Shuffleboard Terminology for Dummies

Shuffleboard is hip right now, so it’s time to get in-the-know on the lingo. For a beginner, or even a seasoned veteran, it can be hard catching up on all the latest terms and phrases. Stand around a shuffleboard table long enough and you’ll hear things like cross guard, carom, and go around. Scroll below to find a complete list of beginner and advanced level Shuffleboard Terminology.

Shuffleboard Glossary

Shuffleboard Terminology for Dummies

Black Numbers

Shuffleboard has different ways of keeping score: black numbers and red numbers. Black numbers is a classic game where points are given for pucks that land within the table areas displaying the large black numbers. Only furthest landing weights of the same-color are scored. Shuffleboard scorekeeping is as follows: Weights that land in the section marked “3”, get three points; weights that land in section “2,” get two points; section “1,” one point. Pucks that hang off the edge are worth four points. (See below for play involving Red Numbers.)

Bowling Shuffleboard

Bowling shuffleboard is a game where a set of pins is arranged at each opposing table end. The game is played in a similar manner to traditional bowling, with a few minor tweaks. This article outlines all Bowling Shuffleboard Rules.

Climatic Adjusters

Climatic adjusters are brackets bolted to the bottom of the board that enable adjustments to the concavity/convexity of a shuffleboard table. These adjusters prevent changes in temperature and humidity from affecting shuffleboard play. Shuffleboard tables should have a very slight dip in the middle, enough to comfortably slide a piece of paper under a level placed on top of the table. Learn How to Adjust Climatic Adjusters.

Deuce Line

The deuce line is the line on either end of the table that is closest to the foul line. It is designated by the black number two. See figure 1.1.
English (Twist/Sidespin)
It’s well worth the practice this maneuver requires. Putting English on a shot involves using the thumb and forefinger to twist the puck toward the body while releasing it. Using English basically creates a brake on the puck so that it stays in the position where the player places it.

Foul Line

The foul line is located in the middle of the table between opposing players. If a weight doesn’t pass the foul line, then it is removed from the table. See figure 1.1.

Shuffleboard Foul Line

Fig 1.1 – Table shuffleboard foul line, duece line, and trey line. Credit: Colleen Cochran

Frame

A frame is a set of turns where each opposing player/team has one turn. This round of turns is casually referred to as a frame. Unlike bowling, there can be an unlimited number of frames within a single shuffleboard match.

Go Around

A go around is when the puck curves around, and goes in front of, an opponent’s puck, thus outdoing the opponent’s last shot. This advanced level technique can require some finesse to master. Visit this page for a tutorial on the go around spin shot.

Go Around Hanger

When a player makes a “go around” shot, and then the puck hangs off the edge of the table, it’s called a go around hanger. While the go around hanger awards no more points than a normal hanger (four points), the player who achieves this shot does receive, “oohs,” “aahs,” and bragging rights.

Hammer

The hammer is the last shot in a round of shuffleboard. It’s like putting the nail in the coffin, the dagger, the ultimatum. The hammer is the shuffleboard version of “game point.” A coin toss before play determines which player shoots first and who gets the hammer. The winner of the toss usually chooses the hammer, as having the last shot gives an advantage.

Hanger

A hanger is when the puck literally hangs over the edge of the table. Unlike pucks that land in the normal scoring zone, hangers are awarded four points.

Powder

Powder is another name for shuffleboard wax, also referred to as sand. Other names include mojo, dust, fairy dust, and pretty much anything else that sounds foreign and outlandish. Powder protects the table and, depending on its grade, can slow down or speed up play. For more information on powder grades, see “Wax” below. Learn how to pick the right shuffleboard wax.

Red Numbers

This technique involves sliding the puck along the edge of the table, in an effort to knock off the opponent’s puck(s). It’s a cool trick that comes in handy in a pinch. Visit this page to learn more about the finger rail shot.

Riding the Rail

This is a technique that is used to knock off the opponents puck(s). This happens when your weight slides along the edge of the table and “rides the rail.” This is a cool trick that can come in handy. Visit this page to learn more about the finger rail shot.

Pucks (Weights)

See “Weights” below.

Sand

Another name for shuffleboard wax, aka powder. They are all the same thing. See Shuffleboard Glossary Entries for “Powder” and “Wax.”

Score Zone

The score zone is the area of the table which merits award of one, two, three, or four points in shuffleboard. It’s the area players are striving to reach in the game! When a puck lies outside of the score zone, it receives no points. Pucks that do not pass over the foul line are unscored and removed from the table. Players are awarded points by making the puck land further than the opponent’s last puck. Read Shuffleboard Scoring Rules for more info on scoring.

Shuffleboard Cap

It’s the protective surface that attaches to the shuffleboard weight. Many caps have smooth grooves to enable better finger gripping. Placement of fingers in the furrows allows for firm control over thrust and spin. The cap should sit flush with the puck. To learn more, read Shuffleboard Caps: What They Are and Why You Need Them.

Trey Line

The trey line is the line on either end of the table that is furthest from the foul line and is closest to the table edge. It is designated by the black number three. See figure 1.1.

Wax

Shuffleboard wax creates the smooth surface that enables weights to glide across the table. Other names for shuffleboard wax include powder, sand, and dust. Waxes come in different grades, allowing for different levels of speed. A slower speed powder allows for more control during play. Tournament-grade wax makes for a high-speed puck. Learn How to Pick the Right Wax.

Weights (Pucks)

Weights, also known as pucks, are, of course, the objects thrust across the table. They vary in size, depending on the table size. Recreational tables of nine to fourteen inches in length use pucks with diameters of 2 1/8th inches. Tables longer than fourteen inches, including tournament-approved twenty-two-inch tables, use weights with diameters of 2 5/16th inches. Puck weights are twelve ounces. All eight weights in a set should be hand polished and speed tested so they are equal in velocity. View some of the best recreation- and regulation-size weights.

Is Our List Missing Something?

We’re always adding to our Shuffleboard Glossary. Our goal is to compile the most definitive Shuffleboard Glossary on the World Wide Web! If you weren’t able to find a term that you are looking for, fill out our contact form so we can add it to the list! If you would like to contribute your own definition, leave a comment below and we’ll add it to our list!

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About the Author
Shuffleboard.net consultant, Colleen Cochran, is a writer, graphic artist, and an aficionado of all things recreational.