Basic Shuffleboard Rules

By Deborah Jones
Shuffleboard is a popular game in bars and clubs.

A shuffleboard is a large, smoothly polished rectangle, normally made of wood, that is marked at either end with scoring lines. The game is played by sliding colored, round weights along the board in turn with an opponent. There are eight weights, four blue and four red. The object of the game is to nudge, block or move your opponent’s weights in order to place your weights in a higher scoring position on the shuffleboard.

Singles

A singles shuffleboard game is played with two people. Both players have four weights each and after deciding who goes first, each takes turns to slide their weights along the board. Both players slide from the same end of the board, aiming their weights towards the scoring lines. Each player attempts to either knock the opponent's weights off the board, or slide their own weights further along. Once both players have played all four of their weights, one round has been played. The players move to the opposite end of the shuffleboard and play round two in a similar manner.

Doubles

Doubles is played with four players. Basic rules for playing doubles in shuffleboard are similar to singles. This time, however, two opponents stand at one end of the shuffleboard with the remaining team members standing and playing from the opposite end. The first two players complete their round in the same manner as a singles game, by sliding all four of their weights, in turn, down the board. After scoring, the team members at the opposite end of the board pick up the weights and slide them back down the board to complete round two. There is no changing of ends after rounds as one player from each team stands at either end of the shuffleboard.

Scoring

A basic shuffleboard has scoring lines running across each end, with each line having a score value of either 1, 2, or 3. According to the rules, only the weights which have traveled farthest along the board are counted, thus only one player, or team in doubles, scores for each round. As an example, if a red weight has traveled farthest along the board at the end of the round, then all the red scores are added up. The blue score for the round is zero. The number of rounds in a match will be determined before play begins and the highest score at the end of the match is the winner. Rounds are usually numbered so that the first player to score either 15 or 21 is the winner.

About the Author

Deborah Jones started her freelance writing career in 1990. Her work has appeared in The Writer's Forum, "Reader's Digest" and numerous D.C. Thomson magazines. Jones has a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and a postgraduate certificate in education, both from the University of Derby.