Wheatsheaf Pétanque Club

Llanhennock, Nr Caerleon

Here are a few basic pointers on how to play the game...

Petanque is an easy game to play and  learn. The game can be played between 2 single players, or between teams of 2 (doubles) or 3 (triples). Each player has 3 boules, or 2 boules f playng triples.


Toss a coin to decide who starts. The winners (Team A) draw a cricle to stand in and then throw the wooden jack. It should land between 6 and 10 metres from the circle.

A member from Team A now throws a boule, trying to get near to the wooden jack. A member from Team B then throws a boule, the aim is to try to get closer to the jack than Team A.

If Team B succeed in getting closer then they are deemed to be 'holding'. It is now Team A's turn to try to beat it. If Team B do not succeed in getting closer, they must contnue to throw their boule until they do.

Play continutes this way, with the team NOT 'holding' the jack trying to beat the nearest boule.

If the team who are 'holding' the jack have boules left when the opposing team have run out, they then throw the remaning boule to try to gain extra points.


When all the boules have been thrown, the points are counted. The winning team scores as many points as they have boules closer to the jack then their opponents. A maximun score of 6 per 'end'. The winner of the game is the first team to score 13.

Continuing Play:

  • The team that wins the end throws the jack and the first boule in the following 'end'. The circle should be drawn around where the jack fnishes up in the previous 'end', makng play alternate from one end of the piste to another.
  • Additional Rules or Things To Know...
  • You can 'bomb' or 'shoot' a boule out of the way. This is a useful tactic to get rid of a boule near the jack.
  • If you measure 2 boules and they are the same distance from the jack, each team must take it in turms to play the next boule until one of the is closer. Then normal play resumes.
  • Pétanque is usually played within a defined area - marked by boards or strings. If a boule hits a board or goes fully over the string, then it is deemed 'dead' and has to be removed from the game.
  • If the jack is knocked over the string or touches the boards, it is also deemed to be 'dead'. In this scenario, if both teams have boules left to throw, then the whole end must restart and no score is given. If only 1 team has boule left, then that team scores the number of boules they have left.

The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy it!!