Petanque is a Southern European form of boules that are traditionally playing with metal balls on a court of either gravel or hard dirt. Petanque is a tactical precision game where the goal is to place your balls closest to the target ball, known as the jack while keeping your opponent from scoring by shooting their balls away from the jack.


Petanque is a popular family activity, club sport, and senior sport – it is a game for everyone who enjoys excitement, suspense, and quality time with friends and family.


In the last couple of decades, indoor petanque has grown popular. It is played with lighter, softballs on all types of floor surfaces.


How to play

  • Petanque can be played single, double, or triple.
  • In singles and doubles, each player has three balls. In triple, each player has two shots.
  • The international dimensions of a petanque court are 4×15 meters.
  • A coin toss determines which team goes first and throws the first ball.
  • A player from the team who won the coin toss will begin by throwing the target ball, also known as the jack, onto the court at least 6 m and no more than 10 m from the starting point.
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  • A player from the same team will then throw the first ball and try to get as close to the jack as possible.
  • A player from the opposing team will then try to either get closer to the jack or shoot the first ball away.
  • The team whose ball is furthest away from the jack must continue to throw until one of their shots is closest to the jack. Then, the turn reverts to the other team.
  • When a team is out of balls, the other side will continue to throw their remaining balls.
  • When all balls have been thrown, points are awarded. Only one team is given points each round.
  • The team whose ball is closest to the jack will be awarded points equal to the number of shots they have that are closer to the jack than the opponent’s closest ball.
  • The team that was closest to the jack will begin the next round.
  • The winner is the team who first gains 13 points.

Find the official Petanque rules on FIPJP’s website

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