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While petanque seems to be a relatively easy game to play, there are several strategies that players favour in order to better their chances at winning the round, and subsequently, the game.

Throwing the First Boule

The most common strategy for players throwing the first boule is to aim the boule directly at the jack, so that it will stop right in front of it, or near to it. This is done to prevent your opponent from throwing a boule nearer to the jack, as your boule would act as an obstacle in your opponent’s path.

Protect the Rear

In the event that all your boules are near to the jack, and you have one last boule to throw, while your opponent still has several, it is advisable to throw your last remaining boule so that it is further away from the jack. While it sounds contradictory, this strategy is good as it ensures that your opponent will not risk shooting too near to the jack, or even at the jack, as it might cause their boule to drive the jack nearer to your boule instead. Your last boule should therefore be thrown not only further away, but also beyond the jack, instead of in front of it.

No points

The most stressful situation for a petanque player usually occurs when he or she only has one boule left to throw,  but has yet to have a point for that turn. If the player has a boule directly in front of the jack, acting as a wall, the best strategy that he can adopt is to throw the last boule directly in front of the wall.

The player should take care to throw the last boule with sufficient force, so that the wall will be hit and moved as a result. This ensures that the player still has the boule closest to the jack. However, if this strategy is unsuccessful, it still serves to act as an obstacle for the opponent as your boule will shield the jack away.

Jack Surrounded

Sometimes, the game can proceed to the point that the jack is completely surrounded by the opponent’s boules. In this case, the only strategy available to the player would be to throw the boule directly at the jack, in hopes that it will drive the jack further away from the opponent’s boules. This is also advantageous as hitting the jack would put the boule in closer proximity to it, hence the player would have a point.

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