A lot of people know shuffleboard as that game old people play on cruise ships, but not too many people know what table shuffleboard is or how it is played. In this beginner's guide, you'll be introduced to the equipment, playfield, and some rudimentary strategies.
Each player has a set of metal and plastic pucks that are known as weights or chuckles. Unlike shuffleboard on a deck, players don't use cues or sticks. Instead, they actually use their own hands, as the table is raised off the ground. Shove ha'penny is a British variant that uses coins as weights.
The playfield is usually laminated wood that makes for smooth sliding. It is built upon a raised table. Signature Shuffleboard wax or powder is required to be placed on the field to actually get the weights to slide effectively.
Each end of the table has scoring zones, and the sides have gutters for pucks to fall into. Sometimes, instead of gutters, the tables have rubber cushions. This allows for different positioning strategies. This variant is known as the Bank board.
Each player takes turns sliding one weight at a time. You earn points by sliding all four of your weights into the highest-scoring areas, which are located at the far ends of the board.
To begin scoring, your weights must be further down the board than your opponent's weights. Those are the only points that count. If your weight is between two zones, the lowest zone is your point value. You must also defend your pucks as well as trying to slide off your opponent's into the gutters. You can earn an extra point for "hangers," weights that are partially hanging over the edge in a 3-point zone.