If you’re a shuffleboard newbie, or just looking for some basic shuffleboard rules to play a friendly game at the bar, this post is for you.
Shuffleboard is an established bar game with a long history.
So it’s no surprise that there are countless game variations, international versions of the game, customized house rules for different bars and pubs, rules that govern club events, and official rules for professional shuffleboard tournaments.
Yet most players just want some simple shuffleboard rules to get started and add a basic structure to the game.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of general shuffleboard rules to provide a simple framework for your next game.
If you want a more comprehensive overview, check out our complete guide on how to play shuffleboard.
Or view the official tournament rules here.
10 Simple Shuffleboard Rules
1) Games are played to 15 points
While you can also play to 21, or any other number for that matter, an official match is played to 15. The first player or team to reach 15 points wins.
2) Before the first round, determine who shoots last in the round by flipping a coin.
Shooting last (the “hammer”) is an advantage. It allows you one final chance to move (or remove) pucks in your favor.
In subsequent rounds, the player who scored in the previous round now shoots first. If nobody scored, alternate based on who just shot last.
3) Stand next to your opponent and shoot towards the opposite end.
You should alternate shots (i.e. red shoot, then blue shoots) until all 8 pucks have been shuffled. If playing doubles, your partner stands at the opposite end of the table and you do not change sides.
4) Stand with at least one foot behind the table.
You can lean forward and even use the cradle for support, but one foot must always remain planted behind the shuffleboard table.
5) Your puck must clear the long foul line (before the ONE zone) to be eligible for points
If a puck does not clear the foul line, it is out of play. It should be removed from the table.
6) A puck must be completely within a zone (1, 2 or 3) to score
If any part of the puck is on the preceding line, it is only eligible for the lower points of the preceding section. If touching the foul line, it is out of play. You can get a better view of whether it’s on the line by standing above and looking down on the puck.
7) If any part of the puck hangs over the end of the table, it is worth 4 points
Also known as a “hanger”, these shots can be “made safe” (i.e. pushed back towards the table a little) by agreement of the players.
8) Do not shoot your puck until your opponent’s puck has completely stopped moving
This means there is no more forward motion. Once the puck completely stops, it’s your turn. You have 30 seconds to shoot, so hurry up!
9) Players must review and agree on the total points for each round
After each round, walk to the end of the table to assess the scoring positions. Do not move any pucks until all have been reviewed and both players agree on the score for that round.
If you move your puck before the score has been tallied, you forfeit any possible points for that puck.
10) If you see a dry spot on the board, you can add some powder
This can be done during your turn.
After the Game . . .
Wipe the board down and apply a light dusting of fresh powder for the next match. Winner stays on…
And that’s it.
Have fun! And let us know if you have any questions, or additional rule suggestions for a basic game, in the comments.