How to Play 10-Pin Bowling – Part 3

When it comes to knocking down pins, each player is awarded one point per pin. As each frame presents two opportunities to bowl, the combined number of both is his score for that frame. In the event that a player doesn’t manage to knock down all 10 pins after both opportunities, it’s termed an “open frame”.

If a single frame sees all 10 pins knocked down, the player is awarded a bonus based on how many opportunities it took him to achieve it. If he succeeds with his first opportunity, it’s called a strike, which the scoresheet indicates with an X. The player receives 10 bonus points as a reward. He also received points on two bonus opportunities. The points he receives on these two bonus opportunities are counted twice. The player is awarded two extra goes should he score a strike in the 10th frame.


Should the player score two strikes in a row in two consecutive frames, it’s known as a double. For example,  let’s suppose that he knocks down all 10 pins in the first frame, achieves the same feat in the second frame, knocks down three pins in the third frame, and four in the fourth, the total is worked out as follows.

  • Frame 1 total score – 10 + 10 + 3 = 23
  • Frame 1 total score – 10 + 3 + 4 = 17
  • Frame 1 total score – 3 + 4 + 3 = 7
  • Total from all 3 frames = 23 + 17 + 7 = 47


Should a player score three strikes in a row in three frames, it’s known as a Triple or Turkey. In the event of a Triple, the scoring can be explained in the following example. Should the first three frames result in a strike and the player knocks down three and four pins in his two games in the fourth frame, the totals would be as below.

  • Frame 1 Total Score = 10 + 10 + 10 = 30
  • Frame 2 Total Score = 10 + 10 + 3 =  23
  • Frame 3 Total Score =  10 + 3  +  4 = 17
  • Frame 4 Total Score = 3 + 4 = 7
  • Total score = 30 + 23 + 17 + 7 = 77

Clean Game

A clean game is one where a player scores a spare (10 pins knocked down over both opportunities within a frame) or a strike in every single frame. That maximum number of points that a strike can produce is 30. If a player scores a strike in the 10th frame, he will be given two more chances. If he goes on to score two more strikes, he will receive 30 points for that frame. This is known as striking out.

A spare occurs when the player has knocked down all 10 pins after his second opportunity within a frame. He receives 10 points, as well as points scored in a bonus third opportunity. The maximum points that can be awarded to a player are 300, which would be in the case of 12 strikes in a row. That would be known as a perfect game.

But do not be discouraged by all the rules and various restrictions, they are put in place in order to ensure the entertaining game for all involved. As long as you get enjoyment out of it, the activity is can become a hobby or perhaps even a sport – but remember, play fair!