Petanque can be played as singles, doubles or triples. Three boules are used by each player in singles and doubles, but only two in triples games.

Boules are metal, weigh up to 800g, and have a diameter between 70mm and 80mm. The jack (or cochonnet) should be made of wood and have a diameter of 25mm to 30mm.

After deciding who starts by tossing a coin, a member of that team draws a circle on the terrain where each player must stand when throwing. The circle should be between 35cm and 50cm diameter and both feet must stay inside the circle while playing.

The first thrower throws the cochonnet to land between 6m and 10m from the circle and not closer than one metre from the terrain boundary.

 

He then throws his first boule and tries to place it as close as possible to the cochonnet.

 

From the same circle, a player from the opposing team throws his boule, either trying to get it nearer to the cochonnet (pointing) or knock away the leading boule (shooting). The boule closest to the cochonnet leads. Any boule thrown outside the terrain boundary is considered to be out of play.

Players in the trailing team must throw until their team has a leading boule, or all the team's boules are played. When a team has played all its boules, the other team continue to throw theirs, trying to place them closer to the cochonnet than the opposing boules.

After all boules have been played, the team with one or more boules nearest the cochonnet are the winners of that end. The points gained are equal to the number of boules closer to the cochonnet than the nearest of the opposing team.

A new circle is drawn round the cochonnet, which is picked up by a player from the leading team and thrown as before. Play continues until one team reaches 13 points.

 

For the Official Rules of Petanque, click here.