How to play with an odd number of players

Sometimes you have an odd number of players. How do you organize teams? (The most problematic numbers are 3 and 7.)

Three players
For tips on ways to play with three players, see our post on games for three players.

Five players
This is the easiest situation to handle. One team has three players who use two boules each. The other team has two players who use three boules each.

Seven players

  • Break up into a game of singles and a game for 5 players.
  • Break up into a game of doubles and a game for 3 players.
  • Play a game of 3-vs-4. The 4-member team decides which of its players will throw one boule and which will throw two boules.

Playing with an odd number of players isn’t a disaster. If late-arriving players appear and you have (say) a game of two-vs-three, you can add a third player to the 2-member team, or one of the players on the 3-member team can leave to start a new game with the late-arriving players.

We don’t recommend arrangements in which teams play with more than 6 boules each. With too many boules on the ground, a game can turn into a muddled mess.

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