More Marble Games
More Marble Games
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Bear in mind that rules varied wildly from region to region and making up a game on the spot was not at all unusual. Players should also agree in advance whether they are playing 'for fair' (all marbles returned to owner) or 'for keeps' (winner keeps, loser weeps).
RING TAW (aka RINGER, RINGO)A one foot ring is drawn inside of a ten foot ring. Each player puts in a number of 5/8" marbles so that there is about a dozen marbles in the smaller ring. At the National Marble Tournament, thirteen marbles supplied by the organizers are arranged in a cross at the center of the ring and there is no one foot ring. Shooting order is determined by 'lagging', shooting to see who can get closest to a designated line. The first player, starting outside the ten foot circle, attempts to thumb his or her 'taw' (a 3/4" shooting marble) to knock a target marble out of the large ring while keeping the taw inside the ring. If he or she succeeds, he or she shoots again from where the taw stopped. 'Sticking' or shooting seven consecutive marbles out of the ring and winning the game without giving an opponent a turn is usually good for two days of playground bragging rights. If the player fails to knock a target marble out of the ring, or his or her taw leaves the ring, his or her turn is over and next player takes his or her turn.
At the National Marble Tournament, if your taw is in the ring at the end of your turn, you must remove it. In informal games, if your taw is in the ring, it becomes a legitimate target and any player who hits it out collects a forfeit from you. Players should agree in advance whether to use this rule. Play alternates until one player has knocked a majority of the marbles out of the ring. The process of picking the best possible position for starting is referred to as 'taking rounders'.
BOSS OUT (aka LONG TAWL)First player shoots one marble. Second player trys to hit the first player's marble. If he or she hits it, he or she collects both marbles. If the two marbles are close enough, he or she can attempt to 'span' them. He places his or her thumb on his or her own marble and his or her index finger on his or her opponent's marble. He then draws his or her hand up while bringing his or her fingers together. If the two marbles hit, he or she collects both marbles. If he or she misses, the first player may shoot at either marble on the field. If a player collects the last marble on the field, he or she must shoot a marble for the next player to shoot at.
BRIDGEBOARDA board with nine cutouts along one edge is propped up on that edge to form nine archways. The numbers 6, 2, 3, 1, 5, 8, 7, 9, 4 are painted over the arches, one number over each arch. Players try to shoot through the holes and win the number of marbles indicated by the number above the hole. Any marbles which miss become the property of the board owner. The board may also be used to play NINE HOLES.
BUN-HOLEA one-foot wide hole is dug in the center of the playing field. Players attempt to get a marble as close as possible to the hole without going in. Whoever's marble comes closest without going in wins a marble from each player. Knocking in your opponent's marble is permitted.
CHERRY PITThis is the reverse of RING TAW. A one-foot wide hole is dug in the center of a ten-foot circle. Each player places a number of marbles around the hole so that there is about a dozen marbles surrounding the hole. Players take turns trying to knock marbles into the hole. Like Ring Taw, as long as marbles are knocked into the hole and the taw remains in the ring, players may continue to shoot. If a taw goes into the hole, the owner must forfeit a number of marbles and place them around the hole to 'buy back' his or her shooter.
HUNDREDSBoth players try to shoot their taws into a one-foot hole. If both taws go in, players start over. If one player's marble goes in and the other player's marble doesn't, the player whose marble went in scores ten points. If neither player's marble goes in, the first player now tries to hit the second player's marble. If he or she hits it, he or she earns ten points and another chance to shoot his or her marble into the hole for ten points. If he or she misses either his or her opponent's marble or the hole, the second player tries to hit the first player's marble for ten points and another try at shooting his or her marble into the hole for ten points. Whenever a marble goes into the hole, both players start over from the starting line, otherwise all shots are made from wherever the marble stopped rolling. First player to reach one hundred points wins.
NINE HOLESThis name is given to two different marble games. The first game is Miniature Golf played with marbles. Players construct a miniature golf course from materials at hand and take turns shooting their marbles around, through, and over the obstacles they've built. First player to complete nine holes wins.
The second version of the game is played with a bridgeboard. Players take turns shooting their marbles through the arches in numerical order. Arches that are shot through out of sequence don't count. A successful shoot through the correct arch entitles the shooter to an additional turn. First player to send his or her marble through all nine holes in the correct order wins.