Also cue ball in-hand . The option of placing the cue ball anywhere on the table prior to shooting, in a game of pool. Usually only available to a player when the opposing player has committed some type of foul under a particular game 's rules, 36 (cf. the free throw in basketball by way of comparison). See also in-hand for the snooker definition. A common variation, used in games such as straight pool and often in bar pool , is ball-in-hand "behind the head string ", also "behind the line" or "from the kitchen ", meaning the ball-in-hand option is restricted to placement anywhere behind the head string , i.e., in the area of the table known as the kitchen .