NOTE:  All terms that are underlined are links you can click on that provide more information about that term.  Pleas see bottom of page for a diagram of the BUM-DEE course.

Order of play and team members are determined through the leg (legging).  Players leg by tossing their marble form the third hole to the starting line.  The player who's marble lands closest to the line is the first player in the order of play and so forth.  Teams are determined by grouping the odd and even number people in relation to where there marbles fell during the leg.  For example, if there are four players, the player who's marble fell closest to the starting line is number 1.  That player will then be teamed with the player who's marble is third from the line and so forth.

BUM-DEE can be played with as few as two player's and as many as desired.  It is not recommended that the number of players exceed 6.  During BUM-DEE tournaments no more than two teams of two (4 players) can play at a time.  During non tournament play, teams are not mandatory.  This is called cut throat.

The overall objective of the game is to shoot your marble into each hole in succession, twice.  For example, starting at the start line, players shoot their marble for hole #1.  After successfully going into (making) that hole, they shoot for hole #2.  Holes are to be made in this order:  Hole #1, #2, #3, #4, #3, #2, #1, #2, #3 and #4 or BUM-DEE.

The winner is the the team who's members are the first to have all successfully completed each hole, in order and finally hole #4 or BUM-DEE.


Shooting marbles in the game of BUM-DEE is done by means of "knuckling down".  That is, a player places the marble between their fore finger and the knuckle of their thumb.  The player then places his or her hand on the ground and shoots their marble by "flicking" it with their thumb.

In BUM-DEE, players can take a span and an additional shot when they have either made a hole they are for or struck another players marble without having gone dead.  Players may continue shooting during a given turn so long as during each shot they either make a hole they are for or strike another player's marble without going dead.

Once a player has successfully made each hole including hole #4 or BUM-DEE two times, they are either the winner (in the case of only two players) or they are considered "out" (in the case of team play).  A player having gone "out" transitions to a BUM-DEE defender / assistant and is no longer in the normal order of play.

BUM-DEE TIME!!!  The BUM-DEE ring is where most of the excitement as well as tension comes from.  A BUM-DEE defender / assistant's whole purpose in life is to wait patiently for another player to try for the BUM-DEE hole for the final time.  

  • DEFENDING - If a player shooting for BUM-DEE for the final time is on the opposing team of the defender / assistant, this is where the kill shot really comes into play.  If the opposing player  shoots his/her marble and does not make the hole but lands within the perimeter of the BUM-DEE ring, the BUM-DEE defender on the opposing team can and will shoot their marble at that player's marble as hard as possible.  The intent will be to knock the opposing player's marble as far as possible away from the BUM-DEE area thereby making that player's next try more difficult.  The BUM-DEE defender can also elect to perform a carry shot instead of a kill shot either for ease of moving the other marble or for the purpose of more accurately placing the opponents marble in a position that could benefit players on the defender's team.

  • ASSISTANT - The assistant role of the BUM-DEE defender / assistant is generally executed using carry shots.  If only one team has a player(s) that is out, that defender / assistant can assist another team member that is within the BUM-DEE ring shooting for BUM-DEE for the second and final time.  For example, a player on the same team as the BUM-DEE defender / assistant makes hole #3 then shoots for BUM-DEE.  If that player misses the hole but is still within the BUM-DEE circle, the BUM-DEE defender / assistant can strike that player's marble with his/her marble in the direction of the BUM-DEE hole.  Ideally that player's subsequent shot will be easier to make.  If members of each team have gone out prior to another player shooting for BUM-DEE, that player shooting for BUM-DEE is subject to the opposing player defending BUM-DEE before his/her team mate can assist them.  The only way a team mate can assist is if the BUM-DEE defender on the opposing team is unsuccessful in knocking that player outside of the BUM-DEE ring.

If prior to any player going out, two players going for BUM-DEE for the final time are within the BUM-DEE circle and one of them goes out, the player not out is not subject to the BUM-DEE defender / assistant until he/she shoots again.  If on their next shot they miss the hole and are still within the BUM-DEE ring, the BUM-DEE defender / assistant can either knock them out or assist them depending on what team they are on.


One of the most fun & challenging facets of BUM-DEE is that a good deal of strategy can be incorporated into the game.  This section will focus on several key strategies.  Information for this section will be posted in the near future.  Please check this section again later.

(According to preference or simply to accommodate restrictive ground area, BUM-DEE courses can be designed using alternate layouts while maintaining the same aspect ratios as the straight course.)