Learn to Speak Billiard Slang

Every nation has a variation on language. For example; Canada, England, and the United States all speak very similar but equally varying versions of English. The same is true for sports, hobbies, and different fanatic groups.


Basically, every group has their own language and if Billiards, also known as Pool, is quickly becoming your game, you’ll need to know a few things before you’ll be taken seriously by Bar League Players.


Whether or not you know what the rails are, or can’t tell the difference between the kitchen and the break box, you can easily become fluent in billiards slang. Most every aspect of billiards has a term to define and differentiate it from the rest.


The term ‘billiards table’ refers to the entire table, and is the platform for games of pool, snooker, pockets, and many other versions. Six pockets line the rails; one in each corner then one in the middle of each side rail. The rails will have small inlaid icons, usually diamond shapes, to help a player pocket a ball if he plans to bank a shot off a rail.


Moving onto the playing surface, which is the felt covered area in between the head, foot, and side rails, a set of imaginary lines are drawn to provide a guideline on how each game should be setup. The foot spot is the point that the apex of the triangle is set to when setting up for the opening break shot.


The head spot is where the cue ball is set for the opening break shot. These two spots are found by drawing the long string, a line lined up with the center diamond from the head to foot rail.


This line intersects with the head and foot string to create a crosshair for the head and foot spot. The head and foot string start from the second set of diamonds on each respective end and stretch across the playing surface.


Different versions of pool can be played by treating the balls differently. The most common game played is Eight Ball. In this version, if the player who made the break sinks a solid colored ball, they play the rest of the game sinking solid colored balls and vice versa by alternating turns with the second player.


This game is lost if the solid black eight ball is pocketed before all the balls of your set are sunk.