Bowling Shuffleboard – What is it and How Do You Play?

Shuffleboard bowling is a very simple game that is straight-forward and tons of fun. It’s less intensive than traditional bowling that may be a bit too strenuous for some ladies. Bowling shuffleboard is much easier but equally challenging, requiring more skill than pure brute strength.

Shuffleboard bowling will keep you interested while building strength, accuracy, and hand-eye coordination. Unlike traditional shuffleboard competitions, you can add as many players as you want. Bring on the party! You can print out the bowling scorecard below to keep track of the score and keep things from getting messy.

How to Set Up A Shuffleboard Bowling Game

Table shuffleboard bowling is arranged in a 4-3-2-1 formation of descending pins. Make sure you grab a pin setter to make it easy to set up new games. Otherwise, you’ll be forced to manually space each pin every time and this will get old very quick. This also prevents cheating. Nobody will be able to claim that the pins were set up unfairly.

The smooth surface of a table shuffleboard creates an ideal playing field to slide weights in the direction of a rack of pins. Shuffleboard bowling pins are usually made out of wood or plastic. Make sure you sprinkle on a nice coat of shuffleboard wax to prep the surface for a good game.

Set of 10 Solid Wood Bowling Pins with Pin Setter

Rules for Bowling Shuffleboard

Each player gets two attempts to knock down all ten pins. Together these two turns make up what is called a frame. A full game consists of 10 frames but you can shorten it down if you’re limited on time. At the end of the game, the scorecard is calculated to reveal the winner. Here’s the secret to prevailing in shuffleboard bowling!

  • Strike– Occurs when all pins are knocked down on the first attempt. The score for this frame is calculated by adding the player’s total score on the next frame plus 10.
  • Spare– Occurs when all pins are knocked down on the second attempt. The score for this frame is calculated by adding 10 plus the number of pins knocked down in the player’s first attempt on the next frame.

If you’re lucky enough to bowl a strike or spare on the final frame you get an extra frame to rack up some more points. Often times, the player with the most strikes and spares will come out victorious in shuffleboard bowling.

Table Shuffleboard Bowling Tips

The basic mechanics of table shuffleboard applies to the bowling version with a few slight differences. Due to the arrangement of the pins, your goal is to aim your puck down the middle to knock down as many bowling pins as possible. This differs from regular shuffleboard strategy that allows you to shoot your puck along the side of the table to gain points.

The infamous gutter ball, or gutter puck in this situation, is still the one thing that will surely drag your score down in shuffleboard bowling. These shots return players with zero points and a bruised ego. Brush up on your shuffleboard skills by checking out these advanced shuffleboard tips!