If you’ve spent much time playing pool you’ve probably heard some words and phrases that you’ve never heard outside of the pool room. Part of becoming a good player is not only walking the walk, but talking the talk. Take a few minutes and make sure you know the meaning of these common pool hall sayings.
Rack Mechanic: Someone who knows a lot about what will happen on the break by inspecting the rack. They’ve studied the effects of the break and how gaps or a tilt will change the outcome. They are also experts at making balls go in for rack your own tournaments. If someone calls you a rack mechanic it’s usually not a compliment.
“Hey, make sure you inspect the rack with this guy. He’s a rack mechanic.”
Googan: A pool googan is someone who has every pool device/video/book known to the billiard industry. He knows every player and what their strengths and weaknesses are, and is dying to be a relevant part of the pool scene. It’s very rare that googans become good players.
“This guy with the laser sight on his cue is such a googan.”
Rail Bird: These are the guys that you always see in the pool room that never pick up a pool cue. They like to watch everyone play and sometimes get side action (betting on a player). If you ever want to know how anyone plays, ask your local rail bird, but if you’re looking to gamble don’t trust his answer.
“This new guy is in from out of town. The rail birds are chirping.”
Rail Checkers: This phrase is frequently used in seeded tournaments. The seeded players typically get first round byes, so the players who get the first round matches are the rail checkers (because they miss a lot).
“Let’s get this tournament started…send out the rail checkers!”
ATM: This is an affectionate little term for a guy that you gamble with that can’t beat you. He dispenses money like, well, you know.
“I’ll talk to you later. Here comes my ATM.”
Gapper: This refers to a small portion of gambling money or tournament winning that you give someone who helped you in some way.
“He drove me to the tournament so I threw him a little gapper.”
Roll With Butter: Usually refers to a ball that is slopped in, and perfect position results. There is also the “Roll Without Butter” where the ball is slopped, but the player is snookered.
“Wow, I was trying to play safe. That was a roll with butter!”
Tilt: When a player completely loses his cool and starts mentally breaking down.
“He slopped in the nine ball and I went on complete tilt.”
Shot maker: Someone who makes the balls really well. Generally this is a back handed compliment because it's implied that, although you make the balls well, your position play stinks.
“He plays ok. He’s a shot maker.”
Now that you've learned how to talk like a real pool player, go get some practice so you can play like one. Maybe you'll even find an ATM of your own!