Pétanque game rules

Pétanque boules are available to collect from Actons & Sons Restaurant adjacent to the court from 12 noon – 9pm, Tuesday – Saturday only ( 17 Brunswick St, Belfast BT2 7GE) upon presentation of a fully refundable £10 deposit. Outside of these times you will need to bring your own Boules set.

* Linen Quarter BID can provide a set number of Boules sets to levy paying workplaces in the Linen Quarter District, so that employs can enjoy the court outside of the above times. Email stephen@linenquarter.org to enquire.  

Game Rules:

The aim of the French Boules game is to throw the heavy metal balls (boules) and position them as close to the small Jack as you can.

  • French Boules can be played by two singles playing each other, or two teams consisting of two or three players each. In singles, each player has three boules, in doubles, each player has three boules and for triples, each player has just two boules.
  • To initiate the game, select or draw a player to start. This player then throws the jack onto the pitch, which must land at least half a metre away from the edges of the pitch.
  • To play, a player must step onto the pitch and keep both feet on the ground when throwing their boule(s). Boules are thrown out of the back of your hand.
  • Each player throws boules until that player runs out of boules or throws a boule that is best boule (nearest to the jack). Note that the first player therefore always throws just one boule before retiring from the pitch.
  • Once a player achieves best boule, the next player on the opponents team plays in the same way. When a player runs out of boules without achieving best boule, the next player in the same team takes over. When all the players in a team run out of boules, the opposing team finishes the leg by playing all their remaining boules in an effort to increase their score.

Scoring – the winner of the leg scores one point for each boule that is closer to the jack than the opponent’s best boule. The team that reaches 13 points first, wins.

Video of Pétanque Rules