Having been around for ages (since the 1400s in England), shuffleboard is still a favorite pastime of all generations. You can play table shuffleboard in mostly every event from birthdays, bachelor parties, and family gatherings to high school proms.
Moreover, you can take table shuffleboard to another level by joining competitions, tournaments, or shuffleboard leagues. By knowing how to play table shuffleboard, you’re making your experience with the game more interesting.
How to play table shuffleboard?
Though originated in England, ground shuffleboard has been adapted and elevated to table shuffleboard by Americans.
Basically, this game is a game of skill and not a game of chance. It is a game where players use a certain force to push weights down a long table to the point of scoring on the other side of the table.
Here’s how you play table shuffleboard:
- First, you flip a coin to see who starts off with the hammer which is the last weight shot in a frame.
- Then players will alternate shots: one player being red, the other one having blue weights. After all eight weights have been thrown, the frame ends.
- Now we count the points: the only weights that score in a frame are those of the same color that are past the opponent’s deepest weights. For example, team A is red and team B is blue.
As you can see in the picture below, the blue weight of team B goes past the scoring point (wooden area), so team B won’t get any points out of blue weights. But team B’s red weight goes past team A’s both blue and red weights and is still in the scoring zone. So team B gets 3 points.
- In order for weight to count, it must pass the short foul line which is 6 feet from the shooting end. For a weight to count as a 2 or a 3, it must be a hundred percent in the scoring zone. If it’s touching the line, it will be called the lesser value.
Be noted: Any weight hanging off the end of the board is worth an impressive 4 points.
- At the end of the frame, whoever scores will shoot first in the next frame.
Down below are rules of table shuffleboard and how you can play to get the most fun experience out of it:
- The game’s objective is to alternately push the weights to as close to the edge of the table as possible as long as they stay in the scoring zone.
- When shooting, you can hit your opponent’s weights to get them to fall into the valleys on both sides of the table.
- Intentionally touching the table’s surface with your bare hands will result in a one-point penalty. The same rule applies to touch any of the in-game weights while other people are shooting.
There are 2 typical game modes for table shuffleboard: one-on-one and two-on-two (team-up). The same rules and gameplay still apply, only the scoring points are a bit different.
When playing table shuffleboard one-on-one, players will get 4 weights (each player with a different color). The game starts with both teams on the same side of the table, and each player alternately pushes and shuffles the weight to the other side. The round finishes when all 8 of the assigned weights have been shuffled.
In the next round, the players move to play on the opposite side of the table where the weights are lying. And so on until one of the 2 players reaches 15 or 21 points.
In a two-on-two game, each player from both teams stand against each other on both sides of the table and play every other round. Sometimes players switch to the other ends of the table at the end of frames. The game ends when one team reaches 21 points first.
Table shuffleboard is an informal and spontaneous game. Thus, of course, there will be variations from countries all over the world.
For example, in Canada, people play table shuffleboard according to rules approved by the Canadian Shuffleboard Congress. Except for some tournaments, one-on-one games end by a score of 15, and two-on-two games end by a score of 21.
There are some types of shots for table shuffleboard players:
- Free shot: This type of shot is one of the most basic shots in shuffleboard. Just remember although it’s called “free shot”, it’s not free booze. It’s a shot where the player slides the weights freely along the length of the table.
- Bump shot: Just like billiards, a bump shot is a shot that hits your previous thrown weight with the aim of pushing it toward a higher scoring position.
- Knock off: A knock off shot is a defensive shot where you knock your competitor’s weights off the table. This is a really effective strategy for those who are playing in a competition or a tournament.
And that’s a complete guide on how to play table shuffleboard. We hope after taking on our guides and tips, you’ll be confident and ready to face your friends in the game of skills.
Stay tuned for our next posts!