Marble Games - TeacherTube

Marble Games
 In Early America these games helped
children learn skills that they would need
later in life as a farmers and parents.
Games taught children how to aim and
throw, how to solve problems and do things
with their hands, and how to follow
directions and rules. They also leaned to be
fair, to wait their turn and to use their
Board Games
 Some of the board games that settlers
played had been around for centuries.
Chess, Checkers, and backgammon are
examples of old favorites, but many new
games were also created in the 1800’s.
Some helped players learn about history,
geography, and science. Others taught
children the value of working hard and
behaving well.
 The history of marbles dates back to at
least 3,000 years ago in ancient Egypt
and Rome.
The Roman poet Ovid wrote of the
game of marbles.
The oldest marbles found so far were
buried with an Egyptian child at
Marbles from Crete date back to 20001705 B.C. and are in the British
Marbles have also been found in
ancient Native American earthen
During the reign of Elizabeth I,
tradition has it that a game of marbles
was played to win the hand of a
 The word "marble" was not used to
represent the round toy ball made
from various stones until 1694 in
England. It was then that marble
stone was being used for the toy and
was being imported from Germany.
Before this time, the English
adopted the Dutch word "knikkers"
for marbles. The word "knikker"
was used by New York City
children well into the 19th century.
Marbles were made of…
 The earliest marbles were made of flint,
stone, and baked clay. For centuries
afterward, marbles were made of stone
and sometimes real marble. Glass
marbles were made in Venice, Italy, and
later, around 1800, china and crockery
marbles were introduced. A glassblower
invented a tool called the "marble
scissors" in 1846 that allowed a larger
production of glass marbles. Clay
marbles began being produced in large
quantities around 1870. Children in
colonial America played with marbles
made of clay which have been
uncovered at a wide variety of
eighteenth century sites.
Manufactured Marbles
 During the 1890s, the first machines to
manufacture glass marbles were
introduced. Martin F. Christensen
invented the revolutionary glass
marble-making machine in 1902, and
his glass marble company produced
over a million marbles each month.
Horace Hill founded a company named
the Akro Agate Company and moved it
from Akron, Ohio, to Clarksburg, West
Virginia, because natural gas and sand
were more abundant in that area. By
1920, the Akro Agate Company was
the largest marble producer in the
Marbles Games Two Types
 Marble games can be divided into two types: the games in
which a player tries to knock his opponent's marbles with
his own (and win the marbles), and the games in which a
player tries to hit a target or roll the opponent's marble
through a hoop or into a hole.
 There are specific ways to play marbles and to hold what is
called the "shooter marble," which is a larger than the
regular playing marbles. One method of shooting is called
"knuckling"; and another way is called "fulking." One can
also roll or flick the marble until these other two methods
are learned.
Marble Terminology
 Shooter -- taw
Alleys -- marbles once made of
Flints -- marble that look like
Cloudies -- marbles that look
 Marbles are definitely a part of
America's heritage. They have
been a popular American game
from Colonial times to the
present. Norman Rockwell
painted a wonderful picture
called "Marbles Champ," which
features a little girl winning the
marbles of two forlorn boys.
Shooting Marbles
 To shoot a marble, point your hand
down and curl your fingers in your
palm. Tuck your thumb behind
your index finger. Place the
marble between your thumb and
finger and “knuckle down,” or rest
the knuckle in your index finger on
the ground. Flick out your thumb
to shoot the marble. Some games
require players to use a slightly
larger marble for shooting and
hitting an opponents marbles.
Ring Taw
 The most popular marble game in settler times.
To play draw a large ring on the ground. Draw a
smaller circle inside it and place several small
marbles, called nibs, in a circle. The players
crouch outside the large ring. From there each
player takes a turn flicking a large marble called a
shooter, into the circle. The goal is to knock all of
the marbles out of the circle. Each player keeps
the marbles he or she knocks out. The winner is
the player with the most marbles.
Boss Out
 First player shoots one marble. Second player tries to hit
the first player's marble. If he or she hits it, he or she
collects both marbles. If the two marbles are close enough,
he or she can attempt to 'span' them. He places his or her
thumb on his or her own marble and his or her index finger
on his or her opponent's marble. He then draws his or her
hand up while bringing his or her fingers together. If the
two marbles hit, he or she collects both marbles. If he or
she misses, the first player may shoot at either marble on
the field. If a player collects the last marble on the field, he
or she must shoot a marble for the next player to shoot at.
 A board with nine cutouts along one edge is
propped up on that edge to form nine archways.
The numbers 6, 2, 3, 1, 5, 8, 7, 9, 4 are painted
over the arches, one number over each arch.
Players try to shoot through the holes and win the
number of marbles indicated by the number above
the hole. Any marbles which miss become the
property of the board owner. The board may also
be used to play NINE HOLES.
Bun Hole
 A one-foot wide hole is dug in the center of
the playing field. Players attempt to get a
marble as close as possible to the hole
without going in. Whoever's marble comes
closest without going in wins a marble from
each player. Knocking in your opponent's
marble is permitted.
Cherry Pit
 This is the reverse of RING TAW. A one-foot wide
hole is dug in the center of a ten-foot circle. Each
player places a number of marbles around the hole
so that there is about a dozen marbles surrounding
the hole. Players take turns trying to knock
marbles into the hole. Like Ring Taw, as long as
marbles are knocked into the hole and the taw
remains in the ring, players may continue to shoot.
If a taw goes into the hole, the owner must forfeit
a number of marbles and place them around the
hole to 'buy back' his or her shooter.
 Both players try to shoot their taws into a one-foot hole. If both taws
go in, players start over. If one player's marble goes in and the other
player's marble doesn't, the player whose marble went in scores ten
points. If neither player's marble goes in, the first player now tries to
hit the second player's marble. If he or she hits it, he or she earns ten
points and another chance to shoot his or her marble into the hole for
ten points. If he or she misses either his or her opponent's marble or the
hole, the second player tries to hit the first player's marble for ten
points and another try at shooting his or her marble into the hole for
ten points. Whenever a marble goes into the hole, both players start
over from the starting line, otherwise all shots are made from wherever
the marble stopped rolling. First player to reach one hundred points
Nine Holes
 This name is given to two different marble games. The first
game is Miniature Golf played with marbles. Players
construct a miniature golf course from materials at hand
and take turns shooting their marbles around, through, and
over the obstacles they've built. First player to complete
nine holes wins.
 The second version of the game is played with a
bridgeboard. Players take turns shooting their marbles
through the arches in numerical order. Arches that are shot
through out of sequence don't count. A successful shoot
through the correct arch entitles the shooter to an
additional turn. First player to send his or her marble
through all nine holes in the correct order wins.
This is superior to any other game with marbles. It differs from "Ring-taw" in the following particulars: - If,
previously to any marble or shot being struck out of the ring or pound, the taw of one of the players be struck by the
taw of another, (except that of his partner,) or in the case he shoot his taw within the pound, in either case, he puts a
shot in the ring, and before either of the others play, shoots from the offing and continues in the game; but if the first
of these events occurs after one or more shots have been struck out of the pound, if he have previously, during the
game obtained any shots himself, he hands them over to the party who has struck him, and also puts a shot in as
before, previously to his shooting from the offing; but if he have previously obtained no shots during the game, he is
put out of the game entirely, or "killed," by his taw being so struck: and again, if after a shot or shots having been
struck out of the pound, his taw get within it, (on the line is nothing) he puts in shots, if he have obtained any, with an
additional one, into the pound, and shoots from the offing; but if he have not obtained a shot or shots after his taw so
remains within the ring, "or gets fat," as it is called, he is "killed," and stands out for the remainder of the game. When
there is only one marble left in the ring, the taw may then remain inside it, without being "fat" at this game. The
players seldom put more than one marble each in the ring at first. (Clarke, 12)
This game is played with a minimum of two teams of two players. It is set up and played like Ring-taw with the
following additions to the rules. Only one marble per player is placed in the ring to begin the game. All players have
extra marbles to be used to add to the ring. Before any of the marbles have been struck out of the ring, if a player
strikes an opponent's taw or fails to send his own taw out of the ring, that player is not out, but must put one marble in
the ring. When it is his turn again, he shoots from the offing, rather than where the taw landed. Once the first marble
is shot out of the ring, the rules change. If a player's taw is struck by an opponent's, the player who is struck must put
one marble in the ring, and give all the rest of his marbles he has won to the player who struck him. At his next turn
he must start again by shooting from the offing. If the person who has been struck has no marbles to give to the ring
and the opponent, he is out of the game. If a player's taw remains in the ring after a shot, he must put all the marbles
he has won plus one of his extra marbles into the ring and shoot from the offing when his turn comes. Again, if he has
no marbles, he is out of the game. When there is only one marble left in the ring, the taws may remain in the ring
without penalty. The winner is the team with the most marbles.