Dutch shuffleboard, also known as Sjoelbak or Sjoelen, is a variation of table shuffleboard that has been influenced by games such as bagatelle, pinball, billiards, skeeball, and miniature golf. Yes, it’s a very rich game that pulls together pieces of many popular home recreation games.
Unlike normal table shuffleboard, Dutch Shuffleboard is played on a unidirectional board meaning you only shoot in one direction as opposed to two. The ultimate goal of Sjoelen is to throw your discs through small slots on the other side of the table. Instead of landing in scoring zones like you would in normal shuffleboard, you have to shoot your weight into one of 4 scoring boxes. Each box has a certain value. In this sense, you might even say it has a little bit of Plinko involved too!
Sjoelen is a popular game in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany although there are some here in the states who enjoy the game. There are two types of Sjoelen; Homas and Schilite. The boards are the same but the gates and discs are a different size. Sjoelen board is 2 meters x 0.4 meters with 5.2 centimeter walls on 3 sides.
The Basics of Dutch Shuffleboard
Each player gets 30 discs. Once a disc is in play, the only time a player is allowed to touch a disc is when the disc has passed the control line (the start bar) and has returned to the player on it’s own. In order for a score to count, the entire disc must pass through the front of the gate bar.
Each player gets 3 turns per set to slide as many pucks through the gate bar as possible, the goal being to tally the highest score. Simple enough, right? Here’s the kicker; whenever a player fills each slot in a given set, their points count for double. So, placing a single disc in each slot means you get 20 points for your set instead of 10. Got the game plan?
The gate bar is marked 2,3,4,1 from left to right. Each slot is 6 centimeters wide so you have just enough space to squeeze your disc in there. Within each of these slots is a partition that separates discs that have already passed through the gate bar.
The highest score you can achieve is 148 which would so happen to occur if you managed to get 7 pucks in the 2 slot, 7 pucks in the 3 slot, 9 pucks in the 4 slot, and 7 pucks in the 1 slot. If you reach this high score (148) in 2 sub-sets, you get 1 extra disc. Make that last shot into the 4 slot and you have the highest score possible of 152!
Get Started Playing Sjoelen
Sjoelen is fun because it can be played by all ages. Grandparents can challenge their grandchildren to a game and there won’t be any unfair advantages, only that of those who have truly honed the skills and strategy!
Much of the same skills of regular shuffleboard apply to Dutch shuffleboard as well. One of the main things you have to adjust to is having a table with bumpers. Hangers are also out of the question.
Tips on Playing Table Shuffleboard: