Shuffleboard Rules | Types, Scoring & Infringements Rules

To have complete knowledge of Shuffleboard rules is the interest of every sports junkie. The following article discusses shuffleboard rules & regulations, equipment, and playing guide, along with tips and suggestions for better play.

What is Shuffleboard | Types & Playing Methods?


I am not wrong if I say that Shuffleboard is one of the easiest games on the planet. It is a sport that is convenient for everyone, regardless of age and physical ability.

But it’s also a game of strategy, and you are never too old to keep improving your skills. Shuffleboard is played on indoor (on tables) and outdoor (surface) courts. Shuffleboard courts vary in dimensions.

The standard size of the outdoor court is 52 feet long and 10 feet wide. For playing on the surface, players hold stick-like paddles to propel the pucks (biscuits/discs) into a numerical area that shows lines with specific scoring points.

This game can be played as singles (one vs. one) and doubles (two vs. two) on a grounded as well as the tabled court.

You may come across different versions of the game and its multiple names. As it is the oldest game with a rich history behind it.

Some call this game shovel-board, deck shuffleboard, Sjoelen (Dutch Shuffleboard), and shuffleboard. Shuffleboard resembles bowls, carrom board, and air hockey.

Shuffleboard Rules; How to Play Shuffleboard

Following are the rules of playing shuffleboard games in their different types. These rules are explained with pictures and images for better understanding.

Shuffleboard rules for Indoor and outdoor shuffleboard playing

1. Starting the Game

Shuffleboard starts with a flip of the toss. The winner gets the chance to propel his puck first. The service goes on with alternate turns.

  • The winner of each round is allowed to make a move in the next round.
  • Every player has to make his move after the puck of his opponent has reached its final position.
  • Players have to alter the side of the court after the completion of every round.

2. Scoring in Shuffleboard

Scoring is quite similar to lawn bowls. It is counted at the end of each round. Each round ends after the serving of all eight pucks (each player has 4 pucks) by players.

Players propel the pucks towards the scoring area on alternate turns. If any puck remains behind the foul line that lies before the scoring zone, it is removed, and no point is scored.

In case a puck lags behind the scoring area, no point is scored. It is important to make the pucks reach the scoring zone to get points.

It is permissible to aim at opponents’ pucks so at to remove them from the court or make them enter in 10 off zone, thus causing opponents to lose 10 points.

If opponents’ pucks are thrashed into ten off zone, he loses 10 points as a result of a penalty.

In case the player, in an attempt to sideline the opponent’s puck from the court, propels his puck forcefully and that unluckily goes off the court, he loses 10 points.

Additionally, if a puck, after being propelled by the player, goes directly inside the 10-off zone, the player loses 5 points as a result of a penalty.

In case a player mistakenly plays his opponent’s puck, he loses 10 points as a penalty.

In the table shuffleboard, there are three scoring areas with different numbers: 1, 2, and 3. These represent the number of points. You can see a scoreboard attached at the side of the table for maintaining the record of the score.

While in the surface shuffleboard, you can see one 10-point box, two 8-point boxes, 2 7-point boxes, and one 10-off box.

The boxes represent the number of points. 10 off area is considered to be the danger zone since it costs a loss of points when a puck enters this area.

Let’s see how scoring works in shuffleboard. The first red puck in the zone of 2, gets 2 points, the second blue puck in the zone of 3, gets 3 points and the last puck that is hanging at the edge of the court gets 1 additional point, means 4 points.

The hanging puck is known as a hanger. The rest of the pucks that are out of the court are dead and produce no points at all. The fallen pucks are either knocked off or on

3. Deuce in Shuffleboard

When both the players or sides score equal points at the end of the complete 10 rounds, it is called a deuce or a draw match.

Here is a fine example of a round being drawn. Each player has amassed 6 points after the end of a round.

There are multiple scoreboards for counting points. These scoreboards are attached to the table.

What is the winning Target?

A game can last as long as you want with scoring to an agreed number of points or ends. Usually, the winning target is 75 points after the completion of 10 rounds. Each round is either 15 points (short round) or 21 points (long round).

The player with maximum points, after ten rounds, is declared the winner.

In case both the players or teams have scored equal points, 75 points, in the last round, the player or side getting the highest points in that round is declared the winner.

4. Infringements

  • When a disk, after being propelled, enters into 10 off area. It costs 5 points reduction. You can see a yellow disk inside the penalty area, the ten of.
  • When disks fail to cross the foul line and lag behind it. They are usually removed from the court and avail no points at all. In picture 1, the yellow disk is at fault, and in picture 2, the blue puck is lagging behind the line.
  • Players should not step inside the kitchen zone while attempting shots. If they enter, their feet might get burnt (kidding).
  • More specifically, to enter the green zone or even touch its white bordering lines with your feet or any part of the body is not allowed. Players should be inside the purple area when they are attempting shots.
  • When a player mistakenly plays his opponent’s puck instead of his own. He loses 10 points as a result of his mistake.

5. Carrom Shuffleboard Rules

Shuffleboard resembles Carrom board. Both the games use disks, pucks, or biscuits for playing. Both games have similar surfaces to play. Though scoring and playing mechanisms are different.

Here is a variant of shuffleboard, which is known as carrom shuffleboard. You can clearly see the following table, which contains numbers that represent points.

6. Dutch Shuffleboard

Dutch shuffleboard is known as Sjoelen. It is played on the following table. It is another variant of shuffleboard.

In this game, players have to make 30 wooden pucks to enter the holes that lie on the other side of the court.

The score is counted on the number of pucks being entered in the doorways. These doorways or holes are numbered from left to right. In this image, the number of boxes starts from 1, 4, 3, and ends at 2.

Each puck gets 2 points on one entry. The maximum number of points one can reach is 148. This game is popular in Netherlands and Belgium.

Carrom Shuffleboard, Dutch Shuffleboard & Rebound Shuffleboard


7. Rebound Shuffleboard Rules

You can see a table below. This table is used for rebound shuffleboard. In this game, the winner has to score 21 points before his opponent for winning the game.

Each player has to select one colored puck out of two available colors.

In rebound shuffleboard, the pucks do not go to the other side of the court to get points, rather, they have to hit the back bumper of the table and return to the other half of the table, where lies the scoring zone.

This is slightly different from one directional shuffleboard.

8. Knock off Shuffleboard Rules

It is permissible in shuffleboard to knock the pucks of one’s opponent off the court.

When a puck is knocked off the court during a round, it becomes dead and thus avails no points.

So, knocking off opponents’ pucks is as important as scoring. Here you can see blue pucks knocking the red puck off the court.

9. Off the Court in Shuffleboard

A puck or disk is off the court when it goes beyond the specific lines of the court, be it surface shuffleboard or table shuffleboard.

The blue disk beyond the yellow border is out of the court in the following picture. It is certainly off the court.

10. Shuffleboard line Rules

A puck must cross the scoring lines to get scored. If a puck cannot manage to cross the line properly and stops on the scoring line, this puck is given points in lower quantity.

Let’s have a look down below. The red puck is over the line, and thus it gets 2 points.

11. Shuffleboard Rules hanger

In shuffleboard, the puck that hangs on the edge of the court is said to be a hanger, and it is the shot that offers 4 points, the maximum points per shot. The red puck in the following picture is a hanger.

12. Shuffleboard Referee

Shuffleboard is monitored by a referee, who keeps a hawk-eye on the court as well as the players. He is the supreme authority in the game.

He keeps on informing the players about the principles of the game. He keeps a close eye on the scoring process as well.

A referee is authorized to judge and announce scores with precision.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is Shuffleboard Sand or Wax?

Shuffleboard sand, also known as dust, powder, or wax, is used on the court to reduce friction.

Wax or sand makes the court smooth and easy for the pucks when they are shot from one end to the other end of the court.

2. What is the Shuffleboard Rule of 21 Points?

This rule is observed by two players who decide to set the winning target at 21 points. When a player reaches 21 points, he is the declared winner.

It means the game ends once a player reaches 21 points. Hence, this rule is at the disposal of both the players playing the game.

3. What is Crazy eight in Shuffleboard?

This is undoubtedly unusual in shuffleboard to allow a player to play with eight pucks. Traditionally, each player has four pucks at his disposal. But in crazy eight, this tradition is somehow sidelined. Isn’t it crazy?

4. What is a foul line in Shuffleboard?

This is a line that lies between the scoring and starting zone. Every puck should cross this line to get the point.

In case a puck or disk lags behind this line, it is not considered a qualified shot and hence removed from the court.

5. What is a hammer in Shuffleboard?

The shuffleboard is started with the toss. The winner of the toss gets two rewards. Firstly, he is credited with the first shot. Secondly, he gets the last shot of the round. This last shot of the round is termed a hammer.

The last shot may prove to be a game changer because it can hammer down or knock off the pucks of the opponent.


Shuffleboard is a game of less effort but more strategy. So, the lesser physical ability doesn’t create a hindrance in playing this game.

This game makes you fall in love with it since it offers you joy as well as entertainment.

It also requires less equipment to play. All you need is a court, 8 pucks, 2 sticks for outdoor, a tabled court, and 8 pucks for indoor shuffleboard.

One can play it singles and doubles. The one who scores maximum points after the completion of 10 rounds wins the game.

Shuffleboard is not complicated when it comes to its rules. It is fairly easy to command it with some practice. Best of luck with your adventure with this new but heavily entertaining game.