Shuffleboards – A Brief History How to Play the Game

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Shuffleboards, which are also known as deck shuffleboards or floor shuffleboards is a game of cues much like ice hockey played in Canada, the players use a heavy disc to push around a floor or a board, into an area of different scores, the higher the score the closer you are to winning.

But how did the game come about? We take a look at its history as well as the rules of the game.

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History of Shuffleboards

As one of the most exciting ones around, this is a game that can entertain many of different ages for hours at a time. Precise historical data has yet to be found, however, what we do know about it is that the country that has claimed to have invented it, is England and about 500 years ago.

According to sources, such as this one

It was first played by King Henry VIII of England but was only allowed to be played by those in higher rankings and not everyone. The king gambled and placed wagers on it and his first winnings were £9 at that time. 

There is no doubt that it is similar to other activities such as air hockey, croquet, billiards and even carrom. It was played both on the ground as well as on a table. Many of those who frequented cruise ships on holiday were fans of the deck game, which was mainly associated with older people at first. The younger population preferred the table version and is now available in many modern clubs and pubs throughout the world.

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How the Game is Played

There may be different variations of it, but in the end, the outcome is the same. The game aims to score higher points than your opponent and can be done by either sliding his pucks past the competition further into a higher score area or knocking them off and replacing it with yours.

An in-depth idea of how to play the game for any newbies can be found online: but the basics are also included in this article. As you can imagine, it is a hugely competitive play that many find quite exhilarating. The typical rules allow a maximum of 15 points to win and can be played by up to 6 people, depending on the size of the set-up. 

Once a coin toss is done, see who starts first, and who gets the hammer (the tool you use to hit the puck). The person who didn’t win the coin toss gets to pick the colour of the puck they will be playing with.

The first player begins and shoots one of his coloured discs and then the second player takes the hammer and does the same. Once all eight discs are shot, using a rotating method, the winner is determined, so ideally each person would have 8 rounds. There is also a foul line, which the players are not meant to cross their discs with, if this does happen the play is dismissed and it is the next person’s turn.

The points are counted by the person who scored the highest and whose pucks are closest to the finish line as well as of the same colour. If there are more than one discs closer to the finish line these are also counted. Only one colour can score a point in the frame and once any player reaches 15 points the game is ended.

Similar to a game of golf, there is a handicap here which is also scored. This is mainly to play fair and consider players of different levels. The more advanced players may receive fewer points in comparison to those who have handicaps.

Only when a puck is inside the scoring zone, is it counted. So it is imperative to hit it hard enough, with your hammer, so it’s fully inside the zone, to earn the points. If it touched the line of the smaller score, it is then counted like this.

Various Types of Shuffleboard Games

As if one game is not enough, over the years there have been a few different variations of it and these include the most popular four and each with its own unique set of rules:

Horse Collar: can be played on any standard table and some of the best shuffleboards for this can be found on many online specialist stores. As one of the more enjoyable competitions, the score with this one can reach over 51 points and is a bit more complicated in its requirements compared to others. 

Crazy Eight: played with 2 or more players, it allows everyone to have an equal opportunity to win. Here they alternate playing on different ends of the board and scores can be up to 15 or 21 and can be played using 4 weights at one time.

Shuffleboard Knock Off: here the game is played 1-2-1 or with another team of only two other players. The play is done from opposite ends of the table. The score is also 15 and has a shorter foul line compared to when playing on the ground

Shuffleboard Official Tournament: this is usually the most competitive one for many and has its own tournament rules which will depend on the arena. For example, they would commonly be 15-point winnings unless stated otherwise. 

There you have it, one more game for you to try out while taking breaks from your work or wanting to spend time with your family and friends. It is guaranteed to keep you excited for hours!

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