Shove-Groat-art – 6/19/06


“Shove Groat” by THL Dagonell Collingwood of Emerald Lake.


NOTE: See also these files: games-msg, games-cards-msg, sports-msg, Football-art, Curling-art, wintr-sports-lnks, Horseshoes-art, taverns-msg, Dwyle-Flonkng-art.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at:


Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at



NOTE – This article was first published in the October 2005 issue of “Ice Dragon” the newsletter for the Barony of Rhydderich Hael.


Shove Groat

By THL Dagonell


Shove Groat is a gambling game Vikings played on long sea-voyages to pass the time. The traditional playing pieces were groats, large heavy coins, hence the name. An American quarter is the lightest coin you should consider using. American half-dollars, "Suzies", Canadian "Loonies", and two dollar coins work better. If you don't want to rummage through your pockets or run to the bank every time you want to play the game, buy a package of large heavy washers and keep them with your game board.


The game board itself is divided into horizontal sections, much like a football field without yardage numbers. Players sit where the end zones would be. The number of sections is arbitrary. Ten is a convenient number. The sections themselves should be uniform in width; however the width chosen is also arbitrary. The wider the width, the easier the game; the narrower, the harder. I have found that making the sections one and a quarter times as wide as the coins being used works best. The length of each section is the width of the game board from player left to player right. This length is also arbitrary and doesn't affect play. The board is illustrated below.


                                     PLAYER 2


                            | 1                  10 |


                            | 2                   9 |


                            | 3                   8 |


                            | 4                   7 |


                            | 5                   6 |


                            | 6                   5 |


                            | 7                   4 |


                            | 8                   3 |


                            | 9                   2 |


                            | 10                 1 |


                                     PLAYER 1


Players take turns placing a set number of coins in the section closest to them with the trailing edge extending off the board. Using either thumb and middle finger, or the heel of the palm, players strike their coins (or shove their groats ;-) into the different sections of the game board. To score, a coin must lie completely within a section without touching a line. Subsequent coins may knock a coin into or out of scoring position.


There are two variations of the game. In the first variation, each section is given a point value based on it's distance from the player. A coin landing in that section, scores that point value. A coin leaving the board incurs a negative penalty score. First player to reach a predetermined score wins.


In the second version, a player must score exactly twice in every section. Additional coins in the same section score for the opponent if they still need points in that section. Subsequent scores in that section are ignored. There is no penalty for a coin leaving the board. First player to score twice in every section wins.


Copyright 2004 by David P. Salley. <dagonell at>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at