There was a time
when table shuffleboard games were loved only by the
players, not operators, or location owners. The game was
thought of as an "older person's game" or an "expensive
bar table." Often times table shuffleboard
is confused with "deck/floor" shuffleboard
where players push a stick on the ground to get their
puck to the scoring area. Times have
changed! Table shuffleboard has become a
competitive and growing sport amongst players of all
ages. With the success of Sports
Bars, Brewery Restaurants and Family Fun Centers, table
shuffleboard has caught on with players of all ages.
In addition, many shuffleboard players are putting
these shuffleboards in their own homes. The games
involve skill and, of course, a little luck. FUN
FOR ALL AGES to play!
OBJECT OF THE GAME
NOTE: The following information is meant for an educational
objectives and rules/guidelines on "How To Play"
table shuffleboard, giving some history of outdoor/deck
shuffleboard also for comparison. Keep in mind, that
regardless of the rules/guidelines summarized below, that a shuffleboard
and/or tournament director typically has their own set of guidelines/rules (which may or not be reflected in on the
summary). You must
always ask a shuffleboard establishment/facility or tournament
director for a copy of their house rules and/or tournament
rules, as guideline/rules vary from place-to-place and at different tournaments.
example of official guidelines for the Texas
Open Rules/Guidelines (also previously used for the Board
Talk Open (BTO) 2002-2004 tournaments) which has been
endorsed and used by many minor and major tournaments
since 2002 may be viewed on this website:
(Click Here to View Texas Open
Table Shuffleboard Description
Briefly, the object of the game is to
slide, by hand, all four of one’s Weights alternately
against those of an opponent, so that they reach the
highest scoring area without falling off the end of the
board into the alley. Furthermore, a player’s Weight(s)
must be farther down the board than his/her opponent’s
Weight(s), in order to be in scoring position. This may be
achieved either by knocking off the opponent’s
Weight(s), or by outdistancing them.
Outdoor/Deck Shuffleboard Description
A full outdoor shuffleboard court is a
long rectangle with scoring areas at either end. A line is
drawn across the court toward each end, this is the
"baseline" and the area from the end to the
baseline is called the "shooting area". From
this line to the next line, is the "10 Off"
area. The edges of the 10-off area are reduced slightly by
two slanting lines at the same angle as the scoring
triangle described next. The 10-off area is also split
into left and right sides by a small thin triangle
centrally placed. The second line forms the base of an
isosceles triangle, the scoring area, the point of which
is further down the court. The triangle is divided into
five areas: a line is drawn from the tip and the small
triangle it delineates is marked "10"; the
remaining area of the scoring triangle is bisected both
horizontally and vertically to form four areas. The two
areas next to the 10 area are marked "8" and the
two areas next to the 10 off area are marked
"7". Even further down from the tip of the
scoring triangle is yet another line across the court
known as the "dead line" - disks must cross the
line in order to be counted as in play.
How To Play With 2
Players (Table Shuffleboard)
To start a game, both players stand at the
same end of the shuffleboard. Players toss a coin or
otherwise choose who shall shoot first Weight, and what
color Weights each shall have (it is a n advantage to
The first player slides his/her first
Weight toward the opposite end of the board, which becomes
the scoring end. His/Her opponent then shoots his/her
first Weight in a similar manner, attempting either to
knock off the other player’s first Weight, or to
outdistance it. The two players continue shooting their
Weights alternately, until all eight Weights have been
shuffled. When this has been done, one round of play has
The player who’s leading Weight is
farthest down the board (away from the players) is the
winner of the round. The winner’s score is then totaled
and registered on the scoreboard (see Method of Scoring on
The players then proceed to the opposite
end of the shuffleboard, where the Weights are now
resting. Another round of play is begun in exactly the
same manner as described above, from this end of the
board, with the winner of the previous round shooting
first Weight. The game continues for as many rounds as are
necessary, until one player has scored 15 points (or some
still play to 21 points) to win the game.
How To Play With 4
Players (Table Shuffleboard)
When four players compete, they play as
doubles teams of two players each. One player from each
team is stationed at each end of the board, so that two
opposing players are at the same end, with their partners
at the opposite end.
Having decided by toss of a coin, or by
other means, which team shoots first and which will shoot
Red or Blue Weights, the play begins as in a two-player
game – the first player slides his Weights toward the
opposite end of the board, which becomes the scoring end.
The opponent at his side then shoots his first Weight in a
similar manner. The two players continue shooting their
Weights alternately, until all eight Weights have been
shuffled. At this point, one round of play has been
The players at the opposite end of the
board, where the Weights are now resting, clear the board
and begin another round of play from their end, in exactly
the same manner and with the partner of the previous round’s
winner shooting the first Weight. The players continue as
many rounds as necessary, until one team has scored a
total of 15 points in knock off typically (or some still
play to 21 points).
GENERAL METHOD(S) OF
Table Shuffleboard Scoring
After all Weights in a round have been
shuffled, the players whose leading Weight is farthest
away from the playing end is the winner of the round. The
winner’s score is then determined by adding the values
of all his leading Weights which lie ahead of the loser’s
leading Weight. ONLY THE WINNER SCORES IN A ROUND.
EXAMPLE: If a RED Weight is the most
distant Weight from the playing end at the completion of a
round, RED becomes the winner of the round, and only RED
can score. To determine RED’s score, total the value of
each RED Weight which lies ahead of the leading BLUE
Weight. RED Weights which are either cut off by or which
lie behind the leading BLUE Weight are not scored. If
there are no BLUE Weights remaining on the board, all
remaining RED Weights are scored.
Players slide disks alternately. To start,
the four disks are placed within the left half of the
10-off area and other four disks within the right side,
the small thin triangle in the middle of this area
dictating the middle boundary of each side. Each disk must
be played and the sliding motion must start within the
10-off area and finish within the scoring triangle. If a
disk does not reach the furthest dead line, it is
immediately removed from play. Any disk that tips off the
edge of the court is also immediately removed from play.
Naturally, players will aim both to push
their own disks into the scoring areas or strategically
advantageous positions while also attempting to knock
opponent’s disks out of play or into the 10-off area.
Scoring occurs once all eight disks have
been played and is according to the areas marked o n the
court with 10 points being deducted for any disks in the
10-off area. A disk must be entirely within one of the
five areas and not touching the outside lines of that area
in order to score the amount marked within. Disks that lie
beyond the 10-off area are ignored. For the purposes of
scoring the penalty 10-off area, however, the small
triangle that delineates the left and right halves of the
10-off area is ignored. Disks still score if they are on
top of another disk. Judges should position the eye
directly above any disks that are controversially
positioned in order to decide whether or not a line is
The game is won by the first person to
reach 75 points although this cannot be achieved during a
game - all eight disks of the final game must be played
and the scores calculated before a player can claim
VALUES OF WINNER’S SCORABLE WEIGHTS
The value of a winner’s scorable Weights
is determined by the zones in which those Weights lie.
There are three main zones: Trey, Deuce, and One, plus a
bonus Four for Weights overhanging the far end.
Winner’s Weights that touch or are
in front of the Deuce line and are completely clear of
the first foul line nearest the shooter, lie in the
One zone and score 1 point.
Winner’s Weights that touch or are
in front of the Trey line and are completely clear of
the Deuce line, lie in the Deuce zone and score 2
Winner’s Weights between the Trey
line and the end of the board, but completely clear of
the Trey line and not extending over the far edge of
the board, lie in the Trey zone and score 3 points.
A winner’s Weights, any part of
which extends over the far edge of the board, is
called a Hanger or Shipper, and scores 4 points.
In the case of a tie, or where no
Weights are left on the board at the end of the round,
there is no winner. Thus no score is counted. The next
round is begun in the usual manner, except that the
privilege of shooting last changes hands.
To be legal, each Weight must pass the
foul line closest to the shooter. Whether or not a
Weight is resting on a line is determined by looking
down directly over the top of the Weight, from the
scoring end of the board.
GUIDELINES OVERVIEW (Table Shuffleboard)
I. Common Courtesy
A. All generally accepted rules of
good sportsmanship and good conduct should apply at
all times during the match.
B. It is considered common courtesy
for each player to step back from the board after
he/she has delivered a Weight, in order to give
his/her opponent complete freedom of the board, with
no interference while shooting.
II. Short Weights
A. Any Weight not completely clearing
the foul line (on longboards this means the foul line
nearest the player) after being delivered, shall be
considered an illegal Weight and shall be deposited in
the alley immediately.
B. Any Weight which was legal when
delivered, but is subsequently knocked back on the
near side of the foul line by another Weight, is then
considered to be an illegal Weight and shall be
deposited in the alley.
C. Any Weight which, after being
delivered, clears the foul line, but subsequently
bounces back into the illegal zone after striking
another Weight(s) or cushion, is considered to be
illegal and must be removed from the board. However,
its action upon any other Weight(s) before it bounced
back is considered to be legal.
Which Do Not Carry Penalties
A. Should a player accidentally shuffle
an opponent’s Weight, said Weight is to be replaced
with one of his/her own, in its final position.
B. A Weight shuffled upside down is a
“dead” Weight, and must be removed from the board
C. If a Weight that is shuffled upside
down knocks off a Weight(s) already on the board, the
Weight(s) knocked off shall be replaced in the position
occupied before being knocked off, and the upside-down
Weight removed from the board. Where the Weight(s)
cannot be replaced properly, see penalty.
D. Any Weight that is shuffled off the
board and which rebounds back onto the playing field are
“dead” Weight(s), and shall be removed. Should such
a Weight knock off a Weight(s) already on the board, the
Weight(s) knocked off shall be replaced in their
E. Any Weight(s) struck and knocked
upside down by another play Weight, shall be replaced
right side up, and the round continued. Same also
applies to a delivered Weight.
F. Should a Weight slip from a player’s hand
while in the act of shooting, the player should have the
privilege of another try provided that his/her arm has
not moved in the forward motion for making the shot.
Once the forward motion of the arm is started, any
Weight which leaves the hand is considered played, and
shall not be replayed.
G. A player shooting out of turn and
delivering first Weight when he/she has the privilege of
last Weight loses that privilege and must complete the
round in the same rotation.
H. In Cushion Board play, a Weight which
does not strike a side cushion, or which strikes both
cushions after being delivered, shall be considered a
“dead” Weight and removed from the board.
Carrying Penalties (Table Shuffleboard)
All of the following violations carry
penalty of one point. Thus one point is deducted from
the score of the offending player or team, and he/she or
his/her team must shoot first Weight in the next round,
regardless of who wins the round in which the offense
A. While shooting, the lower half of the
player’s body shall not extend beyond the end of the
B. Playing Weight must not be held in
the hand, while an opponents shoots. Similarly, the
person shooting may not hold another Weight in his/her
C. In team play, a player may not go
beyond the foul line nearest him/her at any time during
the playing of a round, but he/she may ask or be advised
of the position of Weights by his/her partner. However,
in singles play, each player may approach the scoring
end of the board, to determine the exact position of
Weights on the playing field.
D. A player while in the of shooting
must not touch the playing surface of the board with
his/her free hand, although free hand may rest on the
frame of the shuffleboard table.
E. A player while in the act of shooting
must not touch the playing surface of the board with
his/her playing hand, either before, during or after
making a shot.
F. A player preparing to shoot must not
rub his hands over the playing surface in any manner,
since this either introduces foreign substances onto
said playing surface or removes the powder wax already
on the board.
G. A player shall not cause any
vibration, such as slapping the table, leaning on the
table, stamping on the floor, etc., whether
intentionally or otherwise.
H. A player may not touch a Weight in
play while his/her partner or either opponent is
I. A player may not touch the playing
surface or frame of the table while his/her partner or
opponent is shooting.
J. Players at the opposite end of the
board from the delivery of Weights may not touch Weights
in the gutter until all shooting for the round has been
K. When a legal Weight(s) is moved or
knocked off the board by a “dead” Weight and cannot
be replaced in the previous position, the player or team
who delivered the “dead” Weight shall be penalized.
L. It is understood that if any of the
above infractions are committed by other members of the
participating teams, who may not be actively engaged in
play at the time, the same penalties will apply to their
Penalties (Outdoor/Deck Shuffleboard)
A. Disk touching 10-off area line before
being played - 5 off.
B. Disk touching side line or side of
triangle while being played - 10 off.
C. Any part of a player's body going
beyond or touching the baseline while playing a disk -
D. Shooting an opponent's disk - 10 off.
E. Disks that are played illegally are
immediately removed from play. Any disks that that were
displaced by an offending disk are also immediately
removed. Any such opponent's disks are given back to the
opponent to be replayed. For any disks so removed that
had been lying within the 10-off area prior to the foul
shot, the offender is penalized 10 points.
V. Scoring And Rail “Hangers”
A. A Weight overhanging the edge of the
board at any point is “dead” if it falls from the
board before the opponent’s following Weight ceases
motion. (Exception: See rule C, below.)
B. After an opponent’s following
Weight has been delivered and ceases motion, a score or
rail “hanger” is legal, and must be replaced if it
falls from the board without being directly hit by
C. Should a hanging Weight fall from the
board for any other reason than being legally knocked
off, such as slapping the table, stamping on the floor,
etc., it must be replaced in its original position and
considered a legal Weight. A one-point penalty is made
the offending player or team (see Section IV, G).
REGULAR TABLE SHUFFLEBOARD
WITH 3, 6, 8 OR MORE PLAYERS
How To Play With 3
By toss of a coin or other means, one of
the three players drops out temporarily and the remaining
two play one round against each other, exactly as in a
In the next round, the loser of the first
drops out and the third party plays the winner. This
continues, with the loser of each dropping out each time.
In the event of no score, the same two players replay the
round until a score has been reached.
When a player reaches designated game
points (e.g., 15 or 21
points depending upon tournament format
he/she wins and drops out. The remaining two continue
playing against each other, until another player reaches game
point designation (e.g., 15 or 21 points typically,
depending upon tournament format guidelines/rules), to determine the second place winner.
The six players are divided into two teams
of three players each. One player from each team drops out
temporarily, and play is begun exactly as in a four handed
The losing player of each round then drops
out, and is replaced by the third member of his/her team.
This continues until one team has scored game points
(typically 15 points, but may still be 21 points in some tournament
formats) to win the game.
How To Play With 8 or More Players (See tournament Bracket Charts for up
to 8, 16, 32, 64 players)
The eight players are divided into two
teams of four players each. Two players from each team are
then stationed at each end of the shuffleboard. Play
commences exactly as in a four-handed match, except that
each player delivers only two Weights. A player shuffles
his/her two Weights alternately with one of their
opponents, after which his/her teammate does the same with
the remaining opponent at that end of the table. The next
round commences at the other end, with the players
stationed there, and continues until one team has scored 15 points in
traditionally played table shuffleboard "Knock Off" game (although some
tournament formats may still play to 21 points, more commonly seen
used in the loser bracket of a double elimination 2
of 3 format tournament event where, for instance, due to
time constraints the tournament director may opt to have 2
of 3 in winner bracket, but 21 point in loser bracket), to win the game.
TAP AND DRAW
An Excellent Game
For A Beginner Opposing A Skilled Player
The object of this game is to shuffle your
Weights up to the farthest scoring position on the Playing
Field, without knocking your own Weights, or those of your
opponent, off the board.
To start a contest, players decide by toss
of a coin or other means, who shall shuffle first Weight
and which color each shall have. In this game, it is an
advantage to shuffle first.
Weights are shuffled alternately, until
all eight have been shuffled, which completes one round of
play, just as in regular shuffleboard.
You should strive to tap your Weight, with
the purpose of advancing it farther up the board. However:
If you knock own Weight off the board, it
must remain off and out of play.
If you knock your opponent’s Weight off
the board, your own Weight must be removed from play, and
your opponent’s Weight replaced on the board in its
If you knock your opponent’s Weight off
the board, and at the same time advance one or more of
your own Weights to higher scoring areas, your Weights
must be returned to their original position, and your
shooting Weight must be removed from the board.
If you tap any of your opponent’s
Weights, so that they advance, they remain in their better
Method Of Scoring
Scoring principals, and the method of
computing the score, are identical with regular
The player or team who scored in the
previous round shuffles last in the next round. Remember,
in this game it is an advantage to shoot first.
Cushion Board Play
To play TAP AND DRAW on a Cushion Board
model, the same rules and methods explained above apply,
except that each Weight must first carom or bank off
either side cushion, en route to the scoring area.
HORSE COLLAR (Overview)
How To Play With 2
Players stand at opposite ends of the
board, facing each other. The first player shoots all 8
Weights consecutively toward the opposite end . After all
Weights have been shot, the score is counted as shown on
the next page. Then the board is cleared and the opponent
shoots in the same manner, from the end of the
shuffleboard at which he/she is standing. The players
alternate shooting until one player has scored 51 points
(see also Technical Points, Rule 1, below).
How To Play With 4
Or 8 Player
With more than 2 persons, Horse Collar is
a team game. If there are 4 players, they divide into
teams of 2 each; if 8 players, they divide into teams of
4. To start a game, the opposing teams station themselves
at opposite ends of the shuffleboard – all players of
one team at one end, all their opponents at the other end.
The first team shoots all its Weights toward the opposite
end, with each member of the team shooting his/her quota
consecutively, in the following manner:
On a 2-man team, the first player shoots 4
Weights in a row, and then his partner shoots the
On a 4-man team, the first player shoots 2
Weights in a row, and each of his/her partners in turn
shoots 2 Weights in a row, until all 8 Weights have been
When all 8 Weights have been delivered,
the score is counted as shown on the next page. The
opposing team then clears the board, and shuffles its 8
Weights in the same manner described above. The teams
continue to alternate shooting, until one team has scored
51 points (see also Technical Points, Rule 1, below).
A game is not completed until the
player or team which has been shooting last has taken
its last turn at the board, even though the player or
team shooting first has already scored 51 points or
more. If both teams go over 51 Points, the one having
the highest final score is the winner of the game.
During play, no contestant may leave
his/her position to check the locations of Weights
he/she or his/her partner(s) have played.
All Weights which do not completely
clear the foul line nearest to the player shooting are
dead Weights. However, they must be removed from the
On Cushion Board models, Horse Collar
is played and scored exactly as described above;
expect that each Weight must first carom off either
side cushion, on its way to the scoring area.
Furthermore, the center foul line of a Cushion Board
applies to all foul line rules listed herein. (NOTE:
Disregard the Five zones when scoring Horse Collar.
Anything in these zones is considered to be in the
Method Of Scoring
After all 8 Weights in a round have been
shuffled; it must first be determined whether at least 1
Weight is completely in the Trey zone, or overhanging the
far edge of the playing field. IF THERE IS NO WEIGHT IN
THIS ZONE, NO SCORE OF ANY KIND CAN BE COUNTED, regardless
of how many other Weights remain on the board. If there is
at least 1 Weight in the Trey zone, or overhanging the far
edge of the playing field, then score is counted as
All Weights that touch or are in front
of the Deuce line, count for 1 point. This applies to
the entire area up to the foul line, nearest the
player who shuffled the Weights; but the Weights must
be completely clear of the foul line, to be legal.
All the Weights between Deuce line and
the Trey line, or touching the Trey line, count 2
All Weights between the Trey line and
the far end of the board, count for 3 points.
All Weights overhanging the board at
the far end, count 13 points.
All Weights which fall into the
alleys, or do not clear the near foul line, are dead
and do not count.
Baseball is one of the many variations of
Horse Collar, as described above. Baseball is played and
scored exactly like Horse Collar, except that the scores
are totaled and a winner named after nine innings (rounds)
of play, rather than when one player or team has reached
the arbitrary total of 51 points.
Basically, you should strive for three main
objectives, in order to win at table shuffleboard:
Well-Placed Weight – This is of
paramount importance. Learn to place a Weight as far
down the board as possible, without having it fall
off. In Cushion Board models, learn to place it in the
corners, for the highest scoring zone. This technique
is best attained by frequent practice.
Attacking Opponent’s – You may
have learned how to place a Weight in a high-scoring
position, but so may your opponent. Thus, it is of
importance to learn how to attack and knock off your
opponent’s highest scoring Weights, so as to prevent
them from scoring. Frequent practice will help you to
develop this technique also.
Blocking Your Own Weights – When you
have learned how to place Weight high in the scoring
areas, you will want to protect it from your opponent’s
subsequent attacks. The method of doing this is called
blocking or screening a Weight, a familiar tactic in
football and basketball play. Simply place your
succeeding Weight behind your leading Weight in such a
position that your opponent will not be able to touch
your leading Weight in his/her attack. Never place a
blocking Weight too close to the scoring Weight,
because a good attacker will then be able to remove
both of from the board.
Develop Use Of Both
Shuffleboard is a game that requires ability with
either hand. Beginners will find making shots with one
hand just as simple as with the other, after a bit of
practice. One should learn to favor neither hand, but
rather to try to shoot an equal number of shoots with
either hand. Doing so will greatly improve his/her ability
The Use Of “Side-Wheeling”
On Longboard Models
While it may seem easier to shoot your Weight
from the center of the board (free-hand), most players
eventually learn the more accurate “side-wheeling”
method of delivering a Weight on the Longboard models. To
shoot in this manner, the player allows the third and
fourth fingers of his/her shooting hand to slide along the
side edge of the playing surface, so as to act as a guide
and balance. His/Her Weight is more easily controlled, and
he/she is assured a much greater degree of accuracy in
The Use Of “Top-Of-Board”
Shooting On Cushion Models
Because angle-shooting is an important part of
the Cushion Board game, a cushion player must learn to
shoot from the center area of the board (Top-of-Board
style), from any angle and with either hand. Thus he/she
does not make use of the side edge of the playing top.
Rather, he/she must rely more acutely on his/her own sense
of direction and judgment in placing Weights.
The Use of “English”
(Twist) On Longboard Models
The use of English or twist on a Weight being
delivered on a Longboard can greatly aid accuracy. Putting
English on a shot is accomplished by twisting the thumb
and forefinger away from the wrist and in toward the body,
as the Weight is being delivered. Properly applied, it may
greatly improves that Weight’s chance of remaining on
the board, after it makes contact with an opponent’s
Weight. The English acts like a brake, holding it in
place. It also enables players to hide delivered Weights
behind Weights already on the board, thus gaining the
advantage of having a just-delivered Weight well blocked
without further play. English can be of great value when
making draw shots as well. Never use English on Cushion
(aka Bumper or Bank) model shots because it can deflect
Weights erratically when they strike the side cushions.
Shooting First Weight – A Player who
shoots first Weight should try to place it as far down the
board as possible, along either rail. If his/her opponent
fails to knock off that Weight, the first player should
then try to place his/her next Weight in the opposite
corner (similar to split in bowling). This gives him/her
two Weights in good scoring position, yet far enough apart
so that his/her opponent can attack only one of them in
his/her next shot. Following this, the first player should
then block his best scoring or remaining Weight. Shooting
First Weight Against A Good Draw Player – A player who
shoots first Weight against an expert draw player (one who
can place Weights far down the board), should follow these
basic tactics in order to prevent the draw player from
getting high scores:
The first player should shoot his/her first
Weight so that it lands in the Deuce zone. The expert
draw player will have to knock off this Weight, rather
than out-draw it.
In turn, the first player knocks off his
opponent’s Weight and tries to stay on the board
with his attacking Weight. Each time, the remaining
Weight will lie slightly behind the previous Weight’s
position. This strategy will result in only one Weight
remaining on the board (it will be the expert’s
Weight), but it will lie only in the One zone, thereby
preventing a high round score.
Assuming there are no Weights left on the
board after each player has delivered three Weights,
the player shooting first should then attempt to place
his/her final Weight as close to the Trey line as
possible, straddling the same, if he/she is able. Such
a placed Weight makes even the expert’s final draw
shot an extremely hazardous one. Actually, the draw
player will the have but one logical play: to knock
off that Weight in hope to remain on the board with
Shooting Last Weight – A player who
shoots last Weight (it is known as the hammer) has
the advantage in that round. How he/she uses this
advantage depends on his/her skill. If he/she is a good
draw player, he/she can count on last Weight to out-draw
any Weight his/her opponent may have on the board.
However, the safest strategy for the novice is to
play a Weight-for-Weight game when he/she has the hammer.
That is, he/she should attempt to knock off anything
his/her opponent has placed well down on the board, and at
the same time try to keep his/her own attacking Weight on
the board (in most cases, unless you do not want to stick
a weight, for instance, that your opponent may hide a
weight with a go-around shot that you may not be able to
hit or hit and stick with your hammer weight).