Taming the Game of Horse Collar
Horse Collar (or Horsecollar) can be played on any standard shuffleboard table. Both highly competitive and extremely enjoyable, horse collar is a great game for everyone to play. The main objective is to reach a score of 51+ points. However, simply reaching the magic 51 mark isn’t enough to win. The complicated requirements to snatch a victory are what set horse collar apart from other shuffleboard games
Gameplay and Objectives
The game itself can be played individually (one-on-one; a singles match), or in teams of either 4 or 8. Each team (or each player if played in a singles match) is given a total of 8 weights to play across the board. All members of one side play their turns before the weights are handed over to the rival team. A frame is completed once all members from both sides have had their turns.
The Foul Line
Before the game begins, the teams must agree on the designated foul lines. The lines, which are usually the short-foul lines (the first line before the halfway mark from each person or team’s perspective), function as they would in a regular shuffleboard match. Weights ending up before the line don’t count and can’t be played again in the same turn.
The scoring of each player or team’s turn occurs once all 8 weights have been shuffled. The points are not tallied unless at least 1 weight lies in a position which counts as 3 points or more (within that same turn).
The standard scoring of a game of horse collar is as follows:
- 1 point – Those weights lying between the foul line and before, or mostly on, the deuce line (from the player’s perspective, the line which lies just before the “2” on the other side).
- 2 points – Those weights lying between the deuce line and the trey line (the line after the deuce line).
- 3 points – Those weights lying between the trey line and the end of the board (but not hanging off the end of the board).
- 13 points – Those weights which hang off the end of the board beyond the trey line (these are called “13 point hangers”).
- 26 points – Those weights which hang off of the corners beyond the trey line (these are called “26 point hangers”).
- 0 points – 0 points are awarded for weights which fall off of the board into the gutters.
Singles matches are those played by only two players facing each other in one-on-one combat. In these matches, all 8 weights (4 of each color) are slid by one player, who is then followed by the second player who also slides the 8 weights. At the end of each player’s turn, their scores are tallied in the method described above.
Doubles or Team Matches
Doubles matches are matches between 4 players; 2 on each team. In these cases, each player will have 4 shots. Each player slides all 4 of their weights before the next player takes their turn. After both members of the team have taken their turns, the score is tallied, as in the standard scoring section above.
In matches between teams of 4 or 8, the eight weights are divided evenly among the team members and the match proceeds in the same way as doubles matches. These matches also follow the standard scoring method.
The Grand Finale
The final frame is triggered once one team reaches or surpasses the 51 point mark within their turn. If the team which played first finishes their turn with a score of 51+, the second team will still get to finish out the frame. Once both teams finish the cycle, the scores are tallied, and the team with the most points is declared the victor. If the second team achieves 51+ points before the first team does, the second team is automatically declared the winner, as the cycle has come full circle.
Scoring example below is worth 6 points.
Before a player shoots, the player can dust the board if dry spots are showing.
Note: In tournaments this may be restricted to the edge of the board.
Shooters must have one foot behind the playing surface while they are shooting.
Hitting or shaking the table is never allowed.