Getting tired of the traditional knock off format and looking for a fun shuffleboard game to play at the bar?
Read on for 3 shuffleboard game variations that will challenge your skills and make the game a little more interesting for you and your friends.
We cover how to play the traditional shuffleboard game known as “knock off” in our introductory guide. The basic rules and advice in that guide apply to most shuffleboard games and are a good place to start if you’re new to table shuffleboard.
Crazy Eights is a fun game for a couple players or larger group. Each player shoots all eight pucks. You begin with 4 of the same color, shooting them all at once. Then you aim for the first 4 pucks with the next color, shooting each individually.
Your goal is to knock each of the first color pucks off the table and keep at least one or more of the second color pucks on the table in order to score.
Every player gets to finish the frame and the highest score that is equal to or greater than the agreed upon game points (e.g., 1-points, 15-points, 21-points, etc.) is declared the winner.
How to play Crazy Eights
- The players decide on a number of points that you must reach in order to win. This can be any number the group decides (i.e. 1 point, 5 points, 15 points, 21 points, etc.).
- Each player starts with all 8 pucks (red and blue) per turn.
- For each turn, you start by shooting all 4 pucks of the same color with one hand. That’s a single shot with 4 pucks in a group.
- All of the first 4 pucks must cross the long foul line (closer to the opposite end) and remain on the table.
- If any single puck does not cross the line or falls off the table, your turn is over and the next player is up, shooting from the opposite end.
- If all 4 pucks cross the foul line and stay on the table, shoot the next 4 pucks one at a time.
- Your goal is to knock off all the previous pucks from the table.
- Only pucks that stay on the table after the first color pucks have been knocked off will score.
- If any of the first 4 pucks remain on the table, there is no score. Either way, the next player is now up.
- Every player gets a turn to shoot 8 pucks in each frame. Even you reached the designated points total, all players still have a chance.
- If you shoot last (the “hammer”) and score equal to or more than the designated points, you win. If you there is a tie with another player, those players will shoot an additional round to determine who wins based on points in that round.
Points are awarded just as in traditional shuffleboard (1, 2, 3 or hanging 4). To score in a higher point zone, the puck must completely cross the preceding line to count.
For example, if the puck is even touching the line before the “2” section, it only counts as “1”.
Good players will try to knock as many of the first 4 pucks off of the table with each single shot. So if you manage to knock all 4 reds with your first blue puck (quite a shot!), you would have an open table to rack up some points.
Below is a video demonstrating how to play the shuffleboard game of Crazy Eights. This video features expert player and shuffleboard ambassador John McDermott, owner and founder of the Shuffleboard Federation:
Check out the Shuffleboard Federation for more videos…
Tap & Draw
Tap & Draw, the kinder and gentler version of ‘Knock Off’, is a great 1-v-1 shuffleboard game.
In Tap & Draw you are penalized if you knock your opponent’s puck off the table. You are still trying to advance your pucks into better scoring zones. But you don’t have the benefit of playing defense or racking up points by clearing out your opponent’s pucks.
How to Play Tap & Draw
- Flip a coin to see who goes first and assign colors (red or blue).
- Decide what number to play to.
- Only pucks that are further down the board than your opponent’s highest scoring puck will count (just like Knock Off).
- You can try to nudge your puck into better scoring positions by tapping it forward without knocking it into the gutter.
- If you knock your opponent’s puck into the gutter, their puck will be replaced in its original position. Your puck will be removed from the table.
- If, when you knocked your opponent’s puck off the table, any of your other pucks were pushed into better scoring positions, they will be returned to their original spots. Your opponent’s puck would be put back in its original spot.
- If you tap any of your opponent’s pucks into better scoring positions, they will remain there.
- Alternate shots with your opponent until all 8 pucks have been shuffled.
- After a single round, go to the other end and count the total score before moving any pucks. Then start the next round from this end.
Scores are counted per the basic rules of shuffleboard. That is, each puck must completely clear the preceding line to count in the high point zone. Hangers are worth 4 points.
And you typically play to 15. Although this number is really up to you (21is also common).
Three strikes is a fun shuffleboard game for small or large groups of players. This game is not played in teams; it’s every man for himself. The object of the game is to score more than the previous player.
If you don’t score more than the player before you, you get a strike. After three strikes, you’re out.
The last player standing wins.
How to Play Three Strikes
- Each player shoots 4 pucks per turn.
- The 4 pucks include: 3 of the same color (i.e. red) and 1 different color (blue).
- The 3 red pucks are your scoring pucks. The single blue puck is the “multiplier”. The pucks can be shot in any order.
- You shoot all pucks towards the opposite end as in other games. The scoring zones are the same (1, 2, 3 and 4 for a hanger).
- However, the multiplier is used to multiply the total amount of points.
- For example: If you slide 1 red into zone ONE, and 2 reds into zone TWO, your current score would be 5. But if the multiplier ends up in zone THREE, your final score would be 15.
- Each player must score higher than the previous player’s score.
- Using the same example, if you scored 15 in your round the next player must score at least 16 points. If that player only scores 5 points, he or she gets a strike. The next player would have to beat 5 points.
- If you get 3 strikes, you’re out.
- The last player remaining wins the game.
Three Strikes is a really fun way to practice your skills and get a larger group of players involved.
These games are just a sampling of shuffleboard game variations.
Although “knock off” is still the standard game for table shuffleboard, there are lots of ways you can mix it up.
Stay tuned as we add more games in future articles. If you have any suggestions, please let us know!