Understanding Billiards Jargon

To the astute billiards player, certain words like scratch, side-pocket, and rack-em Billiards Termsapply to the game of billiards. However, to the novice player hearing these words, these can seem confusing. Since there are a lot of billiards jargon, I’ll cover the three that are mentioned earlier: scratch, side-pocket, and rack-em.

The word “scratch” means when you hit the cue ball and for some reason it doesn’t hit any of your marked balls before the cue ball comes to a full stop (let’s just say that your established set of balls to pocket are solids), then when the word “scratch” comes into play. Also, if you hit the cue ball and it has been pocketed, then that would also be considered a scratch.

The word “side-pocket” is pretty much self-explanatory: it means of the of the two pots (holes) on the longer side of the pool table. The word “rack-em” is a slang term for “rack them” which means to put the balls, except the cue ball, in either the diamond- or triangle-shaped object to hold the balls in place before the start of the game.

You can check out more billiards jargon by going here. I hope to give you an insight to the world of billiards terminology. Please add a reply to this post, and I would like to hear what you have to say. Maybe you some billiards terminology that I haven’t heard of or that’s not listed in the above website.


  1. // Reply

    Hey Armand,

    I enjoyed to play billiards since I first tried it when I was a 10-year-old kid. I’ve been playing it occasionally (and casually) – whenever an opportunity arose. Always wanted to know a few slang words, but never bothered to find them out by myself.
    Thank you for explaining these!

    1. // Reply

      Hello Dmitriy. Thanks for the reply to my post as there many slang/jargon terms relating to the game of billiards. I know I just scratched the surface by only mentioning the scratch, side-pocket, and rack-em. I found this site where you can find many more terms relating to the game of billiards which I have not covered in this post. I hope to enlighten you.

      To your billiards enjoyment.


  2. // Reply

    A great post and something I have a great interest in. The post is a little short but it gets across what you have to say I guess. I think that it could teach a few people some things about the game of billiards of that I have no doubts what so ever. Great job thought my friend and I hope the rest of your content is a similar standard as this one. I have bookmarked it and will return to see it being updated. Thanks

    1. // Reply

      Thanks, Simon. I always do my best in trying to provide the best in promoting my billiards niche. I’m still trying to improve writing longer posts as writing is not my strong suit. Again, thanks once again as I appreciate your input.

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