Billiard Glossary

Angle Shot - Any shot that is not straight in; more commonly referred to as a "cut shot".

Backspin - A ball rotating in the direction opposite to its travel.

Bank Shot - A shot in which the striking of a cushion is instrumental in pocketing the object ball.

Bed of Table - The playing surface inside the cushions.

Break Shot - The first shot of a game.

Bridge - The support for the cue shaft as it slides back and forth during aim and execution.

Call Shot - A game rule requiring the shooter to indicate the ball to be pocketed, the pocket it is to be made in, and all cushions in-between.

Chalk - Applied to the cue tip to keep it from slipping off the cue ball.

Clean the Table - Pocket all the balls that remain on the table.

Cue Ball - The white ball that is struck with the cue stick.

Curve Shot - A shot in which the cue ball is made to curve as a result of being struck downward and to one side.

Cushion - A triangular strip of rubber attached to the rail and covered with cloth. Generally used interchangeably with "rail".

Diamonds - Inlays (diamond or circular shaped) on the rails that serve as reference points. They divide the end rails into four equal parts and the side rails into eight equal parts. Also referred to as "sights".

Foot Spot - A marked spot in the center of the table two diamonds from the end rail. The foot spot is used as a reference in racking the balls.

Frozen Ball - A ball that is in contact with another ball.

Head Spot - An imaginary spot in the middle of the table two diamonds from the head rail.

Hug the Rail - A ball rolled along the edge of the rail.

Jump Shot - A shot in which the cue ball is deliberately made to leave the table surface.

Leave - A term used to express the difficulty of the shot that is left for one's opponent. Usually used qualitatively; for example, "good leave" means that the cue ball was left in a difficult position for the opponent's first shot.

Open Table - A situation in which neither player has a designated group of balls.

Rack - A device used to help position the balls for the opening shot.

Run the Table - Pocketing all of one's remaining balls.

Scratch - Cue ball accidentally goes into a pocket.

Shaft - The front (narrow) end of a cue stick.

Sharking - The use of devious tactics to psych-out an opponent.

Sights - See "diamonds".

Slate - A fine-grained metamorphic rock that can be machined to a smooth flat surface. Slate is used for the bed of a table; thickness generally ranges from 3/4" to 2".

Snooker - A game played with 21 object balls. A regulation snooker table is larger than a regulation pool table.

Solids - Balls numbered one through seven.

Stripes - Balls numbered nine through fifteen.