Shuffleboard can be a hard game to master. It’s more skill than brute force, and rewards patience, not power. For such a simple game, some expert players have come up with surprisingly creative ways to perfect their techniques, and it’s some of these that we’ll examine in our post below!
Take a close look at the shuffleboard table itself
OK, so this one is going to be more applicable to people in tournaments rather than casual players – and if you’ve got your own shuffleboard table at home, chances are you’ll know it pretty well! If you’re the type of person to bet money on the outcome of your shuffleboard games, it might be a good idea too. (If so, you’re not the only one; Henry VIII once lost £9 on the outcome of a game, or about £2000 in today’s money!)
Whatever the case, if you’re set on winning at all costs, an excellent place to start is by knowing as much about the table as you can. Does it curve slightly in the middle, as some British variants do? What type of wax is used on it? Some tables are faster than others, even if you’re using exactly the same amount of force on your shots, so it’s worth a quick test if you can manage one. (outside competition circumstances, of course).
Think about blocking – not just shooting
As any seasoned snooker player knows, sometimes it’s not so much about scoring your own points as it is preventing your opponent from scoring theirs. If you don’t have confidence in a shot, it’s useful to make a judgement call – can you conceivably bump any of your opponent’s existing pucks from the surface? It might even be worth sacrificing your own points entirely for the reward of knocking a high-scoring opposing puck from the top of the board.
Failing that, you can always consider how to prevent your opponent from scoring any more. A well-placed puck in the centre of the board might mean your opponent has to make a tricky curve shot around it, or waste a turn removing the obstacle for their next shot. This can sometimes make all the difference between winning and losing!
Perfect your shuffleboard trick shots
So having talked about blocking your opponent – how do you manage when your opponent tries it on you? Well, in short: by being well versed in your trick shots. Scoring a ‘hanger’ – when your puck is so far to the edge of the board that a section of it hangs over – is worth double points, and the best way to achieve one is mastering the art of the English backspin. Essentially, it involves twisting the thumb and index finger in towards your body when you shoot, which puts a side or back-spin on the puck, enabling it to glide around obstacles.
Speaking of obstacles, what do you do when one of your own low-scoring pucks is blocking you? You could always employ the tricky-but-rewarding Bump Shot, which involves hitting your low-scoring puck dead-on so from below, bumping it into a higher-scoring position further up the board.
You could also try side-wheeling; shooting from the outside edge of the board instead of the middle. Using this technique, your third and fourth fingers of your shooting hand slide along the vertical side edge of the playing surface, while your index finger and thumb shoots the puck across the horizontal edge. Done right, you can easily bypass tricky situations on the playing field to get your puck into the highest-scoring position!
And finally…practice, practice, practice!
Playing shuffleboard in commercial and tournament environments is an exceptionally thrilling experience – and likewise, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of perfecting your technique on your own personal shuffleboard table at home. This is where we come in – here at the Games Room Company, shuffleboard is something of a specialism of ours. We’ve even produced several of our own, which are quickly making a name for themselves in some of the country’s most prestigious interiors!
These include the magnificent Wellington Shuffleboard table, known for its premium aesthetics and unparalleled gameplay. Meanwhile, the Buckingham Shuffleboard table is known for the refined sense of elegance it brings to any interior, making it a truly marvellous centrepiece for your personal games room. These are far from your only options, of course – why not pay us a visit at our expansive Weybridge showroom, and see what we’ve got in stock?