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Circle Marbles Games

From the The Great American Marble Book on circle games:

Big ring

A circle from three to six feet in diameter is drawn in the dirt. Then one player collects from all of the others the agreed-upon stake (usually three to five marbles each), puts them all in one cupped hand, and then quickly drops his hand awat, letting the marbles fall helter-skelter into the circle. Players shoot from the edge of the ring, the aim being to hit the target marbles out of the ring while their shooter remains inside the ring. In this game shooters are permitted to raise their shooting hands one hand-length off the ground when they knuckle-shoot. This creates "English" and helps shooters "stick" in the ring. "Roundsters" is permitted, that is, players under this procedure may move about the perimeter of the ring -- as long as their distance to the edge remains the same -- to get a better shooting position.

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Little Ring

One of those rare games that involves both a bowler and a shooter; blasting power and shooting skill. A small ring, about the size of a large diameter plate, is drawn in the dirt. Players put "two up" or "three up" or more into the circle, then bowl large-size marbles or steelies at the circle. There's a double objective: to knock out marbles (which one then keeps), to end up close to the ring, but not in it, so you can be the first shooter.

Once the bowling is finished, players switch to their shooters, usually aggies, and begin to go after marbles in the ring. In this game the skill lies in the glancing shot, for if your shooter remains in the ring, you are forced to return the marbles you shot out, are penalized two or more marbles (which are placed in the ring) and have to start from scratch by bowling again. A most frustrating game.

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Poison ring

In this Australian game, a concave hole is dug into the ground with a twist of the heel. This becomes the "Poison" and into it, each player puts his agreed-upon ante. Around this hole a circle is drawn which is called the "Ring."

Players bowl to see who comes closest to the ring and goes first. After this the emphasis is on shooting ability. A player must shoot a marble out of the ring, and his shooter must also leave the ring, or he has to give all of his winnings back to the "poison" pot. If he has no winnings he must pay a penalty of one or marbles. If he succeeds in both knocking a marble out and getting his shooter out, he becomes "poison" and can shoot at, and eliminate, other players. Only for the finest shooters.

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Song: "Dueling Banjos"