How bowling is scored

Are you thinking of playing the game of bowling with your friends and family or professionally? Well, you are going to want to know the basics in that case, since the scoring methods used in bowling are quite important.

You might be wondering how bowling is scored. No need to worry because that is exactly what I am here to tell you.

In this article, I will talk about the rules of scoring in ten-pin bowling, the various scores along the scoring methods used in a regular game. So, if you are thinking of becoming a pro at the game of bowling, make sure you read this article until the end.

How bowling is scored

Scoring Rules in a Ten-Pin Bowling Game

Before you play your first game of bowling, you are going to need to learn about the rules of scoring. Well, there are 10 turns for each player, known as frames. These frames allow the bowlers to throw the bowling ball twice, meaning there are two shots in a single frame.

A foul or the bowling ball falling into the gutters results in no points in a particular shot of a single frame. If you are able to score the maximum points in each frame, which is 30, you are going to get a perfect bowling score having 300 issues in your corner.

There are a few critical scoring components that you need to learn about as well. Let us look at each of these components to play accurately and score a bowling game.


If you are able to knock all the ten pins at the pin deck in your first shot, it is called a strike. If you are able to hit a strike, you are going to get two more shots, and the result of those shots will be added to 10 and recorded as the score of that particular frame. Strikes are hard to hit if you are a beginner, but professionals eat consecutive strikes for breakfast. It is all about practice and skill.


Taking down a few pins in the first shot of a frame and knocking out all the remaining pins in the following shot results in what has called a spare. If you get a spare, you’re being given an extra shot, and the score of that shot will be added to your current 10 in the frame and recorded as the score in that frame. Spares are more common than strikes, but still, proper practice and skill are required to get a spare.

Open Frame

If you are unable to get a strike or a spare in a single frame, then you are going to encounter an open frame. This means that you could not get all the pins knocked, and there are still a few remaining standing pins. In that case, the total score of that particular frame will be equal to the number of pins you knocked down in that frame. In the beginning, you are going to encounter more open frames than spares and strikes, but a player only learns with practice.

Read an in-depth article on the topic here: What is a Frame in Bowling?

How to score in Bowling

I will take you through a few conditions of bowling to get you on the right scoring track. Let us say you get a strike in the first shot of a frame; then you will get two more chances. If you score two more strikes, you will get 30 in that frame, which is the maximum you can get in one frame.

If you got a spare in the next two shots, you would get 20 points in that frame. In addition, the next frame will include the score of another shot after the spare. If, however, you get an open frame, you will get the points of that open frame and 10 of the strike in the previous frame. Moreover, the current frame will record the score of only the open frame played. This is how the scoring works in a game of ten-pin bowling.

I hope you get the general idea of how bowling is scored.


Scoring in a bowling game might seem difficult at the start, but I am sure once you read this guide, you are going to learn all there is about bowling scoring methods. So, experience bowling with your loved ones and have an incredible time at the alley.

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