1. Literally, a pocket, but generally used in the phrases losing hazard – potting (pocketing the cue ball off another ball – and winning hazard – using the cue ball to pot another ball – the two types of legal shots that pocket balls in games in which the term is used at all, which is very few today. The term principally survives in Englishbilliards, in which both types of shots are point-scoring. Formerly, a large number of different games made use of the two types of hazards as point scorers or losers in various ways (thus their suggestive names). The term ultimately derives from holes or pockets in the table to be avoided, in very early forms of billiards.. While the terms are disused in pocketbilliards today, their lingering effect is obvious, as the vast bulk of such games focus on making winning hazards and avoiding losing hazards (a notable exception being Russian pyramid in which both are legal shots).
2. In golf billiards, an area of the table (sometimes marked) that a player will be penalized for entering if their ball does not leave. Derives from the use of the term in the outdoor game of golf.