This week, we are going back to the basics of table shuffleboard. For new readers, I wanted to take this chance to go over how to actually play a game. Like most games, your objective is to score more points than your opponent(s).
Games are usually played until 15, but can be played until 21 if you want a longer game. You can score by either knocking the opponent’s puck off the shuffleboard table, or by sliding your puck into a score zone of higher value. That is the general way the game is played.
Determining Who Goes First
To determine the first shooter, flip a coin. The winner chooses which color he or she would like and whether or not they shoot first or last (known as the “hammer”). After the first shot, the other player shoots their color. This goes back and forth until all eight pucks have been shot. This is known as a round. Shots must cross the foul line that is closest to the shooter, or it is removed and the shot is unfortunately forfeited.
How to Keep Score
At the end of the round, the score is totaled by counting the pucks closest to the end of the table that are of the same color. Only one player scores in each round, and only the farthest pucks of the same color count towards the score. Their worth is determined by which score zone they occupy. If it is in between two zones, count the one that it mostly occupies. Pucks hanging off the edge of the farthest zone are called “hangers” and are worth an extra point.
Keep playing rounds until one side reaches 15 points. This completes a frame. Complete matches usually consist of three frames. This game can be played one-on-one or in teams. Team play only differs in that players take turns by playing every other round.
[READ: Shooting the Ol’ Go Around]
Learn Advanced Shuffleboard Techniques
For more information on how to play, our rules section gives you tournament rules and other variations on how to play the game. Try mixing up your game night by teaching your friends how to play other versions on different size of table shuffleboard.
This will keep the game fresh and interesting. If you are looking for a place to try out a different type of game you can always check our Places to Places to play shuffleboard. If you cannot find a version you like, try making up your own! If it is fun, make sure you share it with the rest of us!
More Tips to Play Table Shuffleboard