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Shuffleboard Rules

2024 Official Tournament Rules (Click To Download)

Rules and how to play information for some of the many games that can be played on a Shuffleboard Table.


While shuffleboard league and tournament rules can be complex and confusing, the basic information you need to play with family and friends is pretty simple.

The basic strategy of table shuffleboard is to score points with your weights, while preventing your opponent from scoring by knocking their weights off the board. A "FRAME" consists of eight weights, four per team, shot in alternate fashion and then tallied and registered using the scoring buttons located on either end of the shuffleboard table.

Table shuffleboard is played as a two player game (singles), or a four player game (doubles). A regulation game is played to 15 points. In some cases, doubles contests are played to 21 points. Most of the time however, a 15 point game is the standard, because the shorter game time allows more players to get involved.

Before each game, the playing surface should be cleaned of all powdered wax and a fresh coat sprinkled evenly over the playing surface. A coin toss or some similar method should then be used to determine who shoots first. The team that shoots first has the choice of color. Ordinarily, most of the points are scored by the team that has the hammer. Therefore, the team that wins the flip generally chooses to shoot second.

Scoring is done as follows:

Only the color which is closest to the end of the board scores. All weights of that color which are deeper than any/all the weights of the opposite color are worth 1,2,3, or 4 points.

Each end of the playing surface has two lines. The "3" line, which is six inches from the end, and the "2" line which is twelve inches from the end. There are also two foul lines which are six feet from each end.

A weight which is past the foul line closest to the shooter, but not past the "2" line counts as one point.

A weight which is completely past the "2" line, but not past the "3" line counts as two points.

A weight which is completely past the "3" line but not extending over the end of the playing field counts as three points.

A weight which hanging over the end of the board (commonly referred to as a "hanger" counts as four points.

To determine if a weight is completely past a line, stand at the end of the table and look down over the top of the weight. If any part of the weight is touching the line, it counts as the smaller number, if it is completely past the line it counts as the higher number.

The team that scores must shoot first in the next frame. If neither team scores, the team which had the hammer must shoot first.

In singles play, both players stand at one end and alternate shots until all eight weights have been delivered. Both players then walk to the other end of the board, tally and register the score, and resume play from the end at which they are now standing.

In doubles play, one player from each team is at each end of the board. After a frame has been completed, the players at the opposite end tally and register the score, after which play resumes from that end.

Play continues in this fashion until one team wins the game.

© Copyright 1995-2023 The Shuffleboard Federation, Inc.
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