Skittles (Mölkky) Finnish Game: How to Play

Looking for something to do? Here's everything you need to know about playing a game of Finnish Skittles.

Skittles (Mölkky) Finnish Game: How to Play

Getting bored of your usual game? Here's a simple backyard game you can play that doesn't take a lot of practice, preparation or setup and can be fun for the whole family.

In each game set of Finnish Skittles, also known as Mölkky, you'll find 12 pins (numbered from 1 to 12) and the throwing skittle. 


The pins are placed in formation (see image below). In the first game, the throwing order is drawn randomly (you decide how to do that). In the following rounds, the throwing order follows the previous game results from lowest to highest score. Draw the throwing line 3-4 meters (10-13 feet) away from the pin formation.


Beginning the game:

The first player throws at the group of pins and tries to knock over pins. Always toss the skittle underhand.

Counting the fallen pins:

NOTE: a pin is not considered knocked down if it is leaning on another pin or on the Mölkky throwing skittle. After a throw, place the pins that have been knocked down upright in the place that they fell (so the formation will get wider as the game progresses).


If one pin falls, the score earned is the number on the pin. When more than one falls, the score equals the number of fallen pins (so if you knock down the "5", "3" and "8", your score would be 3 for that throw. If you knock down just the "5", your score would be 5.

Ending the game:

If a player misses the pins and doesn't get a score three times in a row, he/she is out of game and will be the scorekeeper. The game ends when the first player reaches exactly 40 points. If they score over 40, their score is lowered to 20 instead.  

Have fun playing! 

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