Finnish skittles on grass

Finnish skittles

Finnish skittles is the perfect game for family picnics and weekends at the cottage with friends. Plus, it’s easy to learn. Here are the rules.

Finnish skittles on white background

How to play

Finnish skittles is a target game involving 2 opposing players or teams. Teams may have 2 or 3 players. Set up the skittles in a sandy or grassy area.

Stand several metres away and try to knock them over using the throwing skittle.

Score exactly 50 points to win the game.

If you or your team exceeds 50 points, your score drops down to 25.

To win, you need focus, precision, and mental math skills!

Finnish skittles pin set-up

How to set up the pins

Position the pins as shown in the image. There should be no spaces between the pins when they’re initially set up.

- First row: 1-2
- Second row: 3-10-4
- Third row: 5-11-12-6
- Last row: 7-9-8

Stand at a distance of 4 m to throw.

The opposing players or teams take turns throwing the skittle to knock down the pins.

Keeping score

Note: A fallen pin is counted only if it’s lying flat on the ground and not resting on any other pin.

  • The skittle and two fallen pins

    Several fallen pins

    If you knock over several pins (2 to 12), the number of points you score is the number of fallen pins.
    (In the image, the player would get 2 points.)

  • The skittle, fallen number 7 pin, and three standing pins

    One fallen pin

    If you knock over a single pin, the number of points you score is the number on the end of the fallen pin.
    (In the image, the player would get 7 points.)

Player showing how to stand the pins back up

Reset the pins

After each throw, stand each fallen pin back up where its tip is touching the ground. Use one hand to mark where the pin should be set up and the other hand to set it upright. Now, the opposing team or player can take their turn.

As an added challenge, if a player or team misses 3 throws in a row (i.e., fails to knock over any pins in 3 straight turns),  their point total returns to 0.

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