Shove Ha’penny

The Game

Each player shoves five coins up the board in each turn. To prepare each coin to be pushed, the player positions the Ha’penny at the front of the board with the rear of the coin just sticking over the front edge of the board. Any part of the hand can then be used to shove the coin up the board. If a coin does not actually reach the first line on the board, that coin does not count as having been played and can be shoved again.

The Shove Ha’penny board at The Blackfriars Tavern Great Yarmouth complete with 1966 Ha’pennies

At the end of the turn each coin that is completely within a ‘bed’ (between two horizontal lines and within the bordering vertical lines) scores a point for that player in that bed. The points are scored with chalk marks in the squares at either end of the bed on the edge of the board, one player owning the right side, the other, the left. The aim is to get three chalk marks in each of the squares – three scores in each of the nine beds. However, once three scores have been made in a bed, any further scores in that bed will be given to the opponent instead, unless the opponent already has three scores in the bed. The one exception to this is the winning point which must be scored properly by the winning player, not given away.

Good players will attempt to cause a coin to knock onto one or more previously pushed ha’pennies in an effort to improve their position as well as trying to make a score with the Ha’penny being played. A little thought is also required – it is not usually a good move to score the third coin in a bed until towards the end of a game…

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