Shuffleboard Rules

Shooting Second: How To Play As the Hammer in Table Shuffleboard

While having the first turn in many sports is considered an advantage, the opposite goes for playing table shuffleboard.

Shooting last, or playing as “the hammer” as it’s called in table shuffleboard, can be quite advantageous for standard games. While players shooting first typically have more table space to work with, shooting as the hammer ultimately gives the player the final opportunity to determine how the round will be scored.

To decide on who will shoot first, players must flip a coin prior to starting the game. The winner of the coin flip is given his or her choice of shooting as the hammer, or deciding on the color. If the coin flip winner chooses a color, the other team will shoot as the hammer.

If you do end up winning the hammer and shooting last, there are a few techniques to take advantage of your turn and put yourself in a position to win.




  1. Win the Coin Flip, Choose the Hammer

Even if the shade of blue on your shuffleboard pucks is your all-time favorite color, it’s probably best to choose the hammer if you win the coin flip. If you’re serious about winning, always take advantage of a coin flip victory by choosing the hammer.

  1. Be Wary of Tying A Round

Unless you’re starting a new game, the only way to lose your position as the hammer is to tie a round. Whether no pucks are on the board or the leading pucks are exactly tied, no points will be awarded to either team and the hammer will change. While it is not always avoidable to tie a round, players shooting as the hammer should be conscious of a tie’s effects.




  1. Knocking Off Is Good, Scoring Is Better

While knocking opponents’ pucks off can be incredibly effective as the hammer, players still need to remember to put themselves in a position to win. Even a single missed knock-off attempt can put the hammer at a disadvantage, and knocking every puck off the table, including your own, will lose your spot as the hammer. Without a well-placed shot near the end of the board, it can be difficult to rack up points as the hammer. That being said, it’s important to attempt to score when a clear shot is available.

Shuffleboard Weights

With the final shot to end a round, a skilled player should be able to determine their own fate as the hammer. While playing as the hammer won’t guarantee victory, taking advantage of the second shot, and particularly the last shot, gives the shooter a clear-cut advantage over their opponent.

Looking for more table shuffleboard tips to master your shot? You can find our in-depth guide to standard shuffleboard rules here.

Are you in need of a shuffleboard table to put these techniques to test? Check out McClure’s line of premium shuffleboard tables for exciting gameplay on a beautiful handcrafted surface.

Shuffleboard Rules

How To Set Up A Shuffleboard League


Take your shuffleboard love to the next level by starting a shuffleboard league. With winter still in full force and the dog days of summer feeling like they are a million miles away, we’re forced to get our kicks indoors. Since table shuffleboard is already an indoor game, a shuffleboard league is the perfect way to beat those winter blues. Some friends and shuffleboard tables are all you need for these good times.

So you want to start a shuffleboard league and you’re wondering who to invite. Do any of your friends participate in softball leagues or football leagues? They could be missing a winter social activity, and shuffleboard just might be the perfect solution. Since shuffleboard is easy to learn and play, anyone with any interest can join the league, so it’s not just limited to people with athletic abilities either. Teams composed of two players each are ideal for a shuffleboard league, although you can play doubles with four-player teams as well.

A shuffleboard league can also be a family-friendly affair, especially if you have your own shuffleboard tables. You can schedule weekly or bi-weekly shuffleboard games and set up the league nights to be family nights as well, with potluck dinners. Make it interesting by instituting a rule that whoever plays the worst game has to bring a special treat for everyone to enjoy during the next league night, such as cookies or brownies. This might be incentive to play especially competitively against the cooks in the family!


It goes without saying that you can’t have a shuffleboard league without shuffleboard tables to use. If you have one in your very own home game room, you might volunteer it for your shuffleboard league, particularly if you plan to form a family league. When you use your own table, you can comfortably clean, wipe dry, and apply shuffleboard powder as needed. You can also practice whenever the mood strikes.

You also need to determine the particular shuffleboard game that you’ll be playing in your league as well as how many points you will go to in each game. We recommend Knock Off, which is usually played up to either 15 or 21 points. Depending on how much time you have for your shuffleboard league, you can go with either option. Just pick one and be consistent throughout all games.

When it comes to creating the schedule for your shuffleboard league, the important thing is to make sure that everyone gets to play each other at least once. The match-ups should change each week so that everyone plays someone different each time. Make sure to keep track of wins and losses so that at the end of your league’s season, you can also set up your own tournament.

Once you square away the details, making your own shuffleboard league is a piece of cake. Shuffleboard tables (in a home game room or venue for the event), friends and family, and a couple hours a week to play, and your league will be off and running!


Shuffleboard Rules

How Do You Keep Score In Shuffleboard: Target Edition

Even shuffleboard fanatics can find themselves wondering, “How do you keep score in shuffleboard?” Ah, but the reason they’d be wondering depends, of course, upon the variant of shuffleboard game in question. Knock Off and Horse Collar are the most common and well-known games, but if you want to try something different on your shuffleboard tables, we suggest Target.

The Basic Rules of Target

The basic format of gameplay for Target is similar to other shuffleboard games. Individuals can play against one another or form teams. Players play from the same end in each round. The first player throws their puck down the shuffleboard table toward the target area. The next player then throws their puck in the hopes that they will either knock off their opponent’s puck altogether, or at least land in a better scoring position. A round is complete when each player has shuffled each puck, so each player gets four turns per round. At the end of the round, the player with the puck or pucks in the highest scoring position wins. Only the winner gets points, so you have to win the round in order to score at all.

The winner gets to begin the next round, which is started at the opposite end of the table as the previous round. (This means you’ll need a target area at each end of shuffleboard tables.) The game is often played up to 21 points, but you can extend to 51 like Horse Collar if you’re feeling especially competitive.

The Scoring of Target

Playing the game is fairly straightforward, but the next question is naturally, “How do you keep score?” In shuffleboard, when playing Target, the point value depends upon where in relation to the target zones the pucks have landed. The zones of scoring are the biggest change for this game played on shuffleboard tables. To be more precise, a standard game of shuffleboard involves the long and/or short foul lines and the 1-, 2-, and 3-point lines. Target, on the other hand, involves circular targets, similar to what you would see on a curling playing surface.


Here’s a quick rundown of the scoring system:

  • Any puck that makes it to the larger target circle is worth one point.
  • Any puck that makes it into the smaller inner circle but doesn’t make into the smallest circle, usually represented by a large black dot, is worth two points.
  • Any puck that touches the innermost black dot is worth three points.
  • If your puck manages to entirely cover the black dot, you’ll be granted an illustrious four points.

Remember, only the pucks that are in a higher scoring area than your opponent’s pucks are added up to determine your score, and only the winner gets to keep their score. Each player gets to throw four pucks per round, so you have four chances to dominate.

The question of how do you keep score in shuffleboard is particularly useful when learning about Target, since this game differs the most from other games you can play on shuffleboard tables. If you like curling or darts, you should definitely check out Target and make the most out of your game table. Aiming for the innermost target zones is also really good practice for controlling the speed and direction of your puck. After all, the more games you know, the better for you to rule at shuffleboard.

Shuffleboard Rules

How Do You Keep Score In Shuffleboard: Tap And Draw Edition

If you’re wondering how do you keep score in shuffleboard, what you really need to know are the rules particular to the specific game you’re playing. In the case of Tap and Draw, the rules are mostly similar to other games you play on shuffleboard tables, with a couple variations. If you want to add this game to your shuffleboard roster, read on!

The Basic Rules of Tap and Draw

As with most games, Tap and Draw can be played one-on-one or with teams. The object of the game is to send your pucks into the highest scoring area on the board, without knocking any other pucks off the table. Players alternate pucks in each round, meaning the first player throws their first puck, then the second player throws their first puck, and repeat until all pucks have been released.

The big difference, and challenge, in Tap and Draw, comes in making sure you don’t knock off any weights. You can attempt to tap one of your own weights in order to send it into a higher scoring area, but this is where the difficulty lies. If you knock your own weight off the shuffleboard table, it remains off the board and out of play. If you knock an opponent’s weight off the board, your weight gets removed from the game and your opponent’s weight is returned to its original position. If you knock off an opponent’s weight while also advancing one of your own, then you’ve really done it. In that event, your opponent’s weight returns to the game, the weight you advanced returns to its earlier position, and the weight you shot is taken out of play. If you tap any of your opponent’s weights, they get to stay in their improved scoring position.

As you can see, it can be easy to inadvertently aid your opponent in this game, so the tricky part becomes trying to utilize the opportunity to tap your own weights ahead without getting any of your opponent’s weights involved.

The Scoring of Tap and Draw

Now you know how to play, here’s the answer to how do you keep score. In shuffleboard, it’s common to score games in one of two ways. You can score like Knock Off, in which you play up to 15 points, or you can score like Horse Collar, in which you play up to 51 points.

If you’re playing like Knock Off, a puck counts for one point if it lands between the foul line and the two line, two points if it’s past the two line, three points if it’s past the three line, and four points for hangers (pucks that are hanging off the edge).

If you’re playing like Horse Collar, scoring is similar except that hangers become worth 13 points instead of four, and if your weight manages to hang off a corner of the board (rather than the flat edge), that will be worth 26 points. Playing like Horse Collar also means that you have to land a puck worth three, 13, or 26 points during your first round in order to score at all. If you don’t, you have to keep trying until you do.

Tap and Draw is played until the last player throws the last puck. This means that even if you or your team have scored the game-winning amount of points, you could still lose if the other team or player scores higher than you on their last round.

“How do you keep score in shuffleboard?” is always a good question to ask, since there’s more than one answer depending on the game. A game like Tap and Draw offers you options in terms of scoring, so it’s good to know that you can tweak the game based on how many people are playing and how much time you have. Shuffleboard tables make any situation more fun, so the more games you learn to play, the better.

Shuffleboard Rules

Explaining The More Advanced Shuffleboard Rules

It’s true that any game needs to keep itself regulated by a strict set of shuffleboard rules, otherwise things can get out of hand quickly. However, there are some rules out there that make us want to scratch our heads and ask why. Here’s a brief explanation of some of the more unique shuffleboard rules and why they are included in gameplay.

Rule 2.3: Weight caps shall not be switched or replaced on weights after the colors have been determined unless replacing a cap with the same color before the match starts, or replacing a damaged cap during the game. Weights may not be changed during play unless they are damaged.

We can only imagine how many times something like this has happened on a shuffleboard table before someone finally went and put it into the rulebook. It’s not like a lot of players would think to do this during a match, but keeping a lid on the weight caps makes sense in context. If perhaps a less than honorable player were to replace the normal caps with weighted ones, it could through off an opposing team’s game and give them an unfair advantage. Though, it seems like a simple “don’t mess with the pucks” rule would work just as well.

Rule 2.9: Winners shall make the board after the game is over. However if the next team using that board wishes to remake the board, they may do so if all players agree upon which player will remake the board. Otherwise they may request a tournament official or a mutually agreed upon third party, to remake the board.

It’s the end of the game, it’s not like it really matters who makes the board for the next group, right? Wrong. Just like the weight caps rule, officials need to make sure that no one is trying to give someone else an unfair advantage, or disadvantage as it were, by messing with the shuffleboard wax. If there is perhaps a bit of mistrust between two teams, the best thing to do is to have an official or third party make the board for the next game, to keep everything nice and fair.

Rule 5.3: A player or team shall be responsible to mark and track their due points at the end of each frame. Any points earned and not marked before the last weight of the next frame may be forfeited.

This is one of the more odd shuffleboard rules, considering the day and age of technology we live in. It seems that a designated scorer could easily be added into the game to keep track of points. It’s a little confusing, until you take this next rule into account as well:

Rule 5.6: Weights shall not be removed at the end of a frame until both parties have viewed and agreed upon the score to be marked. If a scoring weight is removed by an opponent before the players agree, the scoring weight will be given the maximum points in doubt.

Since the players have to make an agreement about what the score actually is (we can only imagine how many heated debates that may have caused) it only makes sense for them to keep track of the score as well. Bringing in a third party would more than likely just make things more confusing.

9.1 More than 30 seconds between shots, or more than five minutes between games once the match has started shall constitute slow play.

9.3 A player may walk to the opposite end of the board to examine the position of the weights, or ask their partner’s opinion on the value or position of a weight. Viewing the position of a weight at the opposite end of a board does not constitute a “time-out” and shall be exercised within the 30 second time limit.

Yikes, those are some harsh constraints on time, especially when including taking the time to view weight positions. But that’s what has to be done if we want the tournaments to finish within some reasonable time. Shuffleboard rules may be stern, but they’re fair.

Keep these shuffleboard rules in mind for your next tournament or even as a way wrangle your slow playing friends at home. They weren’t put together by any malevolent group of officials who want to make the games less enjoyable, they’re made by people who are just as passionate about the game as we are, and want each and every shuffleboard game to be as enjoyable and efficient as possible.


Shuffleboard Rules

How To Hold A Round Robin Shuffleboard Tournament

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If your love for shuffleboard knows no bounds, you’ve probably considered holding a shuffleboard tournament. After all, you just need a shuffleboard table and enough people! Round robin is a fairly popular format for any kind of tournament, and works well for shuffleboard tournament. So gather up your friends and family as we explain how you can hold your own round robin tournament.

The Concept Of The Round Robin Tournament

Round robin essentially means that every team in the shuffleboard tournament plays every other team at least once. In an elimination format, once you’re out, you’re out. However, the round robin format allows for an ample assortment of opponents and the chance for each team to see how they stack up against all the others.

Another benefit to the round robin shuffleboard tournament is that the element of luck is actually diminished. One poor performance doesn’t ruin the chances of becoming a shuffleboard champion since everyone gets multiple tries. Round robin style tournaments are known for both their fairness and potential to be quite lengthy.

How Round Robin Tournaments Work

Let’s illustrate how a round robin tournament would be set up with a simple example containing six teams. The simplest way to calculate the number of matches is to multiply the total number of teams by a number one less than the number of teams (so six teams would be 6 * 5 = 30 / 2 = 15). Therefore, a round robin shuffleboard tournament with six teams would play 15 games.

The standard method for round robin scheduling goes like this. You assign each team a number and pair them off in the first round. One team is fixed and all the others are moved clockwise one position. By the last round, you’ll almost be back at the beginning. That would look a little something like this:

As you can see, this results in five rounds with three matches each for a total of 15 games, just as we said. You may be able to get away with one shuffleboard table if you only have six teams, but add just a few more and you’re likely to benefit from multiple shuffleboard tables.

If you have an odd number of teams for your shuffleboard tournament, don’t worry. Simply include a nonexistent dummy or ghost team. Whoever is scheduled to play against the ghost team gets what is known as a bye, which means they can advance to the next round without competing.

As you can see, a tournament with six teams is pretty easy to plan, but with just a few more teams the shuffleboard tournament can get quite a bit longer and more confusing. When determining match-ups for tournaments with a large amount of participants, your best bet is to go to a tournament generator website.

A round robin shuffleboard tournament is a great way to bring friends, family, and even co-workers together. The round robin format gives everyone a chance to play so it’s a good opportunity for beginners to compete against more skilled players, and hopefully learn a thing or two! After all, what’s the fun in having a shuffleboard table if you don’t engage in a little competition every now and then?


Shuffleboard News Shuffleboard Rules

How Do You Keep Score In Shuffleboard: Crazy Eight Edition

If you’ve ever wondered exactly just how do you keep score in the shuffleboard version of Crazy Eight, the wait is over. Shuffleboard tables make such a great addition to any home or business because of the variety of different games you can play on

The Basic Rules of Crazy Eight

Crazy Eight is played with 2 or more people. The game goes on until one of the players reaches an agreed upon number of points (15, 21, or whatever you choose). The first to score the winning number of points isn’t necessarily the winner, as everyone gets to finish their last turn. The winner is then whoever ends up with the highest score after everyone has taken their last turn. If the last player ties with a previous player, another round must be played to determine the winner.


The Scoring of Crazy Eight

The scoring realm is where things get interesting with Crazy Eight. Instead of asking, “How do you keep score in shuffleboard,” you might wonder “How do you score at all?” The first player throws all four pucks of the same color at the same time down the shuffleboard table. All four of them must stay on the board past the foul line. If they don’t, the player has not gotten the opportunity to score and the next person is up.

If the first player does manage to get all four of their pucks to stay on the board, then they are faced with the task of individually shooting all four pucks of the opposite color down the board in order to knock off the original four. After all four original pucks are knocked off, the remaining pucks left on the table are scored.

For example, if a player does not get all of their first four pucks past the foul line, no points are scored. If a player does get all four pucks past the foul line on the first throw, but does not knock them off, no points are scored, whether or not any of the last four pucks are on the board. If a player gets all four first pucks past the foul line, knocks them all off, and has at least one of the final pucks left on the board, points are then finally added and counted.

In this round of Crazy Eight, there would be no score as there is still an original blue puck on the shuffleboard table.

In this round, all of the blue pucks were knocked off the table. That means this round would be scored based on the point system below.

Scoring in Crazy Eight is essentially identical to Knock Off. A puck scores one point if it is located between the long foul line and the two line, two points for pucks completely across the two line, three points for pucks completely across the three line, and four points if it is a hanger. Therefore, the above photo shows a score of seven points.

Learning the basics and asking “How do you keep score in shuffleboard?” are vital to becoming better at any table game. Even if you’re just looking to have a good time, it’s still important to have a basic understanding of the rule. Crazy Eight has some pretty interesting scoring rules, so it’s good to refresh yourself. This way, when you have all your friends over to check out your excellent new shuffleboard table, you can teach them how to play Crazy Eight in a matter of moments!

Shuffleboard Rules

The Basics of Shuffleboard Bowling


10 pin fanatics with shuffleboard tables, get ready for your new favorite game… Shuffleboard bowling! Though you may already be familiar with many of the common tabletop games, shuffleboard bowling is a new take on a classic game that combines two fun activities into one. Unless you live at the White House, you’ll have to head to the local bowling alley to fulfill your bowling needs. However, with a shuffleboard table at home, you can turn it into a miniature lane so that you can bowl to your heart’s content.

The Setup Of Shuffleboard Bowling

At McClure Tables, we offer shuffleboard bowling pins crafted to the proper scale of of our tables. Available in plastic and wooden varieties, you can also purchase a set with or without a wooden rack. Similar to the racks used in billiards or lane setters on a bowling alley, this device simplifies the setup process and provides you with a neat and clean triangle formation for your pins.

The main difference between shuffleboard bowling and regular bowling is that shuffleboard bowling nixes the bowling ball in favor of — you guessed it — shuffleboard weights or pucks. The well-crafted, smooth surfaces of shuffleboard tables are perfect for use as bowling lanes, and you’ll even build up strength as a shooter for traditional shuffleboard play.

Apart from setting up the pins, which you can do very easily if you have a wooden rack to use, the rules of shuffleboard bowling are pretty similar to the rules of conventional lane bowling. If you don’t have a rack to use, line up four pins along the 3-point section, three pins in front of those within the 3-point section, two more pins in front of those in the 2-point section, and one more pin in front of those within the 2-point section. All the pins are lined up and spaced apart identically to regular bowling pins.


The Scoring Of Shuffleboard Bowling

Another fun aspect to shuffleboard bowling is that you can play with as many people as you like. Each player gets two turns with their shuffleboard weight. If all pins are knocked down on the first try, you have yourself a strike. Rather than scoring 10 for the frame, the player will score 10 plus the total amount knocked down during both turns in the next frame. If all pins are knocked down on the second try, you have yourself a spare. Instead of scoring 10 for the frame, the player will score 10 plus the total amount knocked down during the first turn in the next frame. As you can see, scoring is the same as regular bowling as points are tallied based on how many pins are knocked down.

Shuffleboard bowling also consists of ten frames, so each player gets twenty opportunities to knock down the pins while also working on their shooting skills. Just as in regular bowling, if a strike or spare is scored on the last frame, the lucky shooter gets one extra frame to bowl. The winner is the player with the highest score!


The Strategy of Shuffleboard Bowling

The basics of shuffleboard bowling aren’t much different from the basics of traditional bowling, so anyone who casually bowls can hop right in and play. Shuffleboard players will have to adjust their shooting techniques since shuffleboard bowling calls for a different kind of strategy. Traditional shuffleboard play doesn’t require that you aim for the center, whereas shuffleboard bowling does. While you might normally shoot from the side of the table, that may not be an effective move for bowling.

It’s important to bowl your weight down the board evenly and smoothly, so you can avoid the shuffleboard version of a gutterball. Feel free to try using both hands to send your weight flying, as you will have increased control and the potential for improved accuracy. On the other hand, using only your palm to move the weight could grant you better balance. Try a few different methods to create your own unique shuffleboard bowling style.

As if you needed another reason to add a shuffleboard table to your life, now you know that they can double as mini-bowling lanes. Shuffleboard aficionados and casual players alike can appreciate the variety in gameplay, as well as the chance to help you hone your shuffleboard skills. For hours of entertainment and a fresh use for shuffleboard tables, you just can’t go wrong with shuffleboard bowling.

Shuffleboard Rules

How Do You Keep Score In Shuffleboard: Knock Off Edition


How Do You Keep Score In Shuffleboard2

The wax is on the shuffleboard table and you’ve chosen the color of your puck, but one crucial question remains: How do you keep score in shuffleboard? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place to find out. With a little skill, practice and luck, you will become a shuffleboard Sensei, but first… You must learn how to keep score.

How Do You Keep Score In Shuffleboard3

The Basic Rules of Knock Off

In the tournament version of Knock Off, players use the short foul line (the one further from the player throwing the weight) to designate the area in which one point is scored. Casual games generally use the long foul line instead, making it easier for novice players who are just starting out. Regardless of which foul line is used, the weight must go past the second line for two points and past the third line for three points. The weight must be fully past the line to get all of the allotted points.

How Do You Keep Score In Shuffleboard4

The Hanger

If you’ll recall from our Ultimate Glossary of Shuffleboard Terms, the best score that one can receive is called a Hanger. In the Knock Off scoring rule book, a Hanger is a puck that lands in the third scoring section and hangs over the lip of the table. The player that maintains this type of shot until the end of the round is awarded four points for each Hanger they shoot.

When there is a Hanger in dispute, official scorers and those learning how to keep score in shuffleboard will often use a puck as a measuring option. Slide another weight along the back end of the board, if that weight hits the disputed hanger, the player has received four points. While it’s rarely ever seen in a game of Knock Off, there is a possibility of 16 points being scored in one round with four hangers. Be our guest and shoot for it, but all we have to say is “Better luck next time!”

How Do You Keep Score In Shuffleboard1

Scoring a Frame of Knock Off

Now comes the tricky part of scoring Knock Off. Remember, at the end of each round only one player will actually score the points they had in that frame. The player with the weight furthest down the board is the winner of the points. They receive points for all of their pucks that are past the opponent’s farthest weight. For example, the photo above shows that the red player only gets points for the pucks that are past the last blue puck. The score for this frame would be six points for red. Most people play to anywhere in between 11 and 21 points, but the official game ending score for Knock Off in tournament play is 15.

Learning how to keep score in shuffleboard isn’t complicated, especially for a game like Knock Off. Once you’ve learned these basic scoring rules, you’ll have the potential to be the ruling party on all shuffleboard games and referee other friends’ games. Remember though, the most important aspect of table shuffleboard is having fun. Don’t let your love for the rules get in the way of a fun time. Play clean, score clean and enjoy your shuffleboard table.

Bonus: Check out this video of a game of Knock Off on a McClure shuffleboard table and get some further insight into the rules.

How to Play Shuffleboard: Scoring a Knock Off from McClure Tables on Vimeo.