Shuffleboard Tips: Types of Shots

Though the objective of shuffleboard may seem simple, there are many different ways a puck can be shot and a game can be won. While many novice players tend to shoot from the center of the table, having a variety of shots and techniques to choose from will allow a shooter to adapt to any gameplay situation. Below are some creative ways to step up your game and spice up your repertoire with an array of shuffleboard shots.

Side-Wheeling Shot


Using the rail to guide your shooting hand, the side-wheeling shot is the standard and more accurate method of shooting. This method, which is particularly helpful on longer shuffleboards, involves directing the puck with your thumb, index, and middle fingers while your ring and pinky fingers use the edge as a guide. Depending on your preference, some shooters shoot only with their thumb and index fingers, while conversely, some use only their pinky finger as a guide along the edge.

Free Shot


The free shot is the opposite of the side-wheeling shot in the sense that it involves no use of the rail as a guide. Shooters may have to resort to this type of shot in situations where rail shots are difficult or could be blocked.

Knock-Off Shot


Concentrating solely on knocking off an opponent’s puck, the knock-off shot is used to take potential points away from your competition. These shots are often seen from the hammer (last player to shoot) or in situations of desperation. A shot that knocks off two of your opponent’s pucks is often referred to as a double knock-off.

English/Spin Shot


While players can use English to maneuver the puck in a variety of different shots, some shooters aim to slip behind an opponent’s puck using spin. English can be achieved with either hand by twisting the thumb and index finger in toward the body. Applying English can be an incredible tool in games such as Knock-Off where the puck furthest along the board decides the winner.

Bump Shot


A bump shot is achieved by advancing another one of your own pucks up the board. This can be used to put your puck into a higher-scoring position or, in a game like Knock Off, to advance one of your pucks beyond an opponent’s.

Stick Shot


For a stick shot, the shooter uses the opponent’s puck to stop the momentum of their own shot. This type of shot can be incredibly useful for turning the score around on your opponent. It is best to apply English to achieve a stick shot as it improves the puck’s chances of staying in play after the collision.

Guard/Safe Shot


The guard or safe shot is used solely as a defensive move for protecting your own pucks. This type of shot is often useful when the shooter already has pucks in scoring position on the playing surface. When using a guard shot, be careful that the blocking puck is not too close to the existing weight as they both could be knocked off.

Even with a wide repertoire of shots to work with, it is still important for shuffleboard players to develop the use of both hands. Shooters with the ability to achieve the shots above with both hands should be prepared for all gameplay situations.

Looking for a table to master the shuffleboard shots above? Check out McClure’s fantastic selection of beautiful, handcrafted shuffleboards. For more great shuffleboard tips and information, check out our guide on standard shuffleboard rules and our article on the basics of shooting.


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