Here are the basic rules of bowling:
Each game is ten frames long.
Each frame you are tasked with knocking down ten pins in either one or two attempts otherwise known as shots.
If you knock all ten pins down on the first shot of a frame it’s called a strike.
If you use both shots to knock all ten pins down it’s called a spare.
If you use both shots but don’t knock all the pins down then that is called an open.
When you get a spare or a strike in any single frame you get to add points to that frame based on your next shot in the case of a spare, or your next two shots in the case of a strike.
A frame where you get an open you can accumulate anywhere between 0 and 9 points depending on how many pins you knock down.
For a frame with a spare you you can accumulate anywhere between 10 and 20 pins depending on the shot that immediately follows the frame with the spare.
For a frame that you strike in you can accumulate anywhere between 10 and 30 pins depending on the pin count of your next two shots combined.
The scoring system used in bowling puts an emphasis on streaks of good shots. If you consistently throw good shots you will score better than if you make some great shots and some bad shots every game.
It is possible to throw 5-6 strikes a game and score in below 100 and conversely it is possible to throw 5-6 strikes a game and have a score that approaches 250.
When you put all the strikes next to each other and spare the other frames you will maximize your score.
In contrast, striking occasionally and getting opens in your other frames will greatly hurt your final score.
Scoring of bowling can be tricky to learn for the newest of bowlers but once you get the hang of it it makes total sense. There are however other rules to contend with, perhaps of lesser importance to the casual bowler.
Before we get into those most common rules other than scoring let’s me take a section of this page to point you to other pages on this site that cover some super common questions posed about the game.