What Are the Different Types of Bowling Games?

bowling ball and bowling shoes next to each other on a lane in preparation for bowling gamesBowling is one of the oldest and most popular forms of entertainment. It dates back to ancient Egypt, where bowling pins were used in religious ceremonies. The game was likely brought to Europe by Roman soldiers, and eventually made its way to the U.S. during colonial times. Today, bowling lanes can be found across the world, giving bowling enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy a night out bowling with their friends and family.

When bowling, many people like to play various bowling games that are designed to make bowling more interesting and challenging. Whether you’re looking for fun or feeling competitive, there is something for everyone. Here’s a look at some of the most popular bowling games:


Ten-pin bowling is said to have originated in Germany as a religious ceremony, not a sport. This is now one of the most common bowling games and is usually played with, you guessed it, 10 pins set up in a triangular formation.

Players must try to knock down all of the pins on their two rolls, or “frames,” or else they will be given a score of zero. Points are awarded based on how many pins the player can knock down in each frame, as well as any extra frames they may get if they knock down all 10 pins in two rolls.


In this variation, nine pins are used instead of ten. It is said to have originated in continental Europe as a more challenging game. It often requires more strategy than the traditional bowling game as players must plan out their shots very carefully in order to try and knock down all nine pins.

Back in the day, these pins were originally made out of clays or cylinders. And now—like ten-pin bowling—nine-pin is usually played with plastic bowling pins. The same rules apply here as in ten-pin bowling, except players must knock down all nine pins in two rolls or frames to get a score.


This bowling variation is popular and was invented in Canada and other parts of North America. It uses five pins that are set up in a diamond formation instead of the traditional triangle. The bowling ball has three finger holes, and players must use them to get the ball to spin and knock down all of the pins.


This bowling game is popular in New England and other parts of the U.S. If you’re looking for a more challenging game, this is the one for you.

Requiring much skill, patience, and precision, candlepin uses 10 thin bowling pins that are thinner than standard bowling pins. The bowling balls are also much smaller, making it difficult to get a strike or spare and making for a more challenging bowling game.


Similar to candlepin bowling, this game was said to have originated in Baltimore around 1900. But Duckpin bowling uses slightly larger bowling balls and pins. The goal of the game is to knock down a set of ten bowling pins with three rolls instead of the two frames like in ten-pin bowling.

No matter which bowling game you play, it’s always important to make sure that you’re having a good time and we know just the place where you can do that.

Plan Your Bowling Games at Stars and Strikes

Bowling is a fun game and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. No matter which bowling game you choose to play, Stars and Strikes bowling alley always guarantees a good time. Our bowling lanes are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and features, making them a great place to enjoy an evening out bowling with your friends and family. So, plan your bowling trip at Stars and Strikes today!

To book your bowling lane or to learn more about Stars and Strikes bowling alley, visit our website today. You’ll be glad you did!