Ten Pin Bowling Scoring Techniques

  • 19 March 2020

After getting through ten pin bowling styles and rules, I hope you are now ready to understand the ten pin bowling scoring techniques. Here, we go then…

Ten Pin Bowling Scoring Techniques

Open Frame - Open frame is a first and basic scoring technique designed for the Ten Pin Bowling. When any player starts the game he/she first has to earn points in the open frame. The open frame is a scoring technique where a player got awarded one point for every knocked-down. As there are two chances in a single frame and the combined score of both the chances is the final score of that frame. If a player fails to knock down all ten pins even after the two chances of a frame, the frame is called an open frame.

Strike - A strike is a scoring technique that almost every player loves to use. Because If the player has knocked-down all the ten pins in the first chance itself then, he/she gets a Strike. It means a player is awarded 10 points plus some bonus points based on the number of chances taken by him/her to knock down all the pins. A strike is specified with an “X” symbol in the score sheet.

For example, if in the first frame the player hits a strike and in the second frame’s first chance he scores 6 and in the second chance of the same frame, he scores 2, his total score for the first frame will be 10 + 6 + 2 = 18 and for the second frame, his score will be 6 + 2 = 8 thus making a total score of 18 + 8 = 26.

Double Frame - A player is awarded a double if he scores two consecutive strikes in two consecutive frames.


For example, Suppose the score of the player in Frame 1 = 10 (Strike) and frame 2 = 10 (Strike), then in frame 3, if the player hits five pins in the first chance and three pins in the second chance, the total will be calculated as follows. Frame 1 Total = 10 + 10 + 5 = 25
Frame 2 Total = 10 + 5 + 3 = 18
Frame 3 Total = 5 + 3 = 8
Total score from 3 frames is 25 + 18 + 8 = 51

Triple Frame - To score a Triple or Turkey a player has to score three consecutive strikes in three frames. To understand total scoring we’ll take a look at the following example.


Suppose score of Frame 1 = 10 (Strike), frame 2 = 10(Strike) and frame 3 = 10(Strike) then in frame 4 if the player hits two pins in the first chance and seven pins in the second chance. Then the totals will be ?


Frame1 Total = 10 + 10 + 10 = 30
Frame2 Total = 10 + 10 + 2 = 22
Frame3 Total = 10 + 2 + 7 = 19
Frame4 Total = 2 + 7 = 9
Total score will be 30 + 22 + 19 + 9 = 80

Long Consecutive Strikes - The longer consecutive strikes are known by their various local names like Llama (4 consecutive), pack (6 consecutive). In long consecutive strikes, six consecutive strikes are called as Wild Turkeys, whereas nine strikes in a row are called as Golden Turkeys. A game with 12 consecutive strikes is rare and referred to as a Perfect Game. It is also called Thanksgiving Turkey.


Clean Game - A clean game is a technique using which a player shoots at least one strike or spare in each frame. In a clean game, the maximum points a player can score from a strike are 30. If the player scores a strike in the 10th frame, he/she will be awarded two more chances. If a player again scores two strikes then, for that frame the player will be awarded 30 points which are also called striking out.


On the other hand, Spare is a case where a player knocks out all pins in the 2nd chance of a frame and gets awarded with 10 points plus bonus points in the next chance. For example, in the first chance of frame, If a player hits five pins and in the second chance he hits five pins, then he has scored a spare. Now in frame two if the player hits two pins in the first chance and six pins in the second chance, the totals will be ?

Frame 1 total = 5 + 5 + 2 = 12
Frame 2 total = 2 + 6 = 8
The total score will be 12 + 8 = 20 for the two frames.

Perfect Game - A perfect game is a game where a player can score a maximum score of 300 points with 12 consecutive strikes


Important to note - In the ten pin bowling score machine, different symbols are shown for different instances. Here “X” stands for a strike, “/” stands for a spare. A – (dash) symbol signifies no pins were knocked down in that frame and F indicates a foul.


Here we are done with the ten pin bowling scoring techniques. I hope you enjoyed the learning of such wonderful scoring techniques and find this article useful.

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