Official Shuffleboard Table Game Rules

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Shuffleboard is a game that can be enjoyed by almost anyone. It doesn’t require too many abilities because the only strategies you need to know is sliding your puck the farthest away or knocking other pucks off of the table. However, there are some rules you need to follow while playing the game.


The objective of shuffleboard is to get your weights the farthest on the table without your pucks landing in the gutter. You can make your puck the farthest on the table by either sliding ahead of your opponents pucks or by knocking them off of the side of the table. If one of your pucks isn’t the farthest then all of your other pucks won’t be counted for points. Players must reach 21 points to win.

Abilities During a Game

For official tournaments there are a couple of things that a player is allowed to do during and not during game play. Here are a couple of the basic official rules:

  • Either player is not allowed to re-apply wax during a game or between rounds. The use of old wax found in the gutters is permitted and can be applied to the table by hand if a player decides to do so during his turn.
  • Players are allowed to walk around the shuffleboard table to examine the position of the other pucks if they want to as long as they don’t come into contact with the pucks.
  • During a player’s turn, they must have at least 1 foot on the floor.
  • If a player takes more than 30 seconds to take their turn they will be given a penalty in which their opponent will gain 1 point or they will lose 1 point.

How It Works

Just like any other game there is a repeated process players must go through during a game. Shuffleboard can be pretty self-explanatory but here are a couple of the basic rules on how to play the game:

  • First of all, we must decide which team will throw first. A game of rock, paper, scissors is the traditional way to decide but a simple coin toss or some other way will work. Winners decide if they want to shoot first or last. Some people like to have the last hit so that they get to determine the game results.
  • If you’re playing in teams, one player of a team typically stands at one end of the table while the other player throws. This allows the other player to lead the thrower in the right direction. If it’s one person per team then you can go check the end of the table quickly before making your shot.
  • Players take turns sliding their pucks to the farther end of the table either trying to outdistance their opponents pucks or bumping them off of the table. Continue doing this until all the pucks have been used. This is the end of one round.
  • The player that has the farthest puck is the winner of the round and their points are then tallied up. Pucks that are in two zones don’t count for any points. Zones are labeled 3, 2, and 1.
  • If the farthest puck is a hanger (hangs over the edge of the table in the 3 zone space) then it counts as 4 points.
  • Winners of the round get to shoot first in the next round. They do not have a choice this time. This process continues until one of the players gets 21 points.
  • Pucks that land or are hit into the gutter do not count for any points.
  • If the leading pucks of both teams are tied then the round scores no points for either team and the next round will commence.
  • There are two foul lines on the table. The one closest to the player tossing the puck is the one that matters. If their puck doesn’t go across the foul line then the puck is moved to the gutter. If their puck bounces off another puck and goes back over the foul line then it is also removed and not counted.


After every round of shuffleboard only one player’s pucks will be counted for points. The player that has the puck farthest away from the throwing side of the table is the player that wins the round. All of the pucks that are ahead of the opponents pucks will be counted for points. If the puck second closest is the other players then the winning puck is the only one counted.

Related Questions:

What Are Outdoor Shuffleboard Rules?

Outdoor shuffleboard is played with a tennis court like surface. It also uses pucks but they are significantly larger, made out of different materials, and are pushed using sticks. The zones put together are in the shape of a triangle with the highest scoring zones closest to the players and farthest away.

Outdoor courts have 7 zones. At the tip of the triangle is a 10 point slot, the next two zones being 8 points, the two after that are 7 points, and the last zone is a 10 off zone in which a player loses 10 points.

Each player gets 4 pucks. Players take turns tossing their pucks in the scoring area. You are allowed to hit pucks off the score board or onto the 10 off zone. If a puck is between two zones then the side it’s mostly on is the one that will be scored.

Once all the pucks have been tossed then the players will count up the points for both teams. In outdoor shuffleboard it doesn’t matter which puck got the most points just the amount of each team’s pucks put together.The team that gets 50 points first is the one who wins the game.

Do You Have to Score Exactly 21 Points?

21 is the minimum amount of points that you need to score to win a game of shuffleboard. It does not matter if you score over 21 points.

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