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11 Bowling Terms For Strikes (Plus 5 Other Terms You Should Know)

There are many bowling terms for strikes. To be a professional bowler, you must know how to talk like one. Learning the game’s ins and outs will help you better understand how to interact with fellow players.

A strike is when you get all ten pins down in a single shot. When you get two strikes consecutively, this is called a “double,” When you get three strikes in a row, this is referred to as a “turkey.” On the other hand, when you get four or five in a row, this is referred to as a four or five-bagger.

What Is A Strike?

Strikes are made in bowling when all ten pins are knocked down from the first ball rolled in the frame. Each strike is recorded as an “X” on the scorecard.

Ten-pin bowling is a game of ten frames. If all of their pins have been knocked down on their first roll, they are called strikes. If they get a strike, the scoring is held until the next 2 throws. The total from that is added back to the strike frame. The frame’s score is computed at the end of the second roll.

A ball that strikes to the right side the first pin is considered to be at the ideal location for a right-handed release. This is between pins 1 and 3. For lefties, the ideal pocket is between pins 1 and 2. Although you can get strikes from other approaches, these are the most likely spots to knock down all 10 pins.

Terms For Strikes

  • Double
  • Turkey
  • Hambone (four bagger)
  • Yahtzee (five bagger)
  • Six Pack (six bagger)
  • Front Seven (seven bagger)
  • Front Eight (eight bagger)
  • Front Nine (nine bagger)
  • Front Ten ( ten bagger)
  • Front Eleven (eleven bagger)
  • Perfect Game

Double

It is one of the bowling terms for strikes. There are 20 points for the first frame plus the number of pins you knock down in the third frame. While on the 2nd frame, the scoring is similar to a strike.

Thus, each point scored for the next two balls doubles, and points scored for the succeeding ball tripled. If this roll is not a strike, the next ball is counted with double points.

Turkey

There should be 30 points in the first strike’s frame. It’s the same as scoring a double in the second frame and a strike in the third frame.

A bowler can get a turkey if they hit three strikes in a row. Prizes such as food baskets and live turkeys were given to the winners in tournaments during the 18th and 19th centuries.

In the past, tournament organizers would give away live turkeys to the bowler who threw three strikes in a row. It’s unclear why this practice started; nobody knows who created it.

Although the odds of getting a turkey are incredibly low today, the tradition remains. The word “turkey” is used to describe getting three strikes, and other terms have also been added to the bowling lexicon.

Baggers (4-11)

Since there are no traditional names for various types of strikes, fans, and bowlers have come up with their names for the entire set. However, some of these names are not widely recognized. For instance, the word “bagger” can describe a string of strikes, such as five in a row or ten in a row.

Hambone (Four Bagger)

One of the bowling terms for strikes is a “four-bagger.” It is the name for a bowler who gets four strikes in a row. It means they knock down ten pins in a row. Now you know what it means when someone says, “Hey, she just threw a turkey. Let’s see if she can get the 4-bagger”.

Yahtzee (Five Bagger)

Another bowling term is the “five bagger” aka “Yahtzee”. This is when someone bowls five strikes in a row. 

Six Pack

The Six pack bowling term is known as a six-bagger. We call it a six-pack when a person bowls six strikes in a row. 

Front 7,8,9, 10, and 11 (Bagger)

The 7,8,9, 10, and 11 baggers are when someone bowls these strikes in a row. These strikes are hard to obtain, but there are bowlers out there who can make these baggers.

Perfect Game

A perfect game is a bowler’s most likely achievement if they can get 300 points. To achieve this, you must bowl 12 strikes in a row in a single game. You need to get a strike in each frame of the first nine and three more in the last.

Other Terms For Strikes

There are more bowling terms for strikes. Rob Stone, an ESPN commentator, is credited with coining the term “four strikes a Hambone.” The phrase “rolling five in a row” is also referred to as a Brat, and “six strikes” is a variation of the term “Bratburger.” 

These are typically described as having six sausages in a package, while “wild turkey” refers to the idea that a bowler would rather have a dozen than six.

A seven-strike set is commonly referred to as a Ham-Turkey Dinner. An eight-strike set is called LPB, while a Golden Turkey is called “Gordie Howe.” Howe was a professional Canadian hockey player who wore the number nine and was the longest-playing NHL player to date, playing his last game at the age of 52.

Other Terms in Bowling

  • Spare: You may not knock down all 10 pins on your first roll. If you knock all remaining pins on second throw, you get a spare. It is a free bonus, and the score from the next shot is added to the total in the frame with the spare.
  • Miss or open: A gutter ball results in no pins being knocked down. If you roll a gutter ball on the first throw but then get all 10 down on the second, it is scored as a spare.
  • Open Frame: Anywhere from zero to 9 pins knocked down after both rolls. The pins hit are added to your score, but the next frame isn’t carried back and added, unlike with strikes or spares.
  • Pocket: For left-handed bowlers, the strike pocket is between the 1 and 2 pins, and for right-handed bowlers, it is between the 1 and 3 pins. You’ll get more strikes and a higher score when you consistently hit the pocket with the right speed and hook. You only have to get your ball to hit four pins.
  • Split: It can occur on the first ball when some pins are knocked down, but the remaining ones are gapped further apart than side by side.

Conclusion

Understanding the game will help you interact with others. A strike is a frame with all ten pins down. Two consecutive strikes are called a “double,” while three strikes in a row are dubbed a “turkey.” Five-baggers are four or five consecutive hits, and so on. 

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