There are two types of shuffleboard, deck and table. The aim of both types of shuffleboard is to push a puck from one side of the playing area to the other to score the highest points. However, there are a lot of differences in the way these games are played, the equipment needed and the skills required to be a good player. In this article, I’ll compare the two types of shuffleboard in-depth so you know exactly how to play both.
The Quick Answer
Table shuffleboard is played on a much smaller playing surface compared to deck shuffleboard. In table shuffleboard, the pucks are moved using one hand, whereas a cue (tang) is required to push the pucks in deck shuffleboard. The scoring rules are also different for table and deck shuffleboard.
The playing area differs in size, location and material between table and deck shuffleboard.
Shuffleboard tables are usually 9ft-22ft in length, with 22ft being the full regulation-size and smaller sizes being designed for use in smaller venues and homes. The table consists of the plank (which is the playing surface) that sits in a cradle. The two ends of the table are called the horseshoe and the sides are called the gutter. These tables are made from wood so are designed for indoor-use only, as they are not weather-resistant.
There are three scoring zones. The zone closest to the middle of the table scores 1 point, the zone closest to the end of the table scores 3 points and the zone in the middle scores 2 points.
|Shuffleboard Table Size
|Dimensions Including Cradle (length x width)
|9’ x 2’6”
|12’ x 2’6”
|14’ x 2’6”
|16’ x 2’6”
|18’ x 2’6”
|20’ x 2’6”
|22’ x 2’6”
Deck shuffleboard can be played indoors but is usually played outdoors on a court which measures 52′ in length and 10′ in width. The scoring zones are sectioned into triangles and the surface is typically made of concrete but can be made from any hard and completely flat surface. You can also purchase roll-out mats to play shuffleboard outdoors without marking the zones on the floor surface.
If you look at the diagram below you’ll notice the following features:
- Two zones at each end of the court where the players stand (marked in orange in the diagram).
- The highest scoring zone is towards the center of the court (10 points).
- The zone closest to the end of the court scores -10 points.
- The two middle scoring zones result in either 7 or 8 points.
|Played on a table
|Played on the floor
|Wooden playing surface
|Surface is usually made from concrete
|22ft maximum length
|52ft maximum length
|2’6” in width
|10’ in width
|Highest scoring zone is at the end of the table
|Highest scoring zone is closest to the centre of the court
|Cannot score negative points
|Can score negative points (-10)
In table shuffleboard, the following equipment is required:
- Weights (also known as pucks)
- Shuffleboard wax
- Table cleaners and silicone spray may also be required
With deck shuffleboard, the following equipment is needed:
- Biscuits (also known as pucks or discs)
- Tangs (also known as cues)
- Shuffleboard sand
Weights and Biscuits
With table shuffleboard, the pucks are known as weights and they are pushed by the player from one end to the other using one hand. They come in two main diameters: 2 5/16 inches or 2 1/8 inches, and are usually made from plated steel with a coloured plastic or metal cap on the top to distinguish each players weights. The weights are 12.1-12.2 oz each.
With deck shuffleboard, the pucks are known as biscuits and are pushed by the player from one end of the court to the other using the tang (cue). The biscuits are usually made from plastic and have a 6″ diameter and just less than 1″ thick. They weigh approximately 15 ounces making them slightly heavier than indoor shuffleboard weights.
In table shuffleboard, each player has 3 pucks, whereas in deck shuffleboard each player has 4 pucks.
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Deck (floor) shuffleboard requires a tang, also known as the cue, to push the biscuits from one end of the court to the other. They usually measure around 75″ in length are are typically made from aluminium. This piece of equipment is not required with indoor table shuffleboard because the weights are pushed with a hand instead.
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Shuffleboard Sand/ Wax
In both types of shuffleboard, the playing area is coated with a thin layer of sand/ wax to ensure the pucks can easily glide over the surface. In outdoor shuffleboard, this is known as beads or sand and they’re made from plastic or glass. With table shuffleboard, the wax is made from silicone but can also include crushed walnuts as well.
The playing surface in both games needs to be brushed before the shuffleboard wax is applied to ensure the surface is evenly coated. The only difference here is with the brush sizes, as the brush used in deck shuffleboard is large and looks more like a broom, whereas table shuffleboard just requires a small handheld brush.
Check out my guide to shuffleboard equipment to learn more.
The main difference between deck and table shuffleboard rules is related to the scoring.
Table Shuffleboard Rules
With table shuffleboard, both players use their three weights and then the scores are recorded. Only one player will score points from any single round. The player who scores the points is the player who’s puck is the furthest towards the end of the table (without falling into the horseshoe). The only pucks that score points are the ones that are further forward than the opponents highest scoring puck.
Check out the example below.
- The red player has the highest scoring puck so will score points for this round. The blue player will not score any points.
- There are red pucks in the 1 point, 2 point and 3 point zones.
- However, the highest scoring blue puck is further forwards compared to the red puck in the 1 point zone, so this red puck will not score anything.
- The red player will score 5 points for this round (one puck scores 3 points and one puck scores 2 points).
There are also a couple of other rules to consider:
- Pucks which are hanging off the end of the table score an extra point (4 instead of 3).
- The puck must be fully over the line to score the highest points. If a puck was on the line between the 1 and 2 point zones, the puck would only score 1 point, even if the majority of the puck was over the line.
- In deck shuffleboard, all discs score points, even the ones that are not further forwards compared to their opponent.
- Disks touching the lines of the scoring zones do not score any points.
- If the disk is touching the -10 zone line, the penalty is -5 points.
- You cannot push your opponents pucks off the court or into the -10 zone. This results in a -10 penalty.