Shuffleboard is a fun table game. The objective of the game is relatively simple; keep your quoits on the board, while knocking your opponents off the board. Some strategies and techniques can help you gain a winning edge.
How to Play the Game
The most common shuffleboard game is called "Knock Off". You can play this against another opponent, or against another team of two. The objective is to be the first player, or team to score 21 points. A turn consists of each player alternating in sliding four metal quoits down the table. There are three scoring lines on each end of the table. Depending on where the quoit ends up determines the score. The first line is a foul line. If the quoit does not reach it or lands on the line it counts as zero. Anything between the foul line and the second line counts as a 1 point. Between line two and line three, counts 2 points, and anything between line three and the table's back edge is 3 points. If the quoit is hanging off the back edge of the table and does not fall off, it is called a "hanger" and is worth 4 points. A quoit must be completely past a scoring line to count for that particular point value. If any part of the quoit is deemed to be on the line, it counts one point less. After all eight quoits are thrown, you then add up the points for that turn. Only one person can score for that given turn, as only the farthest quoits of the same color will count. In the picture above, the score for that turn would be 3 points for blue.
Techniques for Play
Simple techniques can improve your ability to place the quoit in the area of the table you are aiming for. The first thing you have to understand is the speed of the table. Shuffleboard "dust" is frequently added to the table to help reduce friction that slows the quoit down. The more dust that is added to the table the faster your quoits will slide. On a lightning-fast table, a slight push is enough to send all your quoits flying off the board. One of the best techniques you can employ in table shuffleboard is learning how to throw the quoit with either hand. By holding the quoit and sliding your hand along either side of the board, you will develop a better skill of controlling the speed and placement of the quoit. This requires practice, but it will give you an edge against most other players.
Strategies for Play
If you throw first, try and place your quoit on either side of the board and not in the middle. That makes it more difficult for your opponent to knock it off the board. If you throw a quoit and your opponent fails to pass it, or knock it off on her turn, you now have the option of trying to protect that quoit, or to try and bump it further up the board. If you choose to protect the exposed quoit, you want to throw another one that ends up well behind and slightly off center of the first quoit. This will make it very hard for your opponent to knock off the lead quoit with her next turn. This strategy is best employed when the lead quoit has been thrown fairly deep on the board. If the exposed quoit is somewhere in the 1 point scoring range, you can choose to try and bump it into a higher scoring box, while leaving your next quoit on the table behind it. Either way, the whole idea on each turn is to leave as many of your quoits on the board, in positions that cannot be easily knocked off. Remember, only the farthest quoits of one color will count as points for that given turn.
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