the common American bar pool practice of requiring every aspect of shots to be called.

Cannon 
English/Canadian variant of carom.
Carom 
# Also carom shot. To careen the cue ball off of an object ball to strike another object ball with the cue ball. Contrast with kiss shot.
  1. Also carambole. A type of point-scoring shot in billiards where the player causes his/her cue ball to hit each of the other two balls on the table.Template:dubious Also called a cannon (British/Canadian variant).
  2. To careen the cue ball off of an object ball at all; used in such phrases as "carom angle".
Center spot 
Also centre spot.

The (usually unmarked) spot at the geometric center of the bed of a table.

Centre pocket 
In the UK, one of the two pockets one either side of a pool, snooker or English billliards table halfway up the long rails. They are cut shallower than corner pockets because they have a 180 degree aperture, instead of 90 degrees. Also commonly called a middle pocket. The term is not generally used in the US where "side pocket" prevails.
Century 
In snooker, a break of 100 points or more, which involves potting at least 26 balls consecutively.
Chalk 
A powdered substance placed on a cue stick's tip to increase its friction and thereby decrease slippage between the tip and cue ball. See also hand chalk.
Chasing one's money 
The inability of some players to stop gambling once they have lost money because they "have" to get their money back.
Cheat the pocket 
To aim at an object ball such that it will enter one side or the other, rather than the center, of a pocket. This permits the cue ball to strike the object ball at a different contact point than the most obvious one. Employed for position play and to prevent scratches on dead-straight shots in cases where draw is not desirable (or may not be dependable; see smash-through.
Check side 
A type of spin imparted to the cue ball to make it rebound from a cushion at a shallower angle than it would if the spin had not been used.
Chinese snooker 
Chinese snooker on the red ball

A situation where the cue ball is directly in front of another ball in the line of the shot such that the player is hampered by it, having to bridge over it awkwardly. This term is most commonly used in the game of snooker.

Choke 
To commit errors while shooting, especially at the money ball, due to pressure.
Clean 
Describing a pot that goes straight into the pocket without touching either knuckle.
Clearance 
In snooker and various pool games played in the UK, the successful potting of all object balls in play in a single frame.
Cling 
An unnatural contact between two balls, usually the cue ball and an object ball, which can negatively affect an otherwise well-played shot. Cling occurs when some foreign material, often residual chalk on the cue ball's surface, contacts the object ball and throws the shot offline. Also sometimes known as skid, or in the UK, kick.
Closed bridge 
A bridge formed by the hand where the index finger is curved over the cue stick and other fingers are spread on the cloth providing solid support for the cue stick's direction.
Cloth 
The cloth covering the tables playing surface and rails, usually made from wool or a wool-nylon blend. Sometimes cloth is improperly referred to as "felt."
Cluster 
Two or more object balls that are touching or are close together.
Cocked hat double 
A term applied especially in snooker for a type of double off three cushions, e.g. around the baulk colours and into a centre pocket. Such a shot is very difficult to make and would not normally be played as anything more than a shot for nothing.
Collision-induced english 
Sidespin imparted to an object ball by the friction from the hit of the cue ball during a cut shot.
Collision-induced throw 
Deflection of an object ball's path away from the impact line of a cut shot, caused by sliding friction between the cue ball and the object ball. One of the two types of throw.
Colour ball 
Also coloured ball(s), colour(s)
  1. In snooker, any of the object balls that are not reds. A colour ball must be potted after each red in the continuation of a break, and are re-spotted until the reds run out, after which the colours must be potted in their order:
Although the full term includes "ball" after the colour, they are most commonly referred to with the omission of "ball", just stating the colour (e.g. "he's taken 5 blacks with reds so far").
2. In WEPF/UK eight-ball, a generic, collective term for the red and yellow groups of object balls, corresponding to the (originally American, but used much more widely today) solids and stripes, respectively.[2]
Combination shot 
Also combination, combo.

Any shot in which the cue ball contacts an object ball, which in turn hits one or more additional object balls (which in turn may hit yet further object balls) to send the last-hit object ball to an intended place, usually a pocket. In the UK this is often referred to as a plant.

Contact point 
The point on each of two balls at which they touch at the moment of impact.
Containing safety 
A type of safety shot in the middle of a safety exchange that is not intended to put the opponent in a difficult situation regarding their next safety, but rather played so as to not leave an easy pot on. A typical example in snooker, which sees the most shots of this kind, is a slow roll-up into the pack.
Corner hooked 
When the corner lip of a pocket blocks the path of the cue ball from contacting an intended object ball. Interchangeable with "tittie hooked".
Corner pocket 
Any of the four pockets in each corner of a pool or snooker table. They have a 90 degree aperture and as such are cut deeper than center pockets, which have 180 degree apertures. On an American table, a corner pocket is cut to be able to accept two balls abreast simultaneously.
Creep 
Deviation of a ball from its initial direction of travel. Often the result of a poor-quality table and may be an artifact of the cloth, the bed, a ball with uneven weight distribution, or simply the floor the table stands on being uneven. It should not be confused with the nap of the cloth.
Cribbage 
A game in which players score "ways" by making series of two balls in succession that have a number value which combined equal 15. For example, the 8 ball and the 7 ball added together equal 15 and make up one "way".
Cross 
Also cross rake. A type of rest, with a straight shaft and "x"-shaped head for resting the cue upon.
Cross-corner 
A bank shot that rebounds from a cushion and into the nearer corner pocket.
Cross double 
A UK term describing a bank shot in which the cue ball crosses the future path of the object ball. Such shots are usually played into a center pocket because there is the danger of a double-kiss if played to a corner pocket.
Cross-side 
A bank shot that rebounds from a cushion and into the side pocket.
Cue 
#A stick, usually around 55-60" in length with a leather tip on the end and sometimes with a joint in the middle, which is used to propel billiard balls. Template:further
  1. Sometimes cue is short for cue ball.
Cue action 
A UK term describing the posture and timing used by players on their shots, often indicative of how they play in their shot selection. A fast, natural player would tend to be more aggressive whereas a less naturally-gifted player might have a slow action and tend to be more conservative on the table. It is widely accepted that the better players get lower to the table with their chins on the cue, have a straight back leg, their elbow hingeing in line with the shot, and a straight follow-through after the cue ball has been struck.
Cue ball 
The ball in a billiards game, typically white in color, that a player strikes with a cue stick. It is variably spelled cueball, and is sometimes referred to as the white ball, whitey and the rock.
Cue power 
A UK term describing the amount of control a player can retain when playing shots with heavy spin and great pace; "it took tremendous cue power to get onto the 2-ball having been relatively straight on the 1."
Cue stick 
Same as cue.
Cue tip 
A material, usually leather, placed on the end of a cue stick that comes in contact with the cue ball.
Curve shot 
Same as semi-massé.
Cushion 
The elastic bumpers mounted on all rails of a billiards table, usually made from rubber or synthetic rubber, from which the balls rebound.
Cut shot 
Technically, any shot that is not a center-to-center hit, but almost always used to describe a shot that has more than a slight degree of angle.
Cutthroat 
A three person game. Each player claims a set of 5 balls, choosing between sets of the 1 through 5 balls, the 6 through 10 balls and the 11 through 15. The goal is to sink all the balls of both of your opponents while keeping yours on the table. If a player scratches, one previously sank ball of each opponent are brought back into play.

D[edit]

"D", the 
An 11-1/2″-radius semicircle, 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 UK eight-ball.
Dart stroke 
A short and loose stroke performed in a manner similar to the way one throws a dart; usually employed for the jump shot.
Dead 
Same as wired.
Dead ball shot 
Same as kill shot.
Dead rail 
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.
Dead stroke 
When a player is playing flawlessly, just "cannot miss" and the game seems effortless.
Deadweight 
Describing a pot played at such a pace as to just reach the pocket and drop in without hitting the back.
Deflection 
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 the faster and the more english with which a ball is struck. It is also called squirt, typically in the United States.
Deliberate foul 
A shot, especially common in straight pool and in some variants of UK eight-ball (but not WEPF/EPA eight-ball[2]), in which a player intentionally commits a foul with the object in mind of either leaving the opponent with little chance of running out or simply to avoid shooting where no good shot is presented and to do anything else would give the opponent an advantage. It is often referred to in straight pool also as a "back scratch."
Develop 
To move a ball (usually deliberately) from a safe position, e.g. close to the middle of a cushion or in a cluster, so that it becomes pottable.
Diamonds 
Markings, usually inlaid into the surface above the rail cushions, used as target or reference points. Three equally spaced diamonds are normally between each pocket on a pool table. Diamonds get their name from the shape of the markings traditionally used. Nevertheless, no matter the shape, rail markings are still referred to as "diamonds."
Diamond system 
Any system for banking or kicking balls multiple rails which uses table diamonds as aiming references.
Dish 
Same as run out. (Chiefly British.) See also break and dish.
Dog 
#A widespread term in US parlance describing missing a relatively easy shot — often in the face of pressure. Can be used in many forms: "I dogged the shot"; "I hope he dogs it"; "I'm such a dog."
  1. Same as slop shot. (Chiefly southern US, colloquial.)
Dots 
In chiefly UK parlance, the non-striped ball group of a fifteen ball set that are numbered 1 through 7 and have a solid color scheme. Compare #Solids, reds, low, small, little, spots; contrast stripes.
Double 
Same as bank shot. (Chiefly British.)
Double cheeseburger, the 
Same as hill, hill.
Double elimination 
A tournament format in which a player must lose two matches in order to be eliminated.
Double hit 
An illegal shot in which the cue stick's tip contacts the cue ball twice during a single stroke. Double hits often occurs when a player shoots the cue ball when it is very close to another ball or rail.
Double kiss 
A situation in which a ball strikes another ball which is close to a rail and the struck ball rebounds back into the ball it was hit by; usually but not always unintended.
Double shimmed 
A pool table where two shims have been placed on the sides of each pocket (in the jaws beneath the cloth), making the pockets "tighter" (smaller). Such tables are "tougher" than unshimmed or single-shimmed tables, but not as tough as a triple-shimmed table. Top players often prefer shimmed tables, whereas beginners find them frustrating.
Double the rail 
A three cushion billiards shot where the cue ball is shot with reverse english at a relatively shallow angle down the rail, and spins backwards off the adjacent rail back into the first rail.
Drag shot 
A shot played slowly and with heavy draw and followthrough so that the cue ball can be struck firmly but with a lot of the pace taken out, allowing more control than just a gentle tap that would travel as far.
Draw 
Also known as backspin, 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. Backspin 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 of a cushion. It is crucial to draw shots and stop shots. There are several variant terms for this, including "bottom" and "bottomspin" 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.[1]
Draw shot 
A shot in which the cue ball is struck below its equator with sufficient draw to make it reverse direction at the moment of contact with an object ball because it is still backspinning.[1] When the object and cue balls are lined up square, the reversal will be directly backwards, while on a cut shot, the effect will alter the carom angle. Can also refer to any shot to which draw is applied, as in "draw it off the foot rail just to the left of the center diamond".
Drill 
#A set practice routine;
  1. To beat badly; "I drilled my opponent."
  2. In British terminology, a bank shot.
Drop pockets 
Pockets that do not return the balls to a foot end of the table, which must be retrieved manually.
Duck 
#(Noun): Derived from "sitting duck", refers to an object ball sitting close to a pocket or so positioned that is virtually impossible to miss. Same as hanger (US, colloquial), sitter (UK).
  1. (Verb): To intentionally play a safety.

E[edit]

8 ball 
Also the 8.

The money ball (game ball) in a game of eight-ball. It is last ball that must be pocketed, after the suit of seven object balls belonging to the player shooting for the 8 (pocketing the 8 ball early is a loss of game — unless done on the break, in some rules variants.) It is usually black in colour with the numeral "8" in a white circle. In other games, such as nine-ball and straight pool, the 8 is simply an object ball.

End rail 
Either of the two shorter rail of a billiards or pocket billiards table.
English 
Also known as #Sidespin, spin placed on the cue ball when hit with the cue stick to the left or right of the ball's center. English has a marked effect on cue ball rebound angle off of cushions (though not off of 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 also refer to follow and draw. The British and Irish do not use this term, instead preferring "side".
Equator 
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.
Escape 
A successful attempt to get out of a snooker.
Extension 
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.

F[edit]

Fat 
See undercut.
Fault 
Same as foul. (Chiefly British, and declining in usage; even the WPA blackball and WEPF eight-ball rules use "foul".)
Feather shot 
Also feather. A very thin cut shot in which the cue ball just brushes the edge of an object ball. "Feather" by itself can be both noun and verb. See also snick.
Felt 
Same as cloth. (Deprecated; it is factually incorrect.)
Ferrule 
A sleeve, fitted onto the lathed-down tip end of the cue, made from fiberglass, plastic, ivory or other material, upon which the cue tip is mounted and which protects the shaft wood from splitting from cue ball impact.
Firewood 
Common slang in the US for a cheap, poorly-made cue. Compare wood.
Fish 
#An easy mark;
  1. A person who loses money gambling and keeps coming back for more;
  2. Sometimes, a poor player;
  3. As a verb, to hit the balls hard with no intention in mind other than to get lucky. Compare slop; contrast mark and call.
Flagrant foul 
A foul where the rules are blatantly, intentionally violated, with a stiffer penalty (e.g., loss of game) than normal.
Fluke 
A shot that has a positive outcome for the player, although it was not what the player intended. Examples of flukes include an unexpected pot off several cushions or other balls having missed the pocket aimed for, or perhaps a lucky safety position after having missed a pot.
Follow 
The forward rotation of the cue ball that results from a follow shot. Also called follow.

Also known as topspin, a type of spin applied to the cue ball by hitting it above its equator, causing it to spin more rapidly forward than it would simply by rolling on the cloth from a center-ball hit. Follow speeds the cue ball up, increases its travel, and widens both the carom angle after contact with an object ball, and angle of reflection off of a cushion. "Top" and "topspin" are other terms for "follow".

Follow shot 
A shot in which the cue ball is struck above its equator with sufficient draw to cause the cue ball to travel forward after it contacts an object ball. When the object and cue balls are lined up square, the travel will be directly forward (and can sometimes even be used to pocket a second ball), while on a cut shot, the effect will alter the carom angle. Can also refer to any shot to which follow is applied, as in "follow it off the foot rail just to the left of the center diamond".
Follow-through 
On a shot, the extension of the cue through the cue ball position during the end of a player's stroke in the direction originally aimed.
Foot rail 
The short rail at the end of the table where balls are normally racked.
Foot spot 
The point on the table surface over which the apex ball of a rack is centered or, the point half the distance between the second diamond on either side of the racking end of the table. The foot spot is the intersection of the foot string and the long string, and is typically marked with a cloth or paper decal on pool tables, but not on some other table types.
Foot string 
An imaginary line running horizontally across a billiards table from the second diamond on one long rail to the corresponding second diamond on the other long rail on the racking end of the table. The foot string intersects the long string at the foot spot.
Force follow 
A powerful follow shot with a high degree of topspin on it; usually when the object ball being hit is relatively close to the cue ball and is being hit very full; also known as "prograde topspin" or "prograde follow" (when referring to the action on the shot rather than the shot per se), and as a "jenny" in Australia.
Foul 
A violation of a particular game's rules for which a set penalty is imposed. In many games the penalty for a foul is ball-in-hand anywhere on the table for the opponent, or ball-in-hand behind the headstring. In other games such as straight pool, a foul results in a loss of one or more points. In one-pocket, in which a set number of balls must be made in a specific pocket, upon a foul the player must return a ball to the table. In some games, three successive fouls in a row is a loss of game. In straight pool, a third successive foul results in a loss of 16 points (15 plus one for the foul).

Possible foul situations (nonexclusive):

  • The player shoots the cue ball first into a ball that is not an object ball
  • The player shoots and after contacting an object ball, no ball is pocketed and neither the cue ball nor a numbered ball contacts a cushion (excepting push out rules)
  • The player pockets the cue ball (See scratch)
  • The player does not have at least one foot on the floor at the moment of shooting
  • The player shoots the cue ball before all other balls have come to a complete stop
  • The player hits the cue ball more than once during a shot (a double hit)
  • The player touches the cue ball with something other than the tip of the cue
  • The player touches any ball other than the cue ball
  • The player causes a ball to leave the table's playing surface
  • The player marks the table in any manner to aid in aiming
  • The player who has ball-in-hand touches an object ball with the cue ball while attempting to place the cue ball on the table
  • The player shoots in such a manner that his cue tip stays in contact with the cue ball for more than the momentary time commensurate with a stroked shot (a push shot).
Frame 
A term especially used in snooker and WEPF/UK eight-ball[2] but also in the US for each rack from the break off until a clearance, losing foul or concession has been made.
Frame ball 
Same as game ball. (Chiefly in snooker and UK eight-ball.)
Free ball 
A situation where a player has fouled, leaving the opponent snookered. In UK eight-ball this would normally give the opponent the option of one of two plays: (1) ball-in-hand with two shots; (2) being allowed to contact, or even pot, a ball other than one from his/her set from the snookered position (although the black may not be potted), with the loss of the first shot. In snooker it allows a player to call any ball as the ball she/he would have wanted to play, potting it for the same number of points, or the opponent can be put back in without the same privilege, having to play the ball snookered on. It should be noted that the definition of snooker on this occasion means the opponent cannot strike both extreme edges of the object ball.
Free stroking 
#Pocketing well and quickly but without much thought for position play.
  1. Playing loose and carefree.
  2. Same as dead stroke.
Freeze up 
To dedicate a set amount of money that a gambling match will be played to; no one may quit until one player or the other has won the "frozen up" funds.
Frozen 
A resting ball that is in actual contact with one or more balls or with a rail is "frozen" (or, colloquially, "froze") to the touching ball(s) or rail.
Fundamentals 
The basic actions necessary to shoot well – stance, grip, stroke, bridge and follow-through.

G[edit]

Game ball 
The ball required to win the rack. In snooker it is called the frame ball. See also money ball.
Games on the wire 
To give a handicap to an opponent where they have to win a specified number less games than the other player in order to triumph in the match.
Gapper 
An agreement between two players in a tournament, one of whom will advance to a guaranteed money prize if the match is won, to give a certain percentage of that money to the loser of the match.
Gather shot 
In the carom games, any shot where the end result is all the balls near each other; ideally, in position for the start of a nurse on the next stroke.
Ghost ball 
A common aiming method in which a phantom ball is imagined frozen to the object ball at the point where an imaginary line drawn between their centers is aimed at the desired target; the cue ball may then be shot at the center of the "ghost" ball and, ideally, impact the object ball at the proper aiming contact point.
Go off 
Describes the propensity of a player losing small money at gambling to suddenly sharply increase the stakes; often continuing to lose until broke. Compare chasing your money.
Golden break 
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 snap.
Goose neck 
Also Goose neck rest. Same as swan.
Green 
#Nearly table-length distance between the cue ball and target object ball, or near cue and object balls and target pocket, i.e. a potentially difficult shot ("you sure left me a lot of green on that one")
  1. The cloth covering the table ("oh, man, you just ripped the green")
  2. The green ball ("that was a great shot on the green")
  3. Money ("I won a lot of green last night from that wannabe hustler")
Green ball 
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.
Green pocket 
The pocket in snooker that is closest to the green spot.
Group 
Same as suit, predominantly in British terminology, i.e., in eight-ball either of the set of seven balls (reds or yellows) that must be cleared before potting the black. Generally used in the generic, especially in rulesets or articles, rather than colloquially by players.[2]

H[edit]

Half-ball hit 
A shot aimed such that the center of the cue ball is in line with the edge of the object ball, eclipsing half of the ball. "Hit it just a little thinner than half ball." Also notable because the carom angle the cue ball takes is more consistent than at other contact points.
Half-century 
In snooker, a break of 50–99 points (100 points or more being called a century), which involves potting at least 12 consecutive balls.
Hand chalk 
Powdery white chalk placed on a player's bridge hand to reduce moisture so that a cue's shaft can slide more easily. It is not provided in many establishments as many recreational players will use far more than is necessary and transfer it all over the table's surface.
Handicapping 
Modification of the rule and/or scoring of a game to enable players of differing abilities to compete on more even terms. Examples of handicapping include spotting balls and giving games on the wire to an opponent.
Hanger 
Same as duck. Derives from An easily-shot ball "hanging" over the edge of a pocket.
Hanging in the pocket 
A ball hanging over the edge of a pocket.
Have the nuts 
Be in a game where either because of disparity in skill level, or because of a handicap given, it would be very difficult to lose.
Having the cue ball on a string 
Used when describing perfect cue ball position play.
Head rail 
The short rail at the opposite end of the table from where the balls are normally racked.
Head spot 
The intersection of the head string and long string, which may or may not actually be marked on a table with a spot decal.
Head string 
A line, sometimes imaginary, sometimes drawn on the cloth, that runs horizontally across the table from the second diamond on one long rail to the corresponding second diamond on the other long rail on the breaking end of the table. In many pool games, the opening break shot must be performed with the center (base) of the cue ball behind the head string. The head string intersects the long string at the head spot, and defines the kitchen.
Heads up 
Same as straight up.
Heart 
The strength of a player's will to win; the ability to overcome pressure; "he showed a lot of heart in making that comeback."
High 
#Also highs, high balls, high ones.
In eight-ball, to be shooting the striped suit (group) of balls (9 through 15); "you're high balls" or "I've got the highs" ("you're high" is rare, because of the "intoxication" ambiguity). Compare stripes, yellows, big ones; contrast low.
2. In snooker, same as "above", as in "she'll want to finish high on the black to allow position on the red".
Hill-hill 
The point in match play where both players (or teams) need only one more game to win. See also on the hill.
Hook 
#Same as snooker (verb)
  1. Same as hook rest.
Hook rest 
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.

House cue 
Usually a one-piece cue freely available for use by patrons in bars and pool halls.
House man 
A pool room employee who plays with a good degree of skill.
House rack 
A pejorative term for an improper rack in which the balls are not properly in contact with their neighbors, often resulting in a poor spread on the break.
House rules 
The rules played in a particular venue not necessarily in comportment with official rules.
Hug the rail 
See velcro.
Hustle 
Play for money and lull a victim into thinking they can win, prompting them to accept higher and higher stakes, until beating them and walking off with more money than they would have been willing to bet had they been beaten soundly in the beginning. The terms hustler, for one who hustles, and hustling, describing the act, are just as common if not more so than this verb form.

I[edit]

In-hand 
See ball-in-hand.
Inning 
A player's turn at the table, usually ending with a miss, a failure to score a point, a safety or with a win.
In-off 
In snooker, an instance where the cue ball has been potted after contacting another ball first. The term also tends to be used when it goes straight in, but this is not technically correct.
Inside english 
Sidespin on a cue ball on the same side of the direction of the cut angle to be played (left hand english when cutting a ball to the left, and vice versa).
In stroke 
Cueing and timing the balls well; in good form, where potting, safety and clarity of thinking seems to come a lot easier. If a player is not doing as well but then suddenly picks up, which happens during the course of most matches, she/he is said to catch a stroke.
Insurance ball 
A ball that is easily made from most 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.
In turn 
When a particular ball is given as a handicap in nine-ball, designating that ball in turn means that it must be made in rotation, when it is the lowest numerical ball remaining on the table, and cannot be made to garner a win earlier in the game by way of a combination, carom or any other shot. For example, if a player is spotted the 8 ball, he only wins by making that ball after balls 1 through 7 have been cleared from the table. The phrase is not common in the U.S.
Irish linen 
Linen made from flax and produced in Ireland which is often used to wrap the gripping area of the butt of a cue.

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J[edit]

Jack up 
#To elevate the back of the cue on a shot.
  1. In gambling, to "jack up a bet" means to increase the stakes.
Jail 
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.
Jam up 
Adjectival expression for a player's deadly game; "watch out, he plays jam up."
Jaws 
The inside walls of a pocket billiards table's pockets.
Jenny 
Same as a force follow shot.
Joint 
The interlocking connection between the butt and shaft ends of a two-piece cue stick.
Joint protectors 
Plugs that screw into the joint when a two-piece cue is broken down to keep foreign objects and moisture from contacting the joint mechanism.
Jump cue 
A cue dedicated to jumping balls; usually shorter and lighter than a playing cue and having a wider, hard tip. Also referred to as a jump stick.
Jump shot 
Any shot where the cue ball is intentionally jumped into the air to clear an obstacle. Jump shots must be performed by hitting the cue ball into the table's surface so that it rebounds from the cloth. Scooping under the cue ball to fling it into the air is deemed illegal by all authoritative rules sources. The term is often shortened to "jump."

K[edit]

Key ball 
The object ball involved in a key shot.
Key shot 
#A shot or ball that allows a player to obtain shape on another ball hard to play position to.
  1. A shot or ball that is the "key" to running out.
  2. The 14th object ball in a rack of straight pool that, when proper position is achieved on, allows easy position play, in turn, on the last (15th) object ball for an intergame break shot.
Kick 
#In the US, a ubiquitous shortening of the term kick shot.
  1. In the UK, the phenomenon known as cling or skid in the US.
Kick shot 
A shot in which the cue ball is driven to one or more rails before reaching its intended target — usually an object ball. It is often shortened to kick, as in "I had to kick at it" or "He can kick like a mule!"
Kill shot 
A shot intended to slow down or "kill" the cue ball's speed as much as possible after contact with an object ball; usually a shot with draw, often combined with inside english. It is often shortened to kill.
Kiss 
An instance of contact between balls, usually used in the context of describing an object ball contacting another object ball (e.g. "the two ball kissed off the twelve ball"). If the player's intention was to cause two object balls to kiss (e.g. to pocket a shot ball after a ricochet off of a stationary one), it is often called a kiss shot. Compare double kiss; contrast carom.
Kiss shot 
See kiss.
Kitchen 
The area on the table behind the head string. See also baulk.
Knuckle 
One of two sharp, jutting curves of the cushions either side of a pocket at the points where cushion and pocket meet, forming the jaws of the pockets. Also known as a point or tittie.

L[edit]

Lag 
To determine the order of break, players (representing only themselves, or a team/partnership) each shoot a ball (usually a cue ball) from the #Kitchen to the end rail and back toward the bottom rail. This pre-game mini-competition is known as "the lag", or "lagging for the break". Whichever shooter's ball comes to rest closest to the bottom rail gets to choose who breaks. (In nine-ball and eight-ball the winner of the lag would usually keep the break, while in straight pool would likely require the loser of the lag to break.) It is permissible but not required for the lagged ball to touch or rebound from the bottom rail. Lagging is usually a two-party activity, though there are games such as cutthroat (pool) in which three players might lag. In the case of a tie, the tying shooters re-lag. The lag is most often used in tournament play or other competitions; the opponents who have been chosen to lag will each, side-by-side, strike their lagging ball at or about the same time. When playing recreationally in pool rooms or at home, where having two or more cue balls is less likely, it is not uncommon to lag with object balls, or to take turns on lagging with a single cue ball (in which case the subsequent lag[s] is taken with the resting destination of the previously lagged ball marked using a coin, chalk, object ball, etc. The cue ball that remains closest to the opposite cushion will determine which player will break the rack. It is permissible for the lagged ball to strike the cushion on its return, although doing so is not required.
Leave 
The cue ball's position after a shot. A "good" leave would describe an advantageous position for the next shot.
Lemonade stroke 
Intentionally playing with an amateurish stroke to disguise one ability to play. Compare on the lemonade.
Let out 
To allow an opponent to stop playing a set for money in exchange for something. If a player is winning a set by a large amount with $100 on the line, the player could say, "I'll let you out now for $75." This is usually meant to save pride.
Little 
Also littles, little ones, little balls.

In eight-ball, to be shooting the solid suit (group) of balls (1 through 7); "you're little, remember", "you're the little balls" or "I've got the littles". Compare small, solids, reds, low, spots, dots; contrast big.

Lock 
A game that basically cannot be lost based on disparity of skill levels; "this game is a lock for him."
Lock artist 
Someone talented at making lock games.
Long double 
A term used in the UK for a bank shot played up and down the longer length of the table off a short rail and into a corner pocket, as opposed to the more common bank across the short length into a center pocket or corner.
Long rail 
Same as side rail.
Long string 
An imaginary line dividing the table into two equal halves lengthwise. It intersects with the head string and foot string at the head spot and foot spot, respectively.
Look back 
To enter the loser bracket in a double-elimination tournament, or otherwise slip in standing in other tournament formats (i.e., to lose a game/frame/round/match, but still remain in the competition).
Losing hazard 
A shoot in which the cue ball scratches after caroming off another ball.
Low 
Also lows, low balls, low ones.

In eight-ball, to be shooting the solid suit (group) of balls (1 through 7); "you're low, remember", "you're low balls" or "I've got the lows". Compare solids, reds, little, spots, dots; contrast high.

M[edit]

Mark 
#The target of a scam or hustle;
  1. A foolish person in a pool room;
  2. To indicate where something is to be done. To "mark the pocket" means to indicate which pocket you intend to sink an object ball. Contrast fish.
Massé 
A steep curve or complete reversal of cue ball direction without the necessity of any rail or object ball being struck, imparted to the cue ball by a steeply elevated cue. Compare semi-massé.
Maximum 
In snooker, the highest break attainable with the balls that are racked; usually 147 points starting by potting 15 reds, in combination with blacks, and clearing the colours.
Mechanical bridge 
A special stick with a grooved, slotted or otherwise supportive end attachment that helps guide the cue stick. Usually used only when the shot cannot be comfortably reached with a hand bridge. Often shortened to bridge or called a bridge stick. And entire class of different bridge sticks exists for snooker, called rests, also commonly used in English-style eight-ball.
Middle pocket 
Same as centre pocket.
Miscue 
A stroke in which the cue's tip glances or slips off the cue ball not effectively transferring the intended force. Usually the result is a bungled shot. The most common cause is a lack of chalk on the cue tip.
Miss 
In snooker, a rule (commonly called the miss rule) whereby if a player fouls and leaves it safe, his opponent has the option to make the opponent play exactly the same shot again, or at least as accurately as the referee is able to reproduce the ball positions. A miss usually only applies when the player has been put in by the opponent after a safety. It is a controversial rule that tries to account for deliberate fouls; a frowned-upon practice. A referee will normally call a miss on any failed attempt to get out of a safety—especially snookers.
Missable 
Describing a difficult pot: "the awkward cueing makes this shot missable."
Money ball 
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.
Money table 
The table reserved for games played for money or the best table in the house. This table is always of better quality and regularly maintained. Money tables are most commonly reserved for big action.
Mushroom 
Leather of the cue tip overhanging the ferrule because of compression from repeated contact with the cue ball.

N[edit]

Nap 
The direction in which the small fibers that project upward from the cloth lie. The convention in most billiards games is to brush the cloth along the table in the same direction of the nap, usually from the end that a player break. In snooker and UK eight-ball especially (American tables usually employ a napless weave), 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."
Natural 
In pocket billiards, an easy shot requiring no english. In three cushion billiards, the most standard shot where the third ball is advantageously placed in a corner.
9 ball 
Also the 9.

The money ball (game ball) in a game of nine-ball. It is the last ball that must be pocketed, after the remaining eight object balls have been pocketed, or may be pocketed early to win the game so long as the lowest-numbered ball on the table is struck before the 9. In other games, such as eight-ball, the 9 is simply one of the regular object balls (a stripe, in particular.)

Nip draw 
A short, jabbed draw stroke usually employed so as to not commit a foul (i.e. due to following through and hitting the #Cue ball twice) when the cue ball is very near to the target object ball.
Nit 
Someone who wants too high a handicap or refuses to wager any money on a relatively fair match; a general pool room pejorative moniker. Probably derived from "nitwit".
Nurse 
Also nurse shot.

In carom games such as straight rail, balkline and cushion caroms, where all the balls are kept near each other and a cushion, and with very soft shots, can be "nursed" down a rail on multiple successful shots that effectly replicate the same ball setup so that the nurse shot can be repeated again (and again, etc.) Excessive use of nurse shots by players skilled enough to set them up and pull them off repeatedly at will is what lead to the development of the balkline game variations.

O[edit]

Object ball 
Depending on context:
  1. Any ball that may be legally struck by the cue ball (i.e., any ball-on);
  2. Any ball other than the cue ball.

Usage notes: When speaking very generally, e.g. about the proper way to make a kind of shot, any ball other than the cue ball is an object ball. In narrower contexts, this may not be the case. For example when playing eight-ball one might not think of the 8 ball as an object ball unless shooting for the 8.

On the hill 
Describes a player who needs only one more game win to be victorious in the match. See also hill, hill.
On the lemonade 
Disguising the level of one's ability to play; also known as sandbagging or hustling (though the latter has other meanings). Compare lemonade stroke.
On the snap 
Literally "on the break shot"; usually used in reference to pocketing the money ball on the break. See also golden break.
Open bridge 
A bridge formed by the hand where no finger loops over the shaft of the cue. Typically, the cue stick is channeled by a "v"-shaped groove formed by the thumb and the base of the index finger.
Open table 
In eight ball, when choice of group has not yet been decided. Often shortended to just "open".
Orange crush, the 
The 5-out.
Out 
#A specific ball number followed by "out" refers to a handicap in nine-ball where the "spot" is all balls from that designated number to the 9 ball. To illustrate, the 6-out would allow the player getting weight to win by pocketing the 6, 7 or 8 in addition to the 9 ball.
  1. Short for run out.
Outside English 
Sidespin on a cue ball on the opposite side of the direction of the cut angle to be played (right hand english when cutting a ball to the left, and vice versa).
Overcut 
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. See also professional side of the pocket.

P[edit]

Pack 
#In snooker, the bunch of reds that are typically left below the pink spot in the early stages of a frame, not including those reds that have been released into pottable positions.
  1. Same as package.
Package 
Successive games won without the opponent getting to the table; a 5-pack would be a package of 5 games.
Paper cut 
Same as feather (US) or snick (UK). US, colloquial.
Parking the cue ball 
#Having the cue ball stop at or near the center of the table on a forceful break shot (the breaking ideal in many games such as nine-ball);
  1. Having the cue ball stop precisely where intended.
Pink ball 
In snooker, the second-highest value colour ball, being worth six points.
Plant 
Same as combination.
Pocket 
#(noun) An opening in a table, cut partly into the bed and partly into the rails and their cushions, into which balls are shot (pocketed or potted).
  1. (verb) Send a ball into a pocket, usually intentionally.

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Point 
# Another term for knuckle / tittie.
  1. A unit of scoring, in games such as snooker and straight pool with numerical scoring.
  2. A unit of scoring, in team matches in leagues that use numerical scoring instead of simple win/loss ratios.
Position 
The placement of the balls, especially the cue ball, relative to the next planned shot. Also known as as shape.
Position play 
Skilled playing in which knowledge of ball speed, angles, post-impact trajectory, and other factors are used to gain shape after the target ball is struck. The goals of position play are generally to ensure that the next shot is easy or at least makeable, and/or to play a safety in the advent of a miss (intentional or otherwise).
Pot 
(Chiefly UK)
  1. (verb) Same as pocket (verb): To sink a ball into a pocket.
  2. (noun) An instance of potting a ball ("it was a good pot considering the angle and distance of the shot").
Pot and tuck 
A tactic employed in UK eight-ball in which a player calls and pots one of the balls in a favorably-lying set, then plays safe, leaving as many of his/her well-placed balls on the table as possible, until the opponents commits a foul or leaves a chance that the player feels warrants an attempt at running out.
Potter 
A UK term for someone with little experience or understanding of the game, who may be skilled at potting individual balls but does not consider tactics such as position or safety; "he's a potter not a player." See also banger.
Potting angle 
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.
Professional side of the pocket 
To err on the side of overcutting a shot rather than undercutting; "missing on the professional side of the pocket." So called because experienced nine-ball players understand that an overcut will far more often leave the cue ball in an unfavorable position for the incoming opponent than will an undercut, as well be less likely to leave a missed object ball sitting in front of the pocket it had been intended for. [Note however that undercutting may be more advantageous when playing eight-ball, rather than nine-ball, as the incoming player cannot be shooting for the same ball (unless only the 8 ball is left on the table) and the majority of the time an undercut that misses will leave the object ball closer to the pocket, for later sinking, than will an overcut. In nine-ball this would be a grave error, but in eight-ball it is part of good strategy play.[3]]
Push 
Means either Push out or Push shot, depending on the context.
Push out 
A rule in many games allowing a player to "push" the cue ball to a new position without certain foul rules applying, with the caveat that the opponent may shoot from the new cue ball position or give the shot back to the pusher who must shoot from the new position.
Push shot 
Any shot where a player's cue tip stays in contact with the cue ball for more than the momentary time commensurate with a stroked shot. In the game of Snooker, it is considered a 'push' if the cue strikes the cue ball more than once in a given shot (a double hit). Again in Snooker, it is considered a 'push' if the cue and the 'ball on' are all in contact together during a shot (if the cue ball and object ball are 'frozen' together, special dispensation is given provided the cue ball is struck at a downward or other angle; that is, not directly into the line of the two balls). A push shot is a foul.

R[edit]

Race 
A set number of games players agree to play to; "a race to seven" means whomever wins seven game first wins the match.
Rack (noun) 
#A geometric form, usually wooden or plastic, used to assist in setting up balls in games like eight-ball, nine-ball, and snooker. The rack allows for more consistently tight grouping of balls, which is necessary for a successful break shot. In most games a triangle-shaped rack, capable of holding fifteen balls is employed, even if the game calls for racking less than a full ball set, such as in the game of nine-ball.
  1. Used to refer to a racked group of balls before they have been broken.
  2. In some games, refers to a single frame.

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Rack (verb) 
The act of setting up the balls for a break shot. In tournament play this will be done by the referee, but in lower-level play, players either rack for themselves or for each other depending on convention.
Rail 
The sides of a table's frame upon which the elastic cushions are mounted. May also be used interchangeably with cushion.
Rake 
Same as mechanical bridge; so-called because of its typical shape.
Rat in 
To pocket a ball by luck; "he ratted in the 9 ball"; usually employed dissaprovingly.
Red ball 
Also red(s).
  1. In snooker, any of the 15 balls worth 1 point each that can be potted in any order. During the course of a break a player must first pot a red followed by a colour, and then a red and colour, etc., until the reds run out and then the re-spotted six colours must be cleared in their order. Potting more than one red in a single shot is not a foul – the player simply gets a point for each red potted.
  2. In WEPF/UK eight-ball, one of two groups of seven object balls that must be potted before the black. Reds are spotted before yellows, if balls from both group must be spotted at the same time. Cf. yellow ball.[2]
  3. In carom billiards, the ball that is neither player's cue ball.
Referee 
The person in charge of the game whose primary role is to ensure adherence by both players to the appropriate rules of the game being played. Other duties of the referee include racking each frame, re-spotting balls during the course of a game, maintaining the equipment associated with the table (e.g. keeping the balls clean), controlling the crowd and, if necessary, controlling the players.
Re-rack 
#In snooker, the abandonment of a frame upon agreement between the players, so that the balls can be set up again and the frame restarted with no change to the score since the last completed frame. This is the result of situations, such as trading of containing safeties, where there is no foreseeable change to the pattern of shots being played, so the frame could go on indefinitely.
  1. In pool, placing of the object balls back in the rack, after a foul break.
Re-spot 
Same as spot (verb), sense 2.
Re-spotted black 
In snooker, a situation where the scores are tied after all the balls have been potted, and the black ball is re-spotted and the first player to pot it wins. The players toss for the first shot, which must be taken with the cue ball in the D, and a safety battle will ensue until a crucial error or a fluke is made.
Rest 
A chiefly UK term for a set of mechanical bridges. British-style rests differ from most American-style rake bridges in shape, and take several forms: the cross, the spider and the swan (or Goose neck), as well as the rarer and often unsanctioned hook. When used unqualified, the word usually refers to the cross. Rests are used in snooker, English billiards, and common WEPF-rules[2] and English-style eight-ball.
Reverse english 
Sidespin on the cue ball that causes it to unnaturally roll off a cushion (contacted at an angle) against rather than with the ball's momentum and direction of travel. If angling into a rail that is on the right, then reverse english would be right english, and vice versa. The angle of deflection will be steeper (narrower) than if no english were applied. Opposite of running english, which has effects other than simply the opposites of those of reverse english.
Ring game 
#Any game in which as many players are allowed to join as the participants choose, and anyone can quit at any time; almost always in the context of gambling.
  1. A nine-ball ring game is played by more than two players and has special rules. Typically the players choose a random method for setting the order of play, with the winner breaking. Safeties are not allowed and there are two or more money balls—usually the five and nine.
Road map 
A pool table spread in which the balls are easily positioned for a run out.
Road player 
A highly-skilled hustler making money gambling while traveling. Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler was a road player.
Rob 
Playing an opponent for money who has no chance of winning based on disparity of skill levels.
Roll 
Describes lucky or unlucky "rolls" of the cue ball; "I had good/bad rolls all night; "that was a bad roll."
Roll-up 
A gentle tap of the cue ball with the intention of getting it as tight as possible behind another ball, in the hope of a snooker. It is most common in the game of snooker, and is illegal in many pool games, in which on every shot a ball must either be pocketed, or some ball must contact a cushion after the cue ball has contacted an object ball.
Round robin 
A tournament format in which each contestant plays each of the other contestants at least once.
Round the angles 
Describing a shot which requires one or more balls to be played off several cushions, such as an elaborate escape or a positional shot; "he'll have to send the cue ball round the angles to get good position."
Rubber match 
The deciding match between two tied opponents. Compare hill, hill.
Ruckus 
A UK term (especially in snooker) for the splitting of a group of balls when another ball is sent into them, typically with the intent of deliberately moving them with the cue ball to develop them.
Run 
The number of balls potted in a inning (e.g. a run of five balls). Compare British break (sense 2).
Run out 
#(verb) Make all of the required shots in a game without the opponent ever getting to the table or getting back to the table
  1. (noun) An instance of running out in a game.
Run the table 
Similar to run out (sense 1), but more specific to making all required shots from the start of a rack. See also break and run, break and dish.
Running english 
Sidespin on the cue ball that causes it to roll off a cushion (contacted at an angle) with rather than against the ball's natural momentum and direction of travel. If angling into a rail that is on the right, then running english would be left english, and vice versa. The angle of deflection will be wider than if no english were applied to the cue ball. But more importantly, because the ball is rolling instead of sliding against the rail, the angle will be more consistent. For this reason, running english is routinely used. Opposite of reverse english.

S[edit]

Safety 
#An intentional defensive shot, the most common goal of which is to leave the opponent either no plausible shot at all, or at least a difficult one.
  1. A shot that is called aloud as part of a game's rules; once invoked, a safety usually allows the player to pocket his or her own object ball without having to shoot again, for strategic purposes. In games such as seven-ball, in which any shot that does not result in a pocketed ball is a foul under some rules, a called safety allows the player to miss without a foul resulting. A well-played safety may result in a snooker.
Scratch 
Pocketing of the cue ball in pocket billiards. In many games a scratch is a type of foul. Scratch is sometimes used to refer to all types of fouls. See, more generally, foul.
Screw 
Same as draw. (Chiefly British.)
Seeding 
The placement of player(s) automatically in a tournament where some have to qualify, or automatic placement in later rounds.
Semi-massé 
A moderate curve imparted to the cue ball by an elevated hit with use of english. Also known as a curve or (more rarely swerve) shot.
Session 
One or more sets, usually in the context of gambling.
Set 
A predetermined number of games, usually played for a specified sum of money. Compare race.
Sewer 
A pocket, usually used in disgust when describing a scratch (e.g. the cue ball's gone down the sewer).
Shaft 
The upper portion of a cue which slides on a player's bridge hand and upon which the tip of the cue is mounted at its terminus. It also applies to the main, unsegmented body of a mechanical bridge.
Shape 
Similar to position; "she got good shape on the next shot".
Shark 
Also pool shark(ing).
  1. Noun: A very good player. Also "sharp," especially in the UK. This usage is common among non-players who often intend it as a compliment and are not aware of its derogatory senses (below).
  2. Noun: A player that disguises his or her ability with the goal of making money from an unsuspecting mark (see fish). Also "sharp," especially in the UK. This usage is more common among actual players, and is why the above compliment is sometimes rejected.
  3. Verb: To perform some act or make some utterance with the intent to distract, irritate or intimidate the opponent so that they do not perform well, miss a shot, etc. (Not employed in this sense in the UK). Most league and tournament rules forbid blatant sharking, as a form of unsportsmanlike conduct, but it is very common in bar pool.
Sharp 
Same as shark (senses 1, 2). (Chiefly British.)
Short rack 
Any rack composed of less than 15 balls.
Short rail 
Either of the two rails on a standard pool, billiards or snooker table between the two corner pockets. Compare side rail.
Short stop 
One of the best players in a region but who is not quite good enough to beat a road player or a professional.
Shot for nothing 
Also shot to nothing. A UK term for a shot in which a player attempts a difficult pot but with safety in mind, so that in the event of missing the pot it is likely that the opponent will not make a meaningful contribution, and will probably have to reply with a safety. The meaning refers to lack of risk, to implying the shot comes "to nothing". Compare two-way shot.
Side 
The British term for english, in its narrower definition.
Side pocket 
One of the two pockets one either side of a pool table halfway up the long rails. They are cut shallower than corner pockets because they have a 180 degree aperture, instead of 90 degrees. In the UK the term centre pocket or middle pocket are preferred.
Side rail 
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.
Sidespin 
Same as english, in its narrower definition. Often shortened to just side.
Single elimination 
A tournament format in which a player is out of the tournament after a single match loss. Contrast double elimination.
Sink 
Same as pocket (sense 2).
Sitter 
Same as duck, and stemming from the same obvious etymology. (Chiefly British.)
Skid 
Phenomenon where the cue ball contacts the object ball right on a chalk mark and causes it to take a straighter angle than normal. Experienced observers can see that a skid occurred because the object ball moves oddly, lightly skipping. One of the only uncontrollable factors that can stop otherwise perfect play. "That ball skidded, did you see that?" Also known as cling or kick (UK).
Slate 
The heavy, finely-milled rock (slate) that forms the bed of the table, beneath the cloth. Major slate suppliers for the billiards industry are Italy, Brazil and China. Some cheaper tables, and novelty tables designed for outdoor use, do not use genuine slate beds, but artificial materials such as Slatrol.
Slide 
Describes a cue ball sliding on the cloth without any topspin or backspin on it.
Slip Stroke 
A stroking technique in which a player release his gripping hand briefly and re-grasps the cue farther back on the butt just before hitting the cue ball.
Slop 
  1. Also slop shot. A luck shot. Compare fish; contrast mark and call.
  2. Also sloppy. Descriptive of any game where the rules have been varied to allow luck shots not normally allowed or where no foul rules apply.
Small 
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; contrast big.

Smash-through 
The effect of shooting regulation-weight object balls with an old-fashioned over-weight bar table cue ball, such that the cue ball moves forward to occupy (sometimes only temporarily), or go beyond, the original position of the object ball, even on a draw or stop shot, because the mass of the cue ball exceeds that of the object ball. Players who understand smash-through well can use it intentionally for position play, such as to nudge other object balls nearby the target ball. Smash-through also makes it dangerous in bar pool (when equipped with such a cue ball) to pocket straight-on ducks with a stop shot instead of by cheating the pocket because of the likelihood of scratching the cue ball.[3]
Sneaky pete 
Any two-piece cue constructed to resemble a house cue.
Snick 
A UK term for a pot that requires very fine contact between cue ball and object ball. See also feather.
Snooker 
#(noun) The game of snooker.
  1. (verb) To leave the opponent (accidentally or by means of a safety) so that a certain shot on a preferred object ball cannot be played directly in a straight line by normal cueing. It most commonly means that the object ball cannot be hit, because it is hidden by another ball or, more rarely, the knuckle of a pocket (see corner-hooked). It can also refer to the potting angle or another significant point of contact on the object ball, blocking an otherwise more straightforward shot, even if an edge can be seen. A common related adjective describing a player in this situation is snookered. Also known as "to hook", for which the corresponding adjective "hooked" is also common. See also free ball.
  2. (noun) An instance of this situation (e.g. "she's put him in a difficult snooker"). A player can choose a range of shots to get out of a snooker; usually a kick shot will be implemented but semi-massés are often preferred, and in games where it is not a foul, jump shots may be employed that often yield good results for skilled players. "Snooker" is used loosely (when used at all; "hook" is favored) in the US, but has very specific definitions and subtypes (such as the total snooker) in WEPF eight-ball.[2]
Snookers required 
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.
Solids 
Also solid, solid ones, solid balls.

The non-striped ball suit (group) of a fifteen ball set that are numbered 1 through 7 and have a solid color scheme (i.e., not including the 8 ball). As in, "I'm solid", or "you've got the solids". Compare low, small, little, reds, spots, dots; contrast stripes.

Speed 
A player's skill level.
Speed control 
Use of the correct amount of cue ball speed to achieve proper position for a subsequent shot.
Spider 
Also spider rest.

A type of rest, similar to a common American-style rake bridge but with longer legs supporting the head so that the cue is higher and can reach over and around an obstructing ball to reach the cue ball. See also swan.

Split 
In pool, the degree to which the balls move apart upon impact by the cue ball as a result of a break shot.
Spot (noun) 
#In pool games such as nine-ball, a specific handicap given (e.g., "what spot will you give me?").
  1. In snooker, any of the six designated points on the table on which a colour ball is replaced after it has left the playing surface (usually after it has been potted).
  2. In UK eight ball, (when not playing with a reds-and-yellows colour ball set) any of the group of seven balls, other than the 8, that are a solid colour with just a circled number on the surface. In the US, these balls are usually referred to as solids or more colloquially as lows, littles or smalls. Another UK term is dots. Contrast stripes.
Spot (verb) 
#In pool, return an illegally pocketed object ball to the table by placement on the foot spot or as near to it as possible without moving other balls (in ways that may differ from ruleset to ruleset).
  1. In snooker, return a colour ball to its designated spot on the table. Also called re-spot.
  2. In nine-ball, the giving of a handicap to the opponent where they can also win by making a ball or balls other than the 9 ball (e.g. "she spotted me the seven ball").
  3. In eight-ball, one-pocket and straight pool, the giving of a handicap to the opponent where they have to make fewer balls than their opponent does.
  4. In some variants of pool, to place the cue ball on the head spot or as near to it as possible inside the kitchen/baulk, after the opponent has scratched it.
Spot shot 
The situation arising in many pool games where a ball is spotted to the table's foot spot and the cue ball must be shot from the kitchen. There is a known diamond system aiming technique for pocketing such shots without scratching the cue ball.
Squeeze shot 
A type of combination that can be played when the second object ball is frozen to the first and lined up at one of the knuckles of the target pocket. It can normally be pocketed by hitting the first object ball on the same side as the knuckle and second object ball at a medium to hard pace. It is a somewhat counterintuitive shot because if there is the slighest gap between the two object balls the only way to pocket the second would be to hit the opposite side. The phenomenon occurs as a result of throw.
Squirt 
Same as deflection.
Stake/stakehorse 
To provide part or all of the money for a gambling session in which one is not a participant. Synonymous with "back". A person who stakes or backs a player is called a stakehorse or backer. Stakehorse can also be used as a verb.[1]
Stall 
#To intentionally hide one's "speed"; "he's on the stall."
  1. To intentionally play slowly so as to irritate one's opponent. This form of sharking has been eliminated from many tournaments with a shot clock, and from many leagues with time-limit rules.
Stance 
A shooter's body position and posture during a shot. See also cue action.
Stay shot 
In the UK, a long-distance shot played to pot a ball close to a pocket with heavy topspin, so that when the cue ball hits the cushion it bounces off but then stops due to the counteraction of the spin. It is not common in competitive play, being more of an exhibition shot.
Steering 
The lamentable practice of not following through with the cue straight, but veering off in the direction of the shot's travel or the side english is applied, away from the proper aiming line; a common source of missed shots.
Stick 
Same as cue.
Stop shot 
Any shot where the cue ball stops immediately after hitting an object ball, generally by application of backspin short of that required to perform a draw shot.
Straight up 
To play even; without a handicap. Also called heads up.
Stripes 
Also striped ones, striped balls.

The ball suit (group) of a fifteen ball set that are numbered 9 through 15 and have a wide colored bar around the middle. Compare bigs, highs, yellows; contrast solids.

Stroke 
#The motion of the cue stick and the player's arm on a shot;
  1. The strength, fluidity and finesse of a player's shooting technique; "she has a good stroke."
Stroke, catch a 
To suddenly be in stroke after poor prior play; "she caught a stroke."
Stroke, to be in 
Pocketing easily and controlling the cue ball well; "he's in stroke."
Stun run-through 
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.
Stun shot 
A shot where the cue ball has no topspin or backspin on it when it impacts an object ball, and "stuns" out along the tangent line. Commonly shortened to just "stun."
Sucker shot 
A shot that only a novice or fool would take. Usually because it is a guaranteed scratch or because it has a low percentage of being pocketed and is likely to leave the opponent in good position.
Suit 
A (principally American) term in eight-ball for either of the set of seven balls (stripes or solids) that must be cleared before sinking the 8 ball. Borrowed from card games. Generally used in the generic, especially in rulesets or articles, rather than colloquially by players. See also group for the British equivalent.
Surgeon 
A player skilled at very thin cut shots, and shots in which a ball must pass cleanly through a very narrow space (such as the cue ball between two of the opponent's object balls with barely enough room) to avoid a foul and/or to pocket a ball. Such shots may be referred to as "surgery", "surgical shots", "surgical cuts", etc. (Chiefly US, colloquial.) See also feather (US) or snick (UK).
Swan 
Also swan rest.

A type of rest, similar to a spider in that the head is raised by longer supporting legs, but instead of a selection of grooves on the top for the cue to rest in there is only one, on the end of an overhanging neck, so that a player can get to the cue ball more easily if the path is blocked by two or more obstructing balls. Also known as the goose neck[2]

Sweaters 
Those who are stakehorsing a match or have side bets on it and are "sweating the action."
Swerve 
An unintentional and often barely perceptible curve imparted to the path of the cue ball from the use of english without a level cue.
Swerve shot 
Same assemi-massé.

T[edit]

Table cloth 
Same as cloth.
Tangent line 
The imaginary line drawn perpendicular to the impact line between the cue ball and an object ball. The cue ball will travel along this line after impact with an object ball if it has no vertical spin on it (is sliding) at the moment of impact on a non-center-to-center collision. See also stun shot.
Taper 
The profile of the shaft of the cue as it as it increases in diameter from the tip to the joint. A "fast" or "slow" taper refers to how quicky the diameter increases.
Thin 
See overcut.
Throw 
The normal phenomenon where the object ball is pushed in a direction very slightly off of the pure contact angle between the two balls. Caused by the friction imparted by the first ball sliding past or rotating against the other ball.
Tickie 
A common shot in carom games. The cue ball is driven first to a rail, then hits an object ball and kisses back to the same rail.
Tight 
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.
Time shot 
Any shot in which the cue ball moves another ball into a different position and then rebounds from one or more rails to contact it again (normally sending it into a pocket or making a billiard).
Timing 
The ease with which a player is generating cue power, due to well-timed acceleration of the cue at the appropriate point in a shot.
Tip 
Same as cue tip.
Tittie 
Same knuckle.
Tittie hooked 
Same as corner hooked.
Top cushion 
In snooker, the cushion at the end the reds are racked, nearest the black spot, in an area where most of the game should be played.
Topspin 
Also top spin.

Same as #Follow. Contrast backspin.

Total clearance 
A term used in snooker for the potting of all the balls that are racked at the beginning of the frame in a single break. The minimum total clearance affords 72 points. See also maximum.
Total snooker 
In UK eight-ball and WEPF international rules[2], a situation where the player cannot see any of the balls she/he wants to hit due to obstruction by other balls or the knuckle of a pocket. The player must call "total snooker" to the referee, which allows a dispensation to the player from having to hit a cushion after contacting the object ball, which is otherwise a foul.
Touching ball 
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.
Triangle 
Form of rack that is triangle-shaped. There are different sizes of triangle for different games, the smallest being employed in snooker and UK eight-ball and a larger triangle being used in American eight-ball (because of the different ball sizes). Template:further
Trick shot 
An exhibition shot designed to impress either by a player's skill or knowledge of how to set the balls up and take advantage of the angles of the table; usually a combination of both. A trick shot may involve items otherwise never seen during the course of a game, such as bottles, baskets, etc., and even members of the audience being placed on or around the table.
Two-shot carry 
A rule in common WEPF/UK eight-ball[2] whereby after an opponent has faulted and thus yielded two shots, if the incoming shooter pots a ball on the first shot, (s)he is still allowed to miss in a later shot and take a second shot in-hand (from the "D" or from baulk, or if the opponented potted the cue ball, from anywhere) — even on the black, in most variants. Also called the "two visits" rule; i.e., the two penalty shots are considered independent visits to the table, and the limiting variants discussed at two shots below cannot logically apply.
Two shots 
In common UK eight-ball and WEPF rules[2], a penalty conceded by a player after a fault. The incoming opponent is then allowed to miss twice before the faulting player is allowed another visit. Many local rules state the in-hand from the "D" or baulk (or if the opponented potted the cue ball, from anywhere) nature of the second shot is lost if a ball is potted on the first shot, that it is lost if the ball potted in the first shot was that player's last coloured ball (object ball in their group), and/or that there is only ever one shot on the black after a fault. See two-shot carry for more detail on a sub-rule that may apply (and eliminate the variations discussed here).
Two visits 
See two-shot carry.
Two-way shot 
#A shot in which if the target is missed, the opponent is safe or will not have a desirable shot;
  1. A shot in which there are two ways to score;
  2. A shot in which a second ball is targeted to be pocketed, broken out of a cluster, repositioned or some other secondary goal is also intended.

U[edit]

Umbrella shot 
A three cushion billiards shot in which the cue ball first strikes two cushions before hitting the first object ball then hits a third cushion before hitting the second object ball. So called because the shot opens up like an umbrella after hitting the third rail. Umbrella shots may be classified as inside or outside depending on which side of the first object the cue ball contacts.
Undercut 
Hitting the object ball with not enough of a cut angle; hitting the object ball too full or "fat". It is a well-known maxim that overcutting is preferable to undercutting. See also professional side of the pocket.

V[edit]

Velcro 
A UK term describing when a ball is tight on the cushion and a player sends the cue ball to hit both the object ball and the rail at nearly the same time; the object ball, ideally, stays tight to the rail and is thus "velcroed" to the rail. Running english is often employed to achieve this effect, hitting slightly before the ball. Velcroing is also called hugging the rail in the UK, which is the main expression used to describe this effect in the US.
Visit 
One of the alternating turns players are allowed at the table, before a shot is played that concedes a visit to his/her opponent (e.g. he cleared up in one visit).

W[edit]

Warrior, a 
A ball positioned near a pocket so that a particularly positioned object ball shot at that pocket will likely go in off it, even if aimed so imperfectly that if the warrior was absent, the shot would likely result in a miss. Usually arises when a ball is being banked to a pocket.
Way 
#Term for object balls in the game of Chicago that are each assigned as having a set money value; typically the 5, 8, 10, 13 and 15.
  1. In games where multiple balls must be pocketed in succession to score a point, such as Cribbage or 30-ball, when the last ball necessary to score has been potted, the points given is referred to as a way.
Weight 
To "give someone weight" is to give them a handicap so the game is more even in skill level.
White ball 
Alternate name for the cue ball.
Whitey 
Alternate name for the cue ball.
Wild 
When a ball is given as a handicap it often must be called (generally tacit). A wild handicap means the ball can be made in any manner specifically without being called.
Wing ball 
Either of the balls on the lateral extremities of the nine-ball diamond rack of balls, when in racked position. It is seen as a reliable sign of a good break (which is normally taken from close to either cushion in the kitchen) if the opposite wing ball is pocketed.
Wing shot 
Shooting at an object ball that is already in motion at the moment of shooting and cue ball impact; illegal in most games and usually only seen in exhibition/trick shots.
Wipe its feet 
UK term referring to the metaphorical base or "feet" of a ball that rattles in the jaws of a pocket before eventually dropping. Usually said of a ball for which the intention was to pot it.
Wired 
When two ball are or are close to frozen and lined up for a pocket such that contact on the first ball, without the necessity of great accuracy, will almost certainly pocket the second ball.
Wire, the 
#The grapevine in the pool world — what action is taking place where in the country.
  1. Actual wire with multiple beads strung (like an abacus) used for keeping score. Points "on the wire" are a type of handicap used, where a weaker player will be given a certain number of points before the start of the game.
Wood 
A slang term for a cue, usually in the phrase piece of wood (e.g. that's a nice piece of wood).
Wrap 
The area of the butt of a cue where the person grips often covered with leather, nylon string, or Irish linen.

Y[edit]

Yellow ball 
Also yellow(s).
  1. In snooker, the lowest-value colour ball on the table, being worth two points. It is one of the baulk colours.
  2. In WEPF and UK eight-ball, one of two groups of seven object balls that must be potted before the eight ball; cf. red ball.[2]
Yellow pocket 
In snooker, the pocket nearest the yellow spot.

References[edit]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1993, Michael Ian Shamos, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Billiards, New York, NY: Lyons & Burford, ISBN 1-55821-219-1:
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 World Eight-ball Pool Federation Eight-ball Rules, 2004, Perth, WA, Australia — These are also the rules of the English Pool Association and other national WEPF affiliates. Despite its name, the WEPF is principally composed of leagues in the current or former British Commonwealth nations.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 2004, R. [Randi] Givens, The Eight Ball Bible: A Guide to Bar Table Play (Illustrated Ed.), Eight Ball Press, ISBN 0-97472-737-7:
  4. ^ "World Pool Association [sic] Blackball Rules", World Pool-Billiard Association, 2005.