Betting On Stranger’s Skee-Ball Games

Last week I found myself drinking canned beer with a friend at the Buckshot in the Inner Richmond. From where we were sitting at the bar there was a direct view to the skee-ball machines. Normally I wouldn’t think anything of this because who wants to watch strangers play skee-ball, but that night there was an official San Francisco skee-ball league game taking place (yes, a skee-ball league exists, go figure).

After watching the same people from each team roll game after game, you started to get a sense of their skill level and could more or less determine their average high score per game. Naturally, this lead to small stakes gambling. $1 bets. Loser buys next PBR. That sort of thing.

What we found out is that betting on stranger’s skee-ball games is fun, and not surprisingly, very addicting.

For betting lines, we stuck to over/under on the score per individual player. Before someone rolls their first ball, you propose a score and bet on whether you think it’s going to be higher or lower, and see if your friend will take the bet.

For example, say I bet my friend one PBR that a player is going to get higher than 400 points on one game. That’s a pretty good bet for my friend to take. 400 is a tough score to reach. If that player rolls a score equal to, or less than 400, I owe my friend a beer. If it’s 401 or higher, I get a free PBR.

Obviously there are other factors you can bet on, like how many times a player will hit the 80-point circle in a row, but over/under seems to be the easiest to track.

It was fun. I hope to do it again sometime.

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  1. Ah, the scoot inn here in Austin has a Skee Ball league as well. It’s supposedly the oldest running bar in texas (through prohibition). I think this game will make the bar way more exciting. I’ll let you know how it goes. Have you thought about sharking it? Getting a friend to roll in and texting him over or under the bet? Could be a racket!



    1. Give it a shot, and let me know what you think. It’s really fun. Gambling is fun.




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