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SHUFFLE-BOARD, or Shovel-Board (originally "shoveboard"), a game in which wood or metal disks are "shoved" by the hand or with an implement so that they shall come to a stop on or within certain lines or compartments marked on the "board" - a table or a floor. It was formerly very popular in England, especially with the aristocracy, under the names shove-groat, slide-groat and shovel-penny, being mentioned as early as the 15th century. It was a favourite pastime at the great country houses, some of the boards having been of exquisite workmanship. That at Chartley Hall in Staffordshire was over 30 ft. long and was made up of 260 pieces. Shuffleboard enjoys considerable vogue in the United States, the board being from 28 to 30 ft. long and from 18 to 20 in. wide, of pine, poplar or white wood, with a gutter 42 in. wide extending entirely round the board. The surface is slightly sanded and sometimes oiled. About 5 in. from each end of the board is drawn a line called the deuce line. Each side, whether composed of two or four persons, used four disks of polished brass or iron, generally about 2 in. in diameter and 2 in. thick. When two persons play they shove first from one end of the board and then from the other; but when four play one of each side remains permanently at each end. The disks, four of which are marked A and four B, are shoved alternately by each side. A disk resting between the deuce line and the end of the board is in and scores two. One protruding over the end sufficiently to be lifted by the finger is called a ship and counts three. A disk resting on the board but not crossing the line counts one. In scoring only the best of the eight disks counts, unless one side has two that are better than any of their opponents', in which case both count. The side first scoring 21 points wins.
A variety of shuffle-board is very popular as a deck game on board steamers and yachts. It is played by pushing wooden disks by means of crutch-shaped cues, or shovels, into which the disks fit, so that they come to a stop within the lines of a large rectangle drawn with chalk on the deck and divided into squares numbered from 1 to 10 with an extra square nearest the player, numbered -10. The game is usually 21 points.
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