If you ever wonder where ten-pin bowling, duckpin bowling, candlepin bowling (in the United States), and five-pin bowling descended, this sport will give you the answer. Skittles is an indoor pub game which originally started as a lawn game in Europe, and has shared ancestry with the outdoor lawn game known as bowls and is thus distantly related to billiard sports and eventually develops an inspiration for the ball-pin-alley. Though there are also local versions of the game found elsewhere, the above mentioned are the most common heard versions.
Skittles is usually played indoors using one or more heavy balls, which are usually spherical in shape and sometimes oblate, on a bowling alley. In this game, there would commonly be nine skittles (small bowling pins).
The main objective of the game is basically for the player to hit a specific one, or all of the skittles, depending on the game rules, since different regions have different specifications on the rules (and different pin names too).
Skittles game rule variants include:
- Front pin first - where the knocked pins can only be credited if it were knocked over by the first pin.
- Nomination - as the name suggests, this variant is for the player to nominate or choose the pin he is supposed to hit before he throws the ball.
- Four-pins - this variant allows only four pins as the target that must be hit by the first pin first.
- London Bridge - a sort of nomination with only the landlord and two copper set up.
- Killer or German skittles - this variant can be played by any number of player, each with 3 lives and loses one when misses.
- Six-ball Westbury - this variant too can be played by any number of people, each has 6 balls, and when knocks down all 9 pins with the 6 balls, they are reset.
- Tenpin bowling
- Candlepin bowling
- Five-pin bowling
- Duckpin bowling
- Finnish Skittles — opposing players take turns to knock down their opponent's skittles.