What are the rules?

The beauty of Pétanque is that the basic rules are simple:

The game is played by two teams of one, two or three players. There must not be more than 12 boules on the ground. In teams of one and two, each player has three boules, in teams of three each player has two boules.

The first team to play is chosen by tossing a coin. Any player in this team chooses the starting place and draws a circle on the ground in which to stand. The circle should be between 35cm and 50cm across.

The same player now throws the jack between 6m and 10m away and not nearer than 1m from any obstacle (wall, tree etc). Both of the thrower’s feet must remain on the ground and inside the circle until the jack has reached the ground.

Any player from this team then throws the first boule trying to place it as near as possible to the jack. The thrower’s feet must again remain on the ground within the circle until the boule has landed.

A player in the second team comes into the circle and tries to throw his/her boule even nearer to the jack or knock away the leading boule placed there by their opponents. The boule nearest to the jack leads.

The it is up to a player in the team not leading to throw until his/her team gets a leading boule. If this happens, then a player from the opposing team takes his/her turn to throw. When a team has no more boules, the players of the other team throw their remaining boules and try to place them as close as possible to the jack.

When the two teams have no more boules, the points are counted. The winning team gets as many points as it has boules closer to the jack than the nearest of their opponents.

An end is over when both teams have thrown all their boules. A new end is started by a player of the team which won the previous end, who throws the jack from the point where the previous end finished. A new circle is drawn and the game proceeds as before. The game finishes when one team reaches 13 points.