Shove Halfpenny or shove ha'penny is a pub game in the shuffleboard family, that used to be very popular in the UK.
Two players or teams compete against one another using coins on a tabletop board. The game’s origins date back to Tudor times or perhaps even earlier as an earlier incarnation of the game existed in the fifteenth century during the reign of Edward IV. Back then it was called shoffe-grote (because the coins used were groats). King Henry VIII allegedly lost large sums of money playing shove ha'penny, some say this happened because the king had a drinking problem...
How to play shove Ha'penny
Players shove five Ha'pennies coins up the board, one at a time. The board in which the game is played has 9 beds marked, as well as a vertical line on each side. Each player will have a turn in sliding their 5 coins up the board with the aim of getting the coins in a bed to score.
Before shoving the coin the player has to position the coin at the front of the board with the rear of the coin just sticking over the edge of the board. Any part of the hand can be used to strike the coin.
If a coin struck does not reach the first line of the board, the coin can be shoved again and it will not count as having been played. Coins crossing the side rails will not be valid for scoring. Points scored will be marked with chalk marks at the end or at the edge of the board: one player on the right and the other on the left.
Once a player has a total of 3 for a bed (between two horizontal lines), that bed is considered filled. Once the three scores have been made in a bed the next scores on that bed will have to be given to the opposition (unless doing so would cause a win).
The aim is to get three chalk marks in each of the squares – three scores in each of the nine beds. The winner is the first to fill all beds.
Shove ha'penny board
To play a game of Shove ha'penny you'll need a small, rectangular, smooth board usually made of wood or stone. You need a wooden board but almost any flat piece of wood will do. We don’t have them available for sale at the moment, but you can buy the ha’pennies and see if you can improvise with a homemade shove ha’penny board! Whatever you do, have fun trying!
Shove Ha'penny coins (for Sale)
In our opinion (and of course, we are biased), coins are the most important thing. And if you’re going to buy coins, how about getting some with history, but in Brilliant Uncirculated condition (a coin that has never been circulated retaining all of its original mint lustre)?
We have available a Shove Halfpenny Coin Mini Bag. You get a nice bag holding 10 1967 (the last year of issue) Halfpennies in Brilliant Uncirculated condition. Five coins for each player. The coins are now over 50 years old, but in brand new condition from an original Mint sealed bag of coins.