Marble Games

Welcome to the Marble Games page.  This page is designed for the collector of marbles, or the player of marble games.   The first section on this page will list 4 different ways of how to hit a marble and the second section will list 20 different marble games that you can play with marbles.  Enjoy this page and please don't stop playing!  The pictures below and information is from the following book "Marble Madness" by Amanda O'Neill.    I have revised some of the wording while other wording is quoted directly from the author.  I enjoyed her book so much that I felt that it was worth spreading the news to everyone about the book.  Children and adults of all ages will love to play marble games. Also feel free to read a copy of a series of comics/ads Akro Agate ran in Boy's Life magazine from January - April 1931.  Click on the  PDF file below!

Series of comics/ads Akro Agate ran in Boy's Life magazine from January - April 1931


First section: 4 different ways to hit a marble!


1. Flicking - What you want to do here is to set the tip of your thumb just behind the marble.   "Bend your forefinger so that its first joint rests on the first thumb joint.  Now flick your forefinger forward so that it strikes the marble.  This method launches your marble fast and hard."



2.  Fulking - "Place the knuckle of your forefinger on the ground, and balance your marble in the bent forefinger.  Now put your thumb behind the forefinger and flick the marble forward."



3.  Knuckling Down - This is my favorite position to hit a marble.  "Position your marble as for fulking, but this time place your thumb to the side of your finger, toward the palm.  Use your thumb to launch the marble sideways from your finger, keeping your knuckles steady on the ground."



4.  Bowling - "With the back of your fingers touching the ground, hold the marble in your palm and roll it toward the target."



Second section: 20 different marble games!


1.  Archboard - Which you need to do here is to make some arches of different sizes.  Number these from 1 to 9 and give the highest number to the smallest arch.  Select one player to be the keeper.  The other players shoot at the arches 6ft (150 cm) away.  "If your marble goes through an arch, the keeper must pay you the number of marbles indicated by the number of that arch.  If you miss, the keeper wins your marble."  The players select the number of rounds, and then another player takes a turn as the keeper.


2.  Bomber - In this game you play with two players and this consist of two parts.  In part 1, the first player throws a marble at any designated distance.  This actually becomes the target.  Then player two bowls or tosses a marble at it.  "If the marble hits the target, or lands within a handspan of it,  Player two keeps the target marble.  If not, both players get their marbles back and start again."  The two players change roles after each agree on the number of throws.  In part 2,  the first player throws a target marble again.  "Player two tries to "bomb" the target by dropping a marble on to it from eye level."  If the marble hits the marble player 1 wins the marble, if it misses, player 2 keeps it. 


3.  Bounce Eye - In this wonderful game you need to draw a circle 1ft (30cm) on the ground.  Each of the players puts the same number of marbles in the circle that you had created.  You need to stand over the circle and drop a marble from looking down.  You win the number of marbles that you knock out of the circle.  If you don't win any marbles than your marble becomes apart of the others in the circle.  When no marbles remain the game has ended.  The winner is the person that has the most marbles! 


4.  Black Snake - This game you need to select any 7 objects for example, a shoe, old computer mouse, lamp, etc.  Then number the objects from 1-7 and lay them on the floor or ground.  You need to then select the player that go's first.  Then shoot your marble at object number 1 from 1ft or 30cm away.  If you hit this object then aim at the second object.  If you miss then the second player gets a chance.  If you somehow hit an object that is not in the correct order you must start again.  If you hit the 7 objects in two successful turns you become a "black snake."  What this actually means is that you can hit other people's marbles off the course.  If you hit another persons marble that person is out of the game "unless you knock the marble into one of the obstacles, when you are out of the game."


5.  Bull's Eye - What you need to do first is to draw four circles, one that is inside the other.  "The innermost circle should be 1 ft or 30cm across, the others 2ft or 60cm, 3ft or 90cm, and 4ft or 120 cm across."  Then in each of the circles you need to write how many points you win if your marble lands in one of the rings.  The center circle has to have the highest number of points.  Then draw a shooting line about 6ft or 180cm from the biggest circle.  You will decide how many rounds will make up your game.  Each of the players stands on the shooting line and this person shoots three marbles at the target.  Wherever the marble lands in the target you earn those points.  If your marble lands outside of the target you get  know points.  Then add up the points from the 3 shoots you had if your marble lands in the target.  After your turn, pick up your marbles, and leave the area clean for the next person.  When everyone has had a turn, start a next round and keep adding up the scores.  The winner of the game is the person with the highest score.  


6.  Conqueror - This is a neat game that can be played with two to four players.  Select the first player and then he or she will throw a marble any distance.  Then player two tries to hit the marble.  If hit by player two means he or she keeps the marble and throws a new marble back into the game to restart it.  A miss means that the players marble stays where it is and just becomes another target.  The next player if more can then aim for anyone of the marbles.  If the marbles bounces and hits the other marbles then he or she keeps what is hit.  This game reminds me of war! 


7.  Crackers - This game is to be played on sidewalks or streets that have a lot of cracks and bumps.  The first player becomes the keeper and places a marble on the sidewalk or street where it will be hard to hit.  Then create a "shooting line about 10 ft or 3m from the target, and the keeper offers a number of marbles as the prize for hitting the target."  The players take turns to hit at the target marble and any "misses is forfeited to the keeper."  The first player who hits the target wins.


8.  Croquet - This is a two to four player game (so get your family and friends involved).  You need nine hoops and the best thing is you can make this out of paper cups (check picture below).  What you need to do "cut the base off each cup, so that it forms a tube.  Then cut each tube in half lengthwise, to make two long arched hoops."  Then number the cups from 1-9, and randomly place them around an area.  You may need to tape them down.  Then draw shooting line that is about 1ft or 30cm that is in front of the first hoop number 1.  Then shoot the marble through the cups in the order from number 1.  If you miss then it is the next players turn.  Leave your marbles wherever they are and shoot from there when it is your turn again.  The player that gets their marbles through all the cups in order wins. 


9.  Die Shot - With this game you need to balance a die on top of a marble.  If you are playing on carpet or a smoother surface push the marble into the ground (the reason being to stop it from rolling).  Players take turns to be the keeper of the one die.  "Other players in turn pay the keeper one marble to have a shot at the die from an agreed distance."  The player who knocks the die off the marble wins marbles.  How many?  The number that was shown on the die that the face is showing.  The bad news if the player misses, the keeper then wins the marble.


10.  Dopplers - What you need to do first is to draw two parallel lines on the ground, about 3-4ft or 90-120cm apart  (parallel means not touching one another).  The very first line becomes your marble line.  Each of the players that you are playing with "puts the same number of marbles along it, leaving two finger spaces between marbles."  The second line actually becomes your shooting line.  You must stand behind the line, and take turns to shoot a marble at the target marbles.  You win the marbles that you hit.  If you end of missing (I hope not) your marble then stays where it is and you take your next turn from that position.  "If another player ends up hitting your marble you must add another marble to the target line."  The winner is the person that has the most marbles at the very end of the game. 


11.  Dropsies - What you need to do here is to draw a 3ft or 90 cm square.  Each of the players that you are playing with needs to drop four or five marbles in the square.  The players take turns dropping marbles from their waist on to the marbles in the square.  When you knock a marble out of the square you win that marble.  You keep your turn if your marble stays inside of the square when you hit another marble in the square.  If you end of missing or your lovely marble ends up outside of the square it then is the next players chance.  You win if you knock out 5 marbles. 


12.  Forts - What you need to do here is to "draw four circles, one inside the other, making the smallest circle 2ft or 60cm across, the next 4ft or 120cm, the next 6ft or 180cm, and the outer one 8ft or 240cm across, the inner circle is the fort.  Each player that is playing puts one marble in the outer circle, two in the next, three in the next, four in the fort, these are the targets!  "Players stand 2ft or 60cm away from the outer circle's edge and take turns shooting at marbles in the outer ring.  You have one shot per turn.  If you hit a target, you win it.  If you miss, or hit a marble in the wrong circle, add one marble to those in the fort."  If your marble lands in the circle just leave the marble there and then take your next shot from that position.  If you hit another players marble instead of the target marble is ok, but the sad part you don't win the marble.  You take turns until the outer circle is completely empty.  Then continue to the next circle etc.  "In the third circle, a hit entitles you to a second throw, and when you reach the fort, two hits earn you a third throw."  The game is over when the fort is totally empty, the winner is the player that has the most marbles. 


13.  Hundreds - This must be a two player game so get someone to play with you.  What you need to do is to draw a circle, that is about 1ft or 30cm across, and mark out a shooting line that is about 10-15ft or 3 to 4.5m away.  What the players do is to take turns to shoot a marble toward the circle.  If your marble that you shoot lands in the circle you get 10 points and another shoot.  If you miss let the other player have chance.  The first player that gets 100 points is the winner. 


14.  Knuckle Box - What you need to do here is to draw a square that measures 2ft by 2ft or 60cm by 60cm (I know this is math).  Then you need to draw a shooting line away from the box about the size of your hand (I know some men's hands are much bigger).  Put some marbles in the box kind of scattered (four marbles per player).  Players take turns to shoot a marble from the shooting line to knock the marbles out of the box.  Any marbles you knock out you win, "whether or not your marble remains in the box."  If the marble that you shoot leaves the box with the target marble it is the second players turn.  "If you miss your target and your marble comes to rest outside the box, pick it up and wait for your next turn.  But if you miss and your marble lands in the box, it stays there and becomes another target."  The game plays until the box is empty, the player with the most marbles win. 


15.  Lagout - What you need to do here is to draw a line that is 2ft or 60cm away from a smooth wall.  Then each player puts one marble on the line.  Then you want to draw a shooting line that is 3ft or 90cm away from the first one.  The players in this game take turns to shoot a marble from the outer line.  Your goal is to hit the wall so that it hopefully rebounds to hit the marbles on the line.  The first player that hits the marbles on the line wins all the marbles on the line.  If you miss just leave your marble where it is, and the next time just shoot from the new position. 


16.  Long Taw - This game needs two players.  What you need to do is to draw a shooting line.  "At right angles from the center of the line, draw a target line 12ft or 360cm long.  Now what you need to do is at the target line, 6ft or 180cm from the line that you shoot, place a marble.  The other player that you are playing with places a marble at the end of the target line.  Both players need to agree on how many rounds you want to play.  Shoot at the nearest marble, then if you shoot at it then you win and then shoot at a further marble.  The game ends when you hit that marble.


17.  Newark Killer - What you need to do here is to draw a small circle, with a shooting line 10ft or 3m away.  Each player needs 10 marbles, you need to shoot your marble into the circle.  Each of your marbles that get into the circle earns you 1 point, if your marble is knocked out of the circle by another player than you take away 1 point or more depending on the number of marbles in the circle.  When all marbles are used by the players, the player with the most marbles in the circle becomes the killer.  You can shoot at any other players marbles that are outside the circle.  A hit and the killer keeps the marble and has another go.  A miss and the game ends but the killer wins the game. 


18.  Ringer - What you need to do here is to draw a circle that is 10ft or 300cm across, and you need to draw a cross in the center of the circle.  Then you need to "place a marble at the center of the cross, and three more on each arm of the cross (making 13 marbles in total), spaced at about 3in or 7.5cm."  Then you need to draw a line on either side of the circle, just touching its edge.  One side is your lag line, the other is your pitch line.  The first player that go's first is the player that gets their marble closer to the lag line when shooting.  You must shoot using knuckling down.  Each player takes a turn to shoot a marble from outside the ring, your goal is to knock the target marble out, but to keep the marble inside the ring.  If you miss and your marble is in the ring it becomes a target.  If the marble go's out of the circle then pick it up and use it for your next turn.  "If you knock a marble or marbles out of the ring, hit an opponent's marble, or knock an opponent's marble out of the ring, your turn continues as long as your own marble stays in the ring.  Once you miss, your turn ends and you add up your score."  The game is over when the ring is empty.  The marbles that you win are the ones that you knock out of the ring.  IN THIS GAME IT IS PROPER TO RETURN ALL MARBLES TO THE ORIGINAL OWNERS.  In the scoring atmosphere knocking a marble out of the ring wins you that marble, and one point.  Hitting another persons marble without knocking it out of the ring you also get a point, the first to get 7 points wins.


19.  String of Beads - What you need to do is to draw a circle 3-4ft or 90-120cm across, and another circle 8ft or 240cm around it.  "Arrange these marbles round the edge of the inner circle, leaving even spaces between, like beads on a string.  The players stand outside the outer circle and take turns to shoot at the target marbles."  If you knock a marble out of its place you win it.  You keep playing until you miss or shoot your marble out of the ring.  Just leave your marble where it lands and start your next turn from its new position.  "If you miss a target, you have to add a marble to the string of beads.  The game is over when all the marbles have been knocked from the string of beads, the winner is the player who has the most marbles."


20.  Tic-Tac-Toe - This is a two player game and the first players marbles need to be a different color from the other persons marbles.  For example, one person could have all green marbles and the other persons marbles could be all red marbles.  Draw a tic-tac-toe square, that has nine squares, and draw your shooting line that is 10ft or 3m away.  Take turns shooting marbles into the small squares.  Your goal is to have marbles lined across, down, or upward.  If your marble lands in a square keep it there.  If it misses pick your marble up.  If you end up landing in a square that is occupied by your partner, you can only keep that individual space if your marble knocks the other marble out.  The winner is the person that has 3 marbles in a line.



I encourage you if you are interested to purchase the following books Marbles 101 ways to play by Joanna Cole & Stephanie Calmenson and Marble Madness by Amanda O'neill (this book is hard to get and not available at sorry, I will keep checking).  Many more marble games are in these books.  PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO AMAZON.COM AND SEARCH FOR THESE MARBLE BOOKS AND MORE MARBLE BOOKS.  Again a lot of the information above was from the following book Marble Madness by Amanda O'Neill, much more is in the book and more games.