log in
sign up or:

By using this site you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service

forgot password?

Head String - Billiard Term Definition

Welcome to the billiard, pool, and snooker glossary of terms. This is the definition of Head String as it relates to cue sports. You can also view the entire billiard dictionary

Definition of Head String

Head String is a billiards term that is a part of Pool Table Terminology.

The head string is a line (sometimes imaginary) that passes between the second diamonds on the long rails and through the head spot. It intersects the long string at exactly the head spot.

On some pool tables, the head string is an imaginary line on some pool tables as it is not always marked. On other pool tables it can be drawn directly on the cloth bed of the billiard table.

Most billiard game rules specify that the opening break shot be made from behind the head string.

It is this head string that aptly defines the kitchen area of the billiard table.

Diagram of pool table areas showing the head string.

See: center string, centre string, center spot, centre spot, long string, foot string, head spot, foot spot for more on the meaning of "Head String".

Head String - Usage

You must perform your break shot from within the kitchen. You know what means don't you? It means that you must break from behind the head string.

Billiards - Head String

  • Title: Head String
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 3/13/2006
  • Last Updated: 10/26/2016 3:22:49 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum

Head String Comments

  1. David AdamovichDavid Adamovich from Freeport, NY on 3/24/2019 8:07:44 AM

    If the head spot is ON the head string line and someone is shooting from the "kitchen" (which is defined as the area behind the head string), is it legal to shoot at the ball that sits on the head string?

  2. billiardsforumbilliardsforum from Halifax, NS on 3/24/2019 3:10:42 PM

    @David Adamovich - Great question.

    Yes, balls that lie ON the head-string are playable "from the kitchen" aka "from behind the head string".

    Looking at World Pool-Billiard Association general rules for pocket billiards, the answer is found in the last sentence of the Cue Ball in Hand section:

    1.5 Cue Ball in Hand

    [...] When the shooter has the cue ball in hand behind the head string [...] An object ball that rests exactly on the head string is playable.

  3. user1578896015user1578896015 from Puerto Rico on 1/13/2020 6:13:36 AM

    What about this scenario?

    Can the player hit the 8-ball from where it lies in this image?


  4. billiardsforumbilliardsforum from Halifax, NS on 1/14/2020 1:01:38 PM

    Yes, that is exactly the scenario I talked about above. That is a perfectly legal shot "from behind the head string".

Submit New Billiard Term or Suggest a Correction

You can suggest a new billiard term and it's definition here. If you are suggesting a correction for an existing term, enter the entire definition as with your corrections incorporated.

upload a photo or document

use plain text or markdown syntax only