How to Play 10-Pin Bowling – Part 1

10-pin bowling is played by millions of people the world over. For those new to the sport, here’s a guide on how it’s played. The game of 10-pin bowling comprises 10 rounds known as frames. Each player in any given frame is presented with two chances to knock down each of the carefully arranged pins at once. As the name suggests, there are ten pins in total. Once the game has ended, the score is worked out, accounting for each one of the frames.


The game starts when the first player takes his first chance at bowling in the first frame. If he knocks down each of the 10 pins in that first bowl, it’s known as a strike. At this point, the frame is over. Once the first ball has been bowled, if there are pins remaining, the player takes his second chance at knocking them all over once the pins already knocked down have been removed.


If the player succeeds at knocking down all of the pins on his second attempt, it’s referred to as a spare. The game then requests the next competitor take their turn. It continues in this way until each player has finished. A machine automatically arranges all pins in a triangular shape at the end of the lane, with each pin being just 30 cm apart from the next. Each pin is assigned a number based on respective positions, with the pin sat in the first position termed the head pin.

Pin scatter

Due to there being a large amount of spacing between pins, as well as their relatively small size, players are unable to knock down each of the pins by rolling the ball. So, they apply other tactics in order to bring about a chain reaction among the pins. This chain reaction is known as pin scatter.


This is a particular type of strike that sees a player score a strike by hitting all of the pins in the opposite pocket from where he bowled. It’s sometimes known as a Jersey side. Should a pin be found wobbling or still wobbling when picked up by the automatic machine, it’s regarded as standing. In this case, zero points are awarded. If a pin has been moved from its original position, its designation remains unchanged.

Releasing the ball

Players use different tricks in a bid to achieve the perfect strike when releasing the ball. However, there are mainly two styles of release. Players have the option of releasing the ball in either a straight manner or with a hook. New players mostly go for a straight style, while experienced players tend to try hooks. In a straight release, right-hand players aim for the 1-3 pocket while a left-handed player would aim for the 1-2 pocket, in a bid to create a chain reaction. With a hook release, the ball travels straight before gradually making its way towards the pocket on the opposite side. A number of different techniques can be applied when trying to hook the ball.