5 Pin Bowling Strategy

In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the best strategies for playing 5 pin bowling.

If you’re looking to improve your bowling game, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ll also provide some tips on how to score well and beat your opponents. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced bowler, read on for some helpful advice.

What is 5 Pin Bowling?

5 pin bowling is a unique variation popular in North America, mostly in Canada. This type of bowling is played with 5 pins and a bowling ball. The aim is to knock down as many pins as possible in the least possible amount of throws. The 5 pins are arranged in a V formation, and scoring is based on the number of pins that are knocked down.

Short History

Tenpin bowling, the American version arrived to Canada in the 1880s. The five pin versions were invented in 1909 by Thomas F. Ryan, a bowling centre owner, in Toronto, Ontario.

The game started gaining popularity in Canada shortly after that. The game’s bowling community is also centered in Canada, and it’s the most popular over there.

The Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers┬┤ Association (C5PBA) is the rules and regulations federation for Canada. The game is also gaining popularity in the USA, but it’s mostly confined to its northern regions.


Five Pin Bowling Balls

The characteristics of a five pin bowling ball are different to those of a 10 pin bowling ball. These balls are smaller and lighter, making them easier for beginners to throw (with less strength). They also do not curve as much, allowing more accurate aiming.

Unlike the 10-pin bowling ball, the five-pin bowling ball has no finger holes. Five pin balls are small enough to be held in the palm of a player.

Five Pin Bowling Pins

The average height and weight of a 5-pin bowling pin is smaller than its 10-pin counterpart. The pins have a thick rubber band around their midsections.

The five pins are set up in a V formation, at the end of the bowling lane. The two target pins on the edges are called corner pins, while the head pin is situated in the center.

5 pin bowling ball

Five Pin Bowling Lanes

A five pin lane ranges in length from 60 feet to 62 feet 10 inches, while having the width of 41 inches to 42 inches.

Gutters at the side of the lane are between 9 inches to 9 and a half inches wide, and 2 3/4 inches to 3 a half inches deep.

There are arrows painted on the far side of the lane as indicating targets to hit the pins.

How Do You Get a Strike in 5 Pin?

In 5 pin bowling, a strike occurs when all 5 pins are knocked down with the first ball.

This is slightly more challenging than in ten pin bowling where strikes occur when all 10 pins are knocked down on the first throw.

Which is Harder 5 Pin or Ten Pin Bowling?

With five pins set up in a triangular formation, 5 pin bowling is considered to be more challenging than 10 pin bowling.

5 pins are less likely to be knocked down with one throw, so the game requires better accuracy and pacing.

How Does 5 Pin Bowling Score Work?

Keeping score is an important part of the game. Scores in five pin bowling are calculated based on the number of pins that have been knocked down.

Also, the scoring point values of the pins in five-pin bowling differ depending on their location.

The head pins are worth five points when knocked down, while the two adjacent pins are worth three each and the two corner pins are worth two each if they are hit.

This makes the total of 15 points in each frame.

You are given three balls in each frame. The maximum number of points you can score in one frame is 45, if all 5 pins are knocked down on each throw. If there are remaining pins standing, you don’t get points for those.

There are 10 frames in a single match. An unlikely perfect game would mean 450 points altogether, with every pin knocked down.

Five Pin Bowling Tips

The following tips are sure to help you improve your game.

Wear Appropriate Footwear

As in tenpin bowling, bowlers also have to wear bowling shoes when playing five pin bowling.

You can usually rent shoes at your bowling centre or bowling alley: the same type of shoes are used for 5 pin and ten pins as well.

Warm Up and Stretch

A good stretch can help improve your game, and prevent an unwanted injury.

The sport can be played by both children and adults, as it is a fun physical activity, but warming up before the game is important to avoid any injury.

Provide the Right Amount of Power

Identify the amount of strength that’s needed for each shot.

Since the ball is lighter than a tenpin bowling ball, five pin requires less effort and strength, but high accuracy.

Remember you mustn’t cross the foul line when throwing, because your shot will be considered a foul.

Pay Attention to Your Footwork

Slide to finish your shot better.

You must learn how to control your momentum and slide before throwing. 5-pin bowling is a great way to practice your footwork and sliding skills.

Perfect your throwing technique and footwork with practice.


It’s Not the Same As Ten Pin

A 5 pin bowling ball is lighter than 10 pin bowling, and the target area is much smaller.

The number and weight of pins is also different, so you have to get used to that, too.

For higher scores in 5-pin bowling, you need to focus on accuracy and control.

Watch Other Bowlers

Watch other bowlers on the lane to learn their technique, and practice bowling along with them.

The game is very fun and challenging, but you need to know how to play it right.

Bring It All Together

By practicing enough you can build up your strength and flexibility.

This will make it easier for you to concentrate on perfecting your accuracy, timing, and strategy. That way, you’ll have a better chance of throwing strikes!


Bowling five-pin is a fun and exciting sport, but it can be difficult, too. It’s important to learn the rules of the game before you step into a bowling alley or throw a first ball.

If you follow these 5 pin bowling strategy tips, you’ll be sure to do well!

We hope this article has helped you to improve your five pin bowling game. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep practicing and you’ll be scoring like a pro in no time!

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