How to Play

A game of Petanque is contested by two teams. This can be one-v-one (singles), two-v-two (doubles) or three-v-three (triples). In singles or doubles the players play with three boules each, in triples they play with two boules each. Therefore in singles there is a total of 6 boules in play, and in doubles and triples there is a total of 12 boules.

1.The team who begins is chosen by the toss of a coin (we’ll call this Team A and the losers of the coin toss Team B). Team A chooses which area of ground the game will start on, and a player from Team A draws a circle in the ground which is between 35 and 50 cm in diameter.

2.A player from Team A stands in the circle and throws the jack so it rests between 6 and 10 metres from the circle and at least 1 metre from any obstacle (which may be a wall, tree, dead-ball-line or other boundary). The feet must both touch the ground inside the circle until the jack has hit the ground.

3.A player from Team A then throws the first boule from the circle. Both feet must touch the ground inside the circle until the boule has hit the ground.

4.A player from Team B then throws their first boule from the circle.

5.After both teams have played one boule the team who plays next is whoever is not closest to the jack. This team continues to play boules until

a)they are closer to the jack in which case the team who are not closest then continues to play and vice versa until all boules are played OR

b)they run out of boules, the team closest to the jack then plays the remainder of their boules

6.The team who is closest to the jack, once all players on both teams have played all of their boules, scores 1 point for each boule closer to the jack than the nearest opponent boule. It is good etiquette for all players to agree how many points have been scored before any boules are picked up (resolve close calls or disputes with a tape measure).

7.The team who last scored points then draws another circle around the jack, and they throw the jack (i.e. they become ‘Team A’). Play then continues as described from 3. to 7.

8.The winning team is the first to reach a score of 13.

This is all you need to know for a social game. If you want to play competitively you should read the official rules. Don’t worry, experienced players are always happy to assist you with any questions you may have.