At Starbie, we’ve got a great collection of free online bowling games for you to enjoy. Bowling is a target sport that is also played recreationally. Ordinarily, you need a long wooden lane, a heavy ball with finger-holes, and other special equipment to play, but you can also enjoy these games online. Try our game The Bowling Club, for instance. Level up by winning matches, collect special balls, and compete against other players.
Variations on bowling
Since ancient times, people have played forms of bowling in which stones and other objects are used to knock over pins placed at a distance. These games have evolved into various games played all over the world today, such as bocce, kegel, skittles, pétanque, and lawn bowling. For more ball games, check out our golf and billiards pages as well.
How to play bowling
In ten-pin bowling, the most commonly played version of the game, your objective is to knock down all ten pins. The game is divided into ten frames. Within each frame, players get to roll their ball twice. If they knock over the pins in one go, this counts as a strike. You receive 10 points plus the score of your next frame. If you knock over the pins in two turns, you score a spare: 10 points plus the score of your next roll. The smooth wooden bowling lane is oiled and slippery, and players mustn’t cross the foul line.
Most bowling shoes you rent at the bowling alley are identical pairs, but did you know that professional bowling shoes aren’t? The sole of the sliding foot is made of a smooth material so that players can slide across the floor as they move into the release. Only the heel is made of rubber, for braking. The sole of the non-sliding foot, however, is made of rubber for greater control.
Bowling for kids
If your aim is off, the ball will end up in one of the gutters framing the lane. This is called a gutterball. To make recreational bowling more fun for small children, many bowling alleys will allow you to block the gutter with a special tube or beam. This will help keep the ball in play. (You can select this option in some of our games, too!)