Glossary of Billiard Terms

Term
Meaning
Ball On
An object ball that can be shot at in a straight line or driven into a pocket on a combination or a carom shot.
Bank
A cushion; a bank shot is one in which the object ball is driven into the cushion and then into the pocket.
Break Shot
The opening shot of the game.
Bridge
The supporting hand's position on the table to guide the cue; also, a cuelike stick with a notched end; used to support the cue.
Called Ball
The ball a player announces he intends to play.
Combination Shot
A shot that puts an object ball into a pocket by driving a ball or balls into it.
Carom Shot
A shot that makes the cue ball bound from one object ball to another.
Cushion
The cloth-covered ridge bordering the inside rails of the table.
Draw Shot
A shot that makes the cue ball roll backward after impact.
English
A stroking technique that influences the action of the cue ball, either before or after it strikes the object ball.
Foot of Table
The end or short rail that does not bear the name plate of the manufacturer.
Foot Spot
The spot on the table's long axis midway between the exact center and the foot rail. In pocket billiards the racked ball at the apex of the triangle is centered on this spot.
Frozen
A term used to indicate that two object balls are touching each other. In a frozen rail shot the cue ball hits an object ball that is resting against a cushion.
Head of Table
The short rail bearing the name plate of the manufacturer.
Head Spot
The spot on the table's long axis midway between the exact center and the head rail. The game's first ball is shot from behind an imaginary line, called the head string, which bisects the head spot and is parallel to the head rail.
High Run
The highest consecutive series of scored balls in one inning.
Inning
A turn at the table.
Kiss
A carom.
Lag
A procedure followed to determine which player takes the opening shot. Each player drives a ball from the head string to the foot rail. The one whose ball, in its rebound, stops closest to the head rail wins the lag and has the option of refusing to make the break shot.
Miscue
A faulty contact of the cue against the cue ball.
Pack
A cluster of balls before or after a break shot.
Rail
The flat surface of the table, above the bed of the table, from which the cushions slope.
Safety
A defensive maneuver in which a player drives an object ball against a cushion or into a pocket and relinquishes his turn. A safety usually leaves no setup for the opponent.
Scratch
A failure to comply with the rules; also, the pocketing of the cue ball. A scratch may result in a penalty.
Setup
An easy shot.

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