How to Play Marbles

Introduction: How to Play Marbles

About: I am a maker. As founder of MakerBlog, I enjoy sharing my creations with others.

In this instructable I'm going to teach you how to play marbles.


The game "Marbles" is often considered to be an antiquated, boring game, but, in reality, it is a fun game that has simply been forgotten by a technological generation. The goal of this instructable is to bring back old memories, and to help the new generation learn the marbles game. Enjoy!

Step 1: What You'll Need

To play this game, you will need the following:

  • Lots of Normal Sized Marbles (The more of these you have, the longer the game will be. The fewer of these you have, the shorter the game will be.)
  • Several Players
  • One Shooter Marble for Every Player (Shooter marbles are generally slightly larger than normal marbles, and, according to tradition, should be you favorite marble (although this is not required). :-)
  • A Length of String

Step 2: Setting Up

You will need to lay out a circle of string on a hard surface. The circle should be anywhere from 3ft to 10ft in diameter. The larger the diameter of the circle, the harder the game is. Scatter your small marbles into the circle randomly, or create patterns with them (such as circles, triangles, or squares).

Step 3: Choosing Versions

To play "Marbles" you first need to decide what version you are going to play. For instance, are you going to play for fun, or are you going to play for keeps? I highly advise against playing for keeps, as it generally removes friendly competition, and ruins the spirit of the game. Regardless of what version you choose to play, the rules are the same.

Step 4: How to Play

To launch your shooter, you should hold it as shown above and flick with your thumb.

The basic rules are as follows:

  1. Flip a coin to decide who will shoot first.
  2. Each player's first shot will be shot from outside the string circle.
  3. If you knock a marble out of the ring, you set it aside, and count it as one point.
  4. Play will progress as previously decided.
  5. After a shot, do not remove the "shooter" from the ring.
  6. On your next turn shoot from the last place where your "shooter" landed inside the ring.
  7. If your shooter landed outside of the ring, you should take your next shot from any point outside of the ring.
  8. You may knock another player's "shooter" out of the ring, giving them the disadvantage of having to shoot from outside the ring.
  9. At the end of the game, when all the marbles are out of the ring, the person with the most marbles wins.

I hope you enjoy this game! Remember, it's not about winning. It's about having fun! Be a good sport, and have fun!

P.S. Everyone has different versions of the same game, so please comment and describe your version. Thanks!

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    14 Comments

    0
    mariar256
    mariar256

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    this the best

    0
    mariar256
    mariar256

    Tip 8 weeks ago on Step 4

    Have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0
    jgraceb53
    jgraceb53

    Question 3 months ago on Introduction

    I found some steelies in my dads things which sent me down the rabbit hole of reading about playing marbles. Did we use steelies as shooters?

    0
    VallGray
    VallGray

    6 months ago

    This brought back memories. Like another comment below, some of my best memories as a kid was drawing a circle in the dirt at the playground and pulling out my bag of marbles. We had a version where we used the big end of the stick to make a hole in the middle of the circle. Just big enough for a marble to fit inside. Think golf. If you knock the marble out of the ring - 1 point. Knock the marble into the hole - 2 points. We mostly played for keeps. But it was still friendly. Nothing wrong with competition. No one got a ribbon. Just great fun and memories. We would share marbles when someone got low until they could hustle up a couple of yards to mow to make 4 bucks and go to the five and dime and buy more marbles.

    0
    Tomstpete
    Tomstpete

    1 year ago

    I have an Industrial, very smooth carpet in my living room and I set up a black thread circle and a fat rope barrier around that to catch the escaping marbles. Works very nicely and you have a padded surface for your knees.

    7EA8066D-D1AD-4CC8-8785-5635EFCA31E3.jpeg
    0
    Tomstpete
    Tomstpete

    1 year ago

    When I was a kid we drew a circle in a smooth area of dirt With a pointed stick.

    0
    AnhN86
    AnhN86

    3 years ago

    very nice. I like it very much

    0
    qwety_u
    qwety_u

    4 years ago

    can you knock more than one marble out of the ring per turn?

    0
    funtogether
    funtogether

    Reply 4 years ago

    Absolutely! Thanks for asking.

    0
    clarie91s
    clarie91s

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Cool! I've always wanted to learn how to play. I don't live in the US but I've seen kids playing it in films.

    0
    funtogether
    funtogether

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Good! Glad to teach someone something new. Thank you for commenting!

    0
    GideonH
    GideonH

    6 years ago

    Your right we need to bring back the old games