Jaques League Table Skittles
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Jaques League Table Skittles is made from Mahogany with a Lignum Vitae heavyweight ball. A large robust 3 foot bar skittles game, it is suitable for pubs, clubs and other public areas as well as being a great addition to your games room. Also works brilliantly at fairs.
The game takes some skill to play well. The ball has to be swung around to the left of the pole so that as it swings smoothly back, it ploughs through the skittle pins. There are 3 tries per turn so that the maximum theoretical score is 27. In practice you've done well if you knock all nine pins down with 3 swings!
The table skittles plinth is free to be adjusted before play so that the ball is the correct distance from the skittles. The table skittles pole dismantles and pole and base pack flat into a box, with skittles being stored under the scoreboard.
Each Jaques League Table Skittles game is supplied with instructions and plastic scoring pegs.
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The Origin of Table Skittles
Skittles or Nine Pins as played on an alley is still one of the most popular pub games and is the ancestor of a number of games including ten-pin bowling. However, it does take up a lot of space and so it's no surprise that miniaturised versions of the pastime eventually started to appear.
Just like alley skittles itself, different miniaturised versions of the game are particular to certain regions of Britain - Hood skittles is popular in and around Northamptonshire whereas Daddlums has only ever been found in Kent. But the most popular and well known table-top version of Skittles pictured above, was invented sometime in the 18th century. Known variously as Table Skittles, Bar Skittles and Pub Skittles it also goes by the name "Devil amongst the Tailors". The latter name came about in the year 1783 during which the Theatre Royal, Haymarket ran a play that, for some reason, offended the tailoring profession so much that a group of tailors and theatre-goers rioted at the theatre one day. This upset caused the Dragoons to be summoned to restore public order and, upon arrival, the Dragoons were reported to have ploughed through the rioting tailors like a wooden ball through table skittles. And the game has been known as "Devil amongst the Tailors" ever since.
To prepare each nine miniature pins are positioned on a small platform within the square game board. In the corner of the board, stands a pole with a ball suspended by a chain from its top. The ball is swung around the pole in such a way that upon its return, it ploughs through nine skittles on a platform. Aside from the equipment and the location on a table top, the rules are pretty much the same as skittles with the maximum theoretical score in one turn being 27 points. As with several pub games, scoring is often performed on a cribbage board.
You can learn more about the History of Table Skittles from The Online Guide to Traditional Games