Rules of Pichenotte – Beginner and Advanced

Rules Board Diagram | Pichenotte Games

1 through 9

1) Begin with board and ditch cleared of pucks and each player having the same number of pucks “in hand”.
Typically 12 pucks each for singles and 6 pucks each for doubles. Each player or doubles team uses one color of puck.

2) Players alternate turns, shooting one puck at a time. The pace of play is determined by the complexity of the shot.
There is no need to rush. After all the pucks are shot, THEN the score is tallied.

3) To shoot, place puck flat on the board touching your “baseline” (outermost circle between “hash marks”).
Strike the puck from the side, with a flicking motion of your finger while hand does not move. You are not allowed to “push” it.

4) If any opponent’s puck is on the board, the shooter has two options:
           A) One of your pucks must make contact with an opponent’s puck, OR
           B) You can “Call a Twenty” (and try to sink it in the center hole)

If either objective is not made, the shooter’s puck is IMMEDIATELY removed to the ditch. Pucks in the ditch are zero points, and not played again. If a “Twenty” is made, it is always put on the rail, and counted for 20 points, which you cannot lose.

 5) The ” Free Shot ”.  If no opponent’s pucks are on the board while shooting, the shooter may shoot anywhere,
and his puck remains on the board, unless his puck goes in the “Twenty” Hole, in which case it is removed and put on the rail, and counted for 20 points at the end of the game.

6) High score wins the round; scoring as follows:

5 points………pucks resting in outermost circle
10 points………pucks resting in circle just outside “posts”
15 points……pucks resting in circle just inside “posts”
20 points………pucks having dropped in center hole

7) During play, pucks that drop into the center hole are IMMEDIATELY removed and place on the “rail” of the board until counted at the round’s end. These are known as “TWENTIES”.

8) Pucks touching a “line” are deemed to be in the lower-score zone.
Pucks touching the outermost line are IMMEDIATELY removed to the ditch after the shot.

9) A typical Pichenotte match is played until one player or doubles team has won four out of seven rounds.
A “half” point is scored for all players or both doubles teams when rounds end in a tie.

SANTA FE, NM – 8/31/2018

Rules Board Diagram | Pichenotte Games





1) Shoot from any comfortable position. You may stand or move your chair to get in place.
2) Use a bubble level and wedges to level the board
3) Summon a referee to clarify issues, or if you need help in any way.
4) Use a flashlight to resolve ‘close-to-the-line’ issues.
5) Spray wax may be used before any game, but not during a game.
Avoid silicon based waxes because the abrasive in such products will damage the surface over time.
(Best choices: Guardsman or Formby’s).


a) No mobile device use during play. Penalty: forfeit game.
b) Remove any jewelry that may damage the gameboard during play.
c) Do not move the gameboard, unless it has been accidentally moved. Penalty: forfeit the game.
d) No banging on the board with pucks or hands.
e) Do not place pucks or hands on the board while opponent is shooting.
f) No waving, shouting or any other activity that may distract opponent.
g) No ‘do-overs’. Once a puck leaves your finger, a shot has been made.

R-1) Deciding who will shoot first:
Any common method such as coin toss, or choosing a hand with a hidden puck.
The winner chooses to play first or second.The first shooter in each game is called The Breaker.
The last shot in each game is called The Hammer.

R-2) Rotation of Play:
Singles: After the Breaker has been determined alternate back and forth, until all pucks have been played.
The player with The Hammer is the Breaker of the next game.

Doubles: After the Breaker has been determined play is clockwise.
The next shooter is the person sitting clockwise from the person who last shot.
The next Breaker is the person sitting clockwise to the previous Breaker.

R-3) Shooting Zone:
Puck must touch the baseline. Puck may touch, but not go beyond, either quadrant line.

R-4) Regulation Shot:
Puck must be placed flat on the board in your shooting zone. The puck must be struck from the side, using a flicking motion with any finger.
Puck may not be struck from the top nor pushed with a forward movement of the hand

R-5) Scoring Lines.
A puck must be completely within a scoring zone to be valued at that score. Any puck touching a line is valued at the lower score.
The baseline is out of bounds. After a shot is completed, any puck touching the baseline is removed to the Ditch.
Look at the bottom of the puck to determine if it is touching.
If there is space between the line and the puck, it is not touching, if there is no space, it is.

R-6) In a close line call, both players must AGREE whether a Puck is ON or OFF.

R-7) Removing a contested puck early: forfeit the game.




One of your pucks must make contact with one of your opponent’s pucks.
If not, the shooting puck is removed



If you “Call a Twenty”, any one of your pucks must land flat in the Center Hole.
If you fail to make a twenty, but your shooting puck remains on the board, your opponent has the option
to either leave your shooting puck on the board, OR remove that puck to the Ditch.

<This new and unique ‘Santa Fe’ rule increases the risk of ‘calling a twenty’. Sometimes it will be to your opponent’s advantage to
leave the puck on the board; For example, he/she may be able to use it as a ‘backboard’ to score a ‘twenty’.
Other times, it will be to his/her advantage to remove the puck. >


This is called a “Free Shot”.
The player may shoot anywhere on the table provided that the puck rests in the 10-point zone, or beyond; or causes another of your pucks to do so.
If not, the shooting puck is removed to the ditch. If it lands flat in the center hole, the puck is removed to the rail or a ‘twenty’.holder.

R-10) ‘REBOUNDS’ and ‘DAMAGE’:

Pucks shot off the playing surface sometimes rebound back onto it. Remove those pucks to the ditch.
If a rebounding puck lands in the Twenty, or hits another puck into the twenty:
R-10-A) It will count for 20 if it is the opponent’s puck
R-10-B) It will not count for 20 if it is your own puck
Any “Damage” that is caused by pucks bouncing back onto the board, except a ‘twenty’ for the shooter, will stand,
but the rebounding puck is always removed to the ditch.

R-10-C) If a puck flies completely off the board during play, it must be retrieved and placed in the ditch before the next shot is played.
If a shot is made while the puck is being retrieved, that shooter forfeits the game

R-11) SCORING – at end of each game

R-11-A) Do not remove any pucks from the game board until both players agree to the score.

20 points for each displayed twenty (pucks that went in the center hole during the game)
15 points for the circle inside the posts.
10 points for the middle circle.
5 points for the outermost circle.
0 points for pucks in the Ditch.

Rare, but possible points:
– A puck leaning against a post, touching the board, count as 25 points.

– A puck resting entirely on top of the post, counts as 50 points.


A-1) All “Twenties” must be displayed on the top of any rail or in a ‘twenty holder’.
Failure to display: they count for zero points at the end of the game.

A-2) Pucks must NOT be removed to the Ditch until they come to a complete STOP.
If a player touches a puck before it stops moving, the penalty is loss of 20 points.

A-3) Once a puck is in the ditch, it may NOT be removed from the ditch until the round is over.

A-4) If a puck stands vertically, OR at an angle, in the Center Hole, it does not count for 20, but treated
as ‘in the 15’ like any other puck ‘in the 15’.

A-5) At the end of the match, both players/teams must agree as to the score, and you both are responsible
for accurately reporting the score to the ‘official’ scorekeeper for the evening.




Rules by David Victor Lagasse and Jeremy Parfitt
Santa Fe, New Mexico – 2018