Cue sports (sometimes written cuesports), also known as billiard sports, are a wide variety of games of skill generally played with a cue stick which is used to strike billiard balls, moving them around a cloth-covered billiards table bounded by rubber cushions.
Historically, the umbrella term was billiards. While that familiar name is still employed by some as a generic label for all such games, the word's usage has splintered into more exclusive competing meanings in various parts of the world. For example, in British and Australian English, "billiards" usually refers exclusively to the game of English billiards, while in American and Canadian English it is sometimes used to refer to a particular game or class of games, or to all cue games in general, depending upon dialect and context.
A billiard ball is a small, hard ball used in cue sports, such as carom billiards, pool, and snooker. The number, type, diameter, color, and pattern of the balls differ depending upon the specific game being played. Various particular ball properties such as hardness, friction coefficient and resilience are very important to the finer points of gameplay.]clarification needed[
Cue sports techniques (usually more specific, e.g., billiards techniques, snooker techniques) are an immensely important aspect of game play in the various cue sports such as carom billiards, pool, snooker and other games. Such techniques are used on each shot in an attempt to achieve an immediate aim such as scoring or playing a safety, while at the same time exercising control over the positioning of the cue ball and often the object balls for the next shot or inning.
In carom games, an advanced player's aim on most shots is to leave the cue ball and the object balls in position such that the next shot is of a less difficult variety to make the requisite carom, and so that the next shot is in position to be manipulated in turn for yet another shot; ad infinitum.