Bar Game: Buck-A-Knock

How does it work?

A multi-player game is played and each player who gets a ‘knock’ (aka: replay) is owed $1 by all other players. This bar game is best played on older machines that have multiple replay thresholds and ways to score a Special, assuming Special awards a replay.


Amanda, Ben, Carrie and Dan play a 4-player game of Harlem Globetrotters. On this particular machine, knocks or replays can be achieved by:

  • Scoring 300,000
  • Scoring 540,000
  • Scoring 760,000
  • Rolling machine (scoring over 1,000,000)
  • Spelling GLOBE twice
  • Completing player target bank twice and shooting Dunk Target
  • Getting a Match (yes matches count!)

During this game Amanda knocks 4 times, Ben knocks 2 times, Carrie knocks 3 times and Dan gets 1 knock. This table helps to show how the payouts work:

 Amanda earnsBen earnsCarrie earnsDan earns(total paid)
Amanda pays-231-6
Ben pays4-31-8
Carrie pays42-1-7
Dan pays423--9
(total earned)+12+6+9+3
(net change)+6-2+2-6

As you can see from the example above, a player(s) could potentially be out more money than they might be comfortable losing. If that’s the case, this format can be played for any denomination such as a quarter a knock. Likewise, if this sort of prize pool is too low for your liking, why not $5 a knock? 

Alternatively, you could keep the game at $1 a knock but put a cap on losses – say $3. In that case, no one player would be out more than $9 total ($3 per opponent) regardless of the number of knocks scored.

Things to Note

Make sure to address how to handle extra balls ahead of time – plunge or play? 
You may want to have paper and a pen to help keep track of all those knocks.

Best Format For

2-4 players who’d like to play for a larger purse than a typical dollar game.
EM and solid state machines with multiple replay scores and ways to earn Specials

Casual Format Only

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