Pool, darts, cards… all your pub favourites better watch out, there’s a new game in town and it’s shuffling its way onto the scene pretty quickly. Yes, that’s right, shuffleboard is the old school game having a comeback.
Have absolutely no idea what it is? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Originally Henry VIII’s pastime, the game essentially involves using cues or hands to push coloured discs into a marked scoring area. But it’s not that easy – players gently (or not so gently) knock each other off the board to try and gain the most points. Add to this cocktails and lots of food and you’ve got yourself a cracking night out. Don’t know where to go? Luckily for you, we know all the spots in London to practise your skills. Get started now to stay ahead of the game.
If there’s anywhere you should do shuffleboard, that’s at Electric Shuffle. It’s a bar that blends beautiful decor with fast-paced shuffleboard in the heart of London Bridge. Nestled on Bermondsey Street, you can expect fabulous cocktails and a reimagined version of the classic game. Their tables have been designed for teams of up to 16 through a series of different immersive challenges. For the best experience, book a 90-minute slot for £10 per person or if that’s not your thing, just pop in for a drink and watch the shuffleboard magic happen. Head there on Thursday to Sunday and you can turn it into bottomless brunch with live music and comedy. What more could you want?
Where: 10 Bermondsey Street, London Bridge, SE1 2ER
Gravity Southside Wandsworth
The talk of the town in Wandsworth at the moment is new neighbour Gravity. All the locals are twitching their curtains and pressing their noses to the window to see if it’ll be a success. Judging by the popularity of shuffleboard these days, we think it’ll do just fine.
Set over three floors and 100,000 sq ft this is a gargantuan venue that can cater for up to 1,000 people. What’s more, they have AR shuffleboard, which they dub as “an electrifying game of chance and skill”. We have no idea what AR shuffleboard involves but it sounds a lot cooler than the shuffleboard you imagine Henry VIII playing.
And once you’ve had a go at that, they have plenty to keep you entertained. There’s electric go-karting, a 14-lane bowling alley, urban street golf, digital darts and an arcade.
Where: Wandsworth High Street, SW18 4TF
London Shuffleboard Club
Those East London hipsters are always the first to get on the trends aren’t they? So this article would be nothing without a Shoreditch venue to add to the list. London Shuffleboard Club is the home of shuffling. They divide their game offering into two.
First, there’s Lane Shuffle. This was apparently originally played on the decks of transatlantic cruise ships. The game sees two teams of players use long sticks called ‘tangs’ to push discs called ‘biscuits’ along a narrow lane into a scoring triangle at the other end. However, land in ‘the kitchen’ and you automatically lose 10 points. Touch a line and the points don’t count. Land in the ‘dead zone’ and your biscuit must be removed. I know, biscuit stealing is simply unacceptable.
Then there’s table shuffle. This apparently dates back to the 15th century, when players used to slide a silver penny along a table – hence the term ‘shove ha’penny’. The London Shuffleboard Club’s version sees two teams of players sliding weighted pucks along a 16ft long ‘classic’ table into the scoring zone at the other end. Players can score a 1-4 with every shot or gain a 5 for the ultimate ‘hanger’ shot.
They have some great places to do it outside too, for when it’s sunny (or with heaters for when it’s colder). So form an orderly ‘cue’ (geddit?!) and get practising!
Where: 4 Ebor Street, Shoreditch, E1 6AW
East London hipsters are always the first to get on trends aren't they? So this article would be nothing without a Shoreditch venue to add to the list.
Burdock & The Hat and Tun
Part of the same pub group, Burdock and Hat and Tun offer good pub fare, decent pints and… you guessed it… shuffleboard.
They’re the perfect pitstops after a long day in the office. Group together some colleagues and form two teams (if everyone is WFH then you can do it with just one other person), then get shuffling.
For those who don’t know the rules, they break it down nice and simply for you. There needs to be one player from each team on each end of board. A coin toss at the start helps you decide which colour you’ll be and who shoots first (remember here, that the second shoot has the advantage).
To score points, the puck must be fully in the score zone and the puck furthest down the board is the winner of the round. You can only gain points if you win the round and you can only gather points from pucks that are ahead of your opponents. So there you have it… good luck!
Brewdog Tower Hill
Brewdog knows how to make shuffleboarding cool – just add a microbrewery into the mix and everyone will come running… or shuffling. They have a dedicated gaming area, complete with shuffleboard tables, arcade machines and graffiti (cos that’s really cool). There’s loads of seating for those who just want to chill with a beer and there’s a microbrewery that creates beers onsite. Book in for a tasting and tour before you commence shuffleboard battle.
Where: 21 Great Tower Street, Tower Hill, EC3R 5AR
Spit & Sawdust
An outdoor terrace, craft beers, a Friday night disco, quiz nights – you name it, Spit & Sawdust host it. So naturally, they’ve added a table shuffleboard to their offering. Push metal-and-plastic weighted pucks down the long and smooth wooden table to gain points and demolish your opponents. And if you lose, you can sit in a huff with a pint of Mad Squirrel.
Where: 21 Bartholomew Street, Elephant & Castle, SE1 4AL
Nine Lives is adding something completely new to the mix. Their shuffleboard comes with a side of Tigre Tacos. The seasonal and sustainable seafood tacos provide the perfect snack as you whack peoples pucks out the way. The menu is created by chef ‘El Tigre’ of Guadalajara, Mexico, who serves up authentic flavours. The tacos are handed out from a taco truck for you to enjoy with a spritz, al-fresco style.
Where: 8 Holyrood Street, London Bridge, SE1 2EL