Games are played one-on-one or with two teams of two people. Team members play at opposite ends of the board and remain there for the duration of the game. Games are played until one team scores 21 points at which time they are declared the winners. The game can be played following "Short Foul Line" Rules (which is most commonly used) or "Long Foul Line" Rules (rarely used).
- Following "Short Foul Line" Rules, the pucks are considered in-play when they are on the board and past the foul line closest to the shooter.
- Following "Long Foul Line" Rules, the pucks are considered in-play when they are on the board and past the foul line on the opposite end of the board as the shooter.
How to Play
Play may start from either end of the board which can be designated by the players flip of a coin (e.g., heads, play starts on one end; tails, play starts on opposite end). Then the initial startup for shooting and puck color are decided by the opponent players flipping a coin (one flips, other calls heads or tails). The winner of the flip may elect to choose the puck "color" of choice or the "hammer". The hammer is the last puck (4th shot) in a round (i.e., the other team shoots first, if you win the flip and select hammer). It is considered advantageous to have the hammer. When color and shooting order are decided, the fun begins!
The team without the hammer shoots first. The other team shoots second. Players continue to alternate shooting until all 4 pucks of each team's color are used. At this time, points are counted and play continues from the opposite end. The team which scored points on the previous round must shoot first on the next round. If no points are scored on the preceding round (e.g., all pucks are knocked off) than the hammer changes. In other words, the team that had the hammer during the round where no points were scored must shoot first the next round. Play continues in this manner until one team reaches the designated points (typically 21 points).
How to Count Player/Team Scores
Only one team scores in a round.
The team which has their puck closest to the end of the board scores. All of their pucks which are ahead of their opponent's deepest puck (closest to the end of the board) are added together for the score for that round.
For the Novice Scoring System (Image Above):
- A puck scores 1-point if it is located between the designated foul line (most commonly being the "short foul line") and the "2" line.
- Pucks completely across the "2" or "3" line count 2-points or 3-points, respectively. To judge if a puck is completely over the line it should be viewed from above (i.e., look down over the top of the puck. The entire puck must be over the line for it to count as the next higher point value.
- You should be able to see some wood between the line and the puck.
- If any portion of the puck is hanging over the end of the board it is called a "hanger" and counts 4-points. Close calls can be checked by holding a puck so the top of a puck is along the back end of the board. The puck is then slid along the back end of the board. If it hits the "disputed" hanger the puck is indeed hanging and is worth 4-points instead of 3-points.
For the Advanced Scoring System:
- Simply use the second set of red numbers on the board for more difficult game play (image below)
- Before a player shoots, the player can dust the board if dry spots are showing.
- Shooters must have one foot behind the playing surface while they are shooting.
- Hitting or shaking the table is never allowed.