You may find yourself in a position where you are faced with a less-experienced player. Imagine that! You've come so far that you might be even better than others. To accommodate play for differing skill levels, you can play with handicaps. In other words, you make rules to level the playing field. To give an advantage to another player is called a “spot.” Your opponent would say, for example: “How about you giving me a spot in this game until I'm a little bit more experienced?”
You can implement a spot in any of the following.
One player has to win five games to be the winner while the more-experienced player must win ten.
One player must score 25 points while the more-experienced player must score 50 points.
The less-experienced player can start with 30 points, while you start with 0, if, let's say, you are playing to 50. The less-experienced player has to pocket twenty balls while you have to pocket all fifty.
Giving the less-experienced player more points at the onset of the game is sometimes expressed as giving the player points “on the wire.” This comes from the days when a beaded scorekeeping wire used to hang over pool tables. In fact, there are still poolrooms around where this means of scorekeeping is still in use. At the end of your inning, you'd push over the appropriate number of beads to represent your run.
Now you're ready to pull out your cue stick and play a few innings of straight pool. You can never stop learning new things about straight pool, so while you're working on that one, let's move on to another: Eight ball, anyone?