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Bowling Your First 200 Game

If you are slowly progressing in the game or just now learning to bowl and record scores, bowling your first 200 game is high on your list.

Learning to bowl a 200 or high game score requires some knowledge of the scoring system and what you should realistically expect to have to accomplish each frame.

Specifically, getting spares, strikes, and filling frames is the objective.

Since automatic scorers record each frame and game results, new bowlers tend to not learn how to keep score. It is highly recommended you learn the scoring system because therein is the secret to attaining 200 plus scores and what you must do on a given game to achieve this scoring goal.

Here are some keys of the global bowling scoring system pertaining to strikes and spares:

A 200 game score may be accomplished by bowling only two strikes during an entire game. If a bowler gets all nine pin counts and one "double" (two consecutive strikes) during the first eleven frames, then a 200 will be reached. This is a guaranteed way of rolling a 200 plus score.

Another way of bowling a 200 score is to cover any open frame with a combination of two doubles or one "triple" (three consecutive strikes during the first eleven frames) and by getting mostly nine pin counts in non-strike frames.

As a rule of thumb, for every open frame recorded, you must get a minimum of a double to cover-up the loss in scoring from the open frame and another double to gety back on track to record a 200 plus game score.

Maintaining good pin count on the first ball delivery when not rolling a strike is also essential to attaining a 200 game score.

If too many smaller pin counts on first ball deliveries, such as 6 or 7 pins, are recorded, you may need to record an additional double or three bagger (three consecutive strikes in the 1st eleven frames) if no open frames are recorded.

The old term of "Dutch 200" refers to a 200 game score where no doubles or triples (or higher strings of strikes) are recorded.


The "Dutch 200" game consists of alternating spares and strikes in consecutive frames, including in the tenth and eleventh frames. The score adds up each advancing frame by exactly 20 pins per frame for the ten frames of recorded scoring yielding the 200 game score.

No games higher than 200 may be attained unless strikes are stringed together in multiples of two or greater and based upon filling each frame with spares and good first-ball pin counts.

It certainly is a major help to understand the scoring system. In doing so, you will know what you must do as you progress through the frames of each game to get on track to a 200 plus score.