This post will teach you step by step how to play marbles.
As a kid, I spent the summer hanging out with neighbors, riding my bike, and drinking from the water hose. We’d stay outside playing everything from hopscotch to Chinese jump rope, until the sun set and our moms began calling us home. Those long summer days hold great memories that I wish my kids could experience, too.
The dirt road that ran alongside our house was perfect for playing marbles. I had a large tube sock full of cat eyes and steelies, and loved playing this game–especially when I won and we were playing for keeps.
There’s something special for a kid about her own marble collection. I remember sitting in the grass after playing and pulling out each marble just to admire the wonderful colors and striped patterns, counting my collection and sorting them by patterns over and over again.
How to Play Marbles : Playing marbles can be tons of fun for the whole family and all you need is a designated space to play and a bag of marbles. Then use these instructions to shoot marbles with just a flick of your thumb.
Here is how to play classic marbles with a free printable instructions card included.
How to Play Marbles
Playing the traditional marbles game, however, has become less popular these days. With so many video games and other toys to choose from, many kids have never been able to experience the fun we had years ago drawing a large chalk circle on a sidewalk, or in my case on a dirt road, and taking turns shooting the marbles in an attempt to knock the others out of the ring and be claimed the winner. By the way, it’s best to play on a sidewalk or some smooth surface, but we played on a dirt road. We dusted the area as smooth as possible and worked just fine.
Playing marbles is super easy to play and can be lots of fun for kids to discover. There are plenty of ways to play, and most times the way we played was determined by how many were playing and how long we wanted to play. Most of us had a sock full of favorite marbles and we were always trying to win over someone else’s to add to our own collections. Lots of times, though, we didn’t play for keeps.
There are several variations to the game, but if you are interested in teaching your family how to play the traditional marbles gameHow does the marble game work?, I’ve included a couple of printable cards, including basic marble terms and a card on how to play. Simply click the link below and print your own copy. It’s free!
Terms for Playing Marbles
Game of Friendlies -marbles will be returned after the game.
Keepsies -the player keeps all the marbles he/she wins.
Ring -the circle marking the playing field.
Player’s Shooter Marble -a larger marble used to shoot the other marbles.
Lagging -shooting your shooter marble to see who goes first.
Pitch Line -exact position where player’s toe touches when lagging.
Knuckle Down -at least one knuckle must remain on the ground while shooting to avoid penalty or losing a turn.
Sticking -when a player shoots 7 straight times and wins before another opponent takes a turn.
Taking Rounders -picking the best position to start shooting.
How does the marble game work?
Step by Step Instructions
1. Decide if you are playing for friendlies or for keeps. You also want to set an agreed number of marbles. In this traditional game, we’re using 13, but that can be flexible. The more marbles the longer the game will take to play.
2. The player who goes first is determined by lagging.
3. Draw a large boundary in the shape of a circle and line 13 regular-sized marbles in the center in an X formation. The diameter of the circle will be based on how difficult you want to make it. I suggest starting out with a smaller circle to begin with until everyone gets accustomed to how to use their thumb knuckle to shoot the marbles. Some people will even use a circle of string to mark boundaries if you can’t use chalk or draw on that space.
4. Taking turns, each player takes the time to find the best angle to take his/her best shot, then shoots from anywhere outside the circle and tries to knock marbles out of the ring, while keeping his shooter inside the circle.
> If the shooter hits a marble out of the ring, he continues and takes his next shot, shooting from where his shooter landed in the circle.
> If the shooter misses, his turn is over.
> If the shooter rolls out of the ring, the player’s turn is over.
5. The player who shoots the most marbles out of the ring wins.
What is the object of playing marbles?
The object of the game of marbles is to be the player who shoots the most marbles out of the ring or predetermined boundary, while keeping his/her shooter marble inside that space.
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