Consecutive Strikes in Bowling

A string of strikes is when a bowler rolls two or more consecutive strikes in a row. Each incremental string of strikes has it's own history and name.
Ten white pins in a bowling alley lane

Let’s learn the bowling lingo for each of the strings of strikes… including rolling a perfect game (12 strikes in a single game) and even getting 36 strikes in a row!

A perfect strike is achieved when the ball only strikes the 1, 3, 5, and 9 pins in a hook. “Pin scatter” occurs as a result of all other pins being knocked down, which is commonly known as a perfect strike.

In this article, we are going to talk about what name each set of strikes is called, and how some of these consecutive strikes in a row got their names.

1. Home Opener

It must be strike. Young cheerful friends have fun in bowling club at their weekends

A strike is when you knock down all 10 pins in one roll. If your first strike is on your very first ball (first frame) sometimes people will call it a home opener or an original strike.

2. A Double

Homemade Gin Corpse Reviver Number 2

A double is when you knock down all 10 pins on your first two rolls or when you roll any two strikes in a row. A “double” or a “Barney Rubble” is made up of two strikes in a row.

If you are new to bowling, getting a double will be quite the thrill.

3. A Turkey


Getting three strikes in a row is called a turkey. If rolled on the first three frames, sometimes it’s dubbed a sizzling turkey. In the early days of bowling, a common prize was an actual turkey for anybody who could perform such a remarkable feat.

Why Is 3 Strikes In A Row Called A Turkey?

It was much harder back then to get three strikes in a row since most bowling alleys didn’t have the equipment and gear that we do in modern bowling. Because of this, it was considered quite an accomplishment and to this day is still called a turkey.

With a really good bowling ball for kids, you can give your young bowlers a really good chance to rule the lanes in 2022.

Some bowling alleys have carried on the tradition, usually around Thanksgiving or Christmas, giving out an actual turkey when someone would get three strikes in a row.

4. A Hambone (also when it becomes a bagger)

Fresh Raw pork Eisbein knuckle ham in a wooden tray with meat knife.

When you roll consecutive strikes higher than three strikes in a row your streak becomes a “bagger” with the number affixed before the word bagger.

So if you bowl four strikes in a row, it is called a four-bagger. The term four-bagger may come from when bowling was first starting and people would get food for winning competitions.

The phrase “hambone” has been used by numerous bowlers, and it was given to four consecutive strikes in a row by ESPN broadcaster Rob Stone. Many bowlers have since adopted the term and modified it to be called a large ham as well.

Tell us what you think the best bowling balls are for rolling four and five strikes in a row. Also if you are curious about how much a bowling ball should cost let us know in the comments.

5. Olympic Rings, A Brat, Yahtzee

oympic rings

The term for rolling five strikes in a row is often called rolling a “Brat” because there are five bratwursts in a package.

It has also been called Olympic rings, or Yahtzee due to the 5 dice that are involved.

And finally, it’s also called a five-bagger.

6. Six Pack, Wild Turkey, or a Double Turkey


Getting six consecutive strikes in a row is called a six-bagger of course, but it also has various other names.

My favorite is the six-pack since bowling is fun with friends and a sixer of our favorite suds.

Rolling six strikes in a row doubles the turkey, so you will often hear it called a double turkey or a wild turkey.

7. Turkey Hambone or a Ham-Turkey Dinner

A Turkey Ham Bone a logical hybrid of two achievements: a hambone (four strikes) and a turkey (three strikes), which make seven; this is also known as a seven-bagger or a Ham Turkey Dinner.

8. Octopus

Common octopus in aquarium

When you talk about 8 tentacles or you throw your eighth strike in a row, you call it an “octopus.

Bowling eight strikes in a row is also called an eight bagger. This is obviously a harder and longer string of strikes to get.

9. Golden Turkey


This is when you get a turkey for the third time in a row! Nine consecutive strikes in bowling is impressive and at this point in the game your points determined will be from your last frame.

If your ball gets nine consecutive stikes it’s also termed a nine-bagger.

10. Front Ten

A strike in the tenth and final frame rewards the bowler with two extra balls to allow for the scoring of bonus points.

A Ten bagger allows you to throw 2 more times. Use your extra ball wisely.

Two colored bowling balls of number 11 and 10

11. Front Eleven

Ok at this point we have sort of run out of names. Basically this is an eleven bagger or a front eleven.

12. Perfect Game

His perfect game. Rear view of young man playing bowling

A perfect game is when a bowler strikes 12 times in a row, while a 900 series is when a bowler gets a strike 36 consecutive times.

To throw twelve strikes in a row is very very difficult. Many bowling alleys keep 300 and 900 club plaques because achieving a game of 300 or a sequence of 900 is quite difficult.

Front and Back Strings

If you bowl consecutive strikes in the first six frames, you will have a front string. This is like having a string of strikes in the first six frames. If you bowl consecutive strikes in the seventh, eighth, and ninth frames, you will have a back string. This is like having a string of strikes in the last three frames.

Ultimate String

If you roll 36 strikes in a row, you will have completed three Perfect Games. This means that you will have earned 900 points in total.

If you get a strike in the first frame, or any time until all of your shots from that frame to the end of the game are strikes, it is named a “front” strike. If you get a strike in the last three frames, it is dubbed a “back” strike.

Last Minute Bowling Tips

  1. Learn how to make the bowling ball hook
  2. Get an easy strike by hitting the 1, 3, 5, and 9 nine pins causing pin scatter.
  3. Points scored by strikes add to previous frames.
  4. In the last frame, you get one additional shot (if you strike, or spare)

Bowling Score Sheet

If ten pins are knocked down in one shot, the total score of a single frame will actually equal more than ten points. While each of the bowling pins counts as one point, there are bonus points awarded to the next frame that will also affect the score sheet.

Check out this post for more info on score sheets and more.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a little off the top to help me keep this website running. 

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