Skeeball Rules, History, Tips & Equipment

A history of Skeeball, how to play, tips for improvement & necessary equipment

How to Play Skeeball

Skeeball, commonly found at arcades, was one of the first redemption games. As a redemption game, skeeball players earn tickets that can be traded in for prizes.

Skeeball History

Skeeball was invented in 1909 by J.D. Estes in Philadelphia. The original skeeball lane was 36 ft long. This was found to be too big for most arcades, and restricted the game to very strong players. The lane was then changed to 14 ft. Skeeball was first popularized by the outdoor amusement park industry. At one point restrictions were put on skeeball because it was seen as a form of gambling. However this idea quickly faded. Now skeeball can be found in most arcades throughout America.

Skeeball Rules

Skeeball is usually a one player game. However, it is also fun to compete with friends for the highest score. A skeeball machine has a long ramp with a ball jump at the end that leads up to several holes at the top separated by circular borders. The object of the game is to get the ball into these holes. The game begins by a player placing a token into the coin slot. The player then receives nine skeeballs, baseball sized balls made out of polished hardwood or heavy plastic. The player must role the balls up the ramp to get them to enter the holes. Each hole has an assigned point value, with the harder to reach holes receiving more points. If the ball does not go in a hole it falls into the gap below the ramp. At the end of the game the player receives tickets based on how many points they scored. Tickets can later be redeemed for prizes.

Some variations include:

  • Mega Skeeball, where the machine is much larger than the normal size game.
  • Skee-daddle or Mini Skee-ball, which is a smaller machine for younger children.

Skeeball Tips

Make sure to come to the arcade with enough coins to play several games of skeeball in order to win enough tickets to get a prize.

Skeeball Equipment

To play skeeball you need tokens and a skeeball machine. It is possible to make your own makeshift skeeball game with card board and tennis balls.

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