Marble Banner

Circle Marbles Games

From the The Great American Marble Book on circle games:


In this game one player constructs a small pyramid -- actually a triangle flat on the ground -- out of his own marbles, then draws a circle about it. His opponent (this is a two-man game) shoots at the pyramid from a designated shooting line in much the same manner as a pool player "Breaks." He keeps any marble that rolls out of the ring and continues to shoot until he either misses or fails to shoot a marble from the ring.

His opponent then builds a pyramid with his marbles and the first builder becomes the shooter. This is billiards pure and simple.

* * *


In this marbles game, known as Fats in Australia, a football shape is drawn in the dirt, with a line connecting the two ends. Each player puts a marble on that line. Players attempt to knock the marbles off the line and out of the football. The game ends when all of the marbles are knocked out. The winner in this "for keeps" game is the one with the most marbles. The player who shoots closest to the football goes first. If his marble enters the football, he shoots again from the starting line. A Massachusetts variation uses the same figure without the center line and decrees that one's shooter is lost if it lands inside the enclosure.

* * *


There are just a few triangle games; two of them Killy and Three-Corner Killy, are from Australia, a third, Three-And-Your-Own, is from Toronto, Canada. The first two are simple shoot-marbles-out-of-a-shape games, but the third is rather interesting. Three marbles are set down at the corners of a triangle, and a shooter attempts to hit them off the corner and out of the triangle. If he succeeds, he wins them from the player who put up the marbles stake. If he misses he loses his shooter to the triangle-maker. The triangle-maker usually wins.

It is not uncommon for a boy to come to school several hours early to stake out a particularly rough and uneven piece of concrete on which to set up his triangle. Often locations would be sold for a certain number of marbles. For the more adventuresome, Four-And-Your-Own and even Five-And-Your-Own games were set up, though this was rare.

* * *

Corner the market

A "for keeps game. Each player puts a designated number of marbles in a square or a hexagon, drawn in the dirt. Often played with shooters, in which case skill is essential, but just as often played with oversized steelies or scaboulders with which the shooter simply bowls, attempting to wham the target marbles out of the drawn figure. With a good eye and a hot streak one could, in the words of the game, "corner the market" in immies in one's neighborhood. The steelies version has been favored by poorer shooters because of their blasting power.
* * *

Song: "Dueling Banjos"