Learning the language of the game is almost as important as learning the game itself.  Impress your friends and family by dropping a few of these terms – courtesy of the Billiard Congress of America – during your next game.

Balance Point – The point on a cue at which it would remain level if held by a single support, usually about 18″ from the butt end of the cue.

Carom – To bounce off or glance off an object ball or cushion; a shot in which the cue ball bounces off one ball into another is termed a carom.

Diamonds – Inlays or markings on the table rails that are used as reference or target points. The diamonds are essential for the utilization of numerous mathematical systems employed by carom and pocket games players.

English – Side spin applied to the cue ball by striking it off center; used to alter the natural roll of the cue ball and/or the object ball.

Head Spot – The point on the head of the table where imaginary lines drawn between the center diamonds of the short rails and the second diamonds of the long rails intersect.

Kick Shot – A shot in which the cue ball banks off a cushion(s) prior to making contact with an object ball or scoring.

Kiss Out – Accidental contact between balls that causes a shot to fail.

Stroke – The movement of the cue as a shot is executed.

Time Shot – A shot in which the cue ball (most often) moves another ball into a different position and then continues on to meet one of the moved balls for a score.

Want to learn more handy terms and phrases for your next billiards game? Click here for a more complete glossary.