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Thread: Which has the greater odds of bowling - an all strike game or an all spare game?

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    Default Which has the greater odds of bowling - an all strike game or an all spare game?

    I've searched everywhere and cannot find the answer to this question: Which has the greater odds of bowling (or which is more difficult to bowl) - an all strike game or an all spare game?

    I've seen that the odds of bowling an all strike game is 11,500 to 1. Can anyone confirm?

    I cannot find the odds of bowling an all spare game anywhere.

    Does anyone know the numbers on sanctioned bowling leagues and whether they report the number of all strikes vs all spare games?

  2. #2
    Bowling Guru Amyers's Avatar
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    I've thrown clean games multiple times and some I'm sure without a strike. I've never thrown 300.
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    What does the 10th frame of an all spare game look like?

    The all spare game is obviously easier since you can't get more than 10 spares in a game. You could even throw an intentional gutter on your first ball every frame if you wanted and then throw your strike ball to pick up the spare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PBizme View Post
    What does the 10th frame of an all spare game look like?

    The all spare game is obviously easier since you can't get more than 10 spares in a game. You could even throw an intentional gutter on your first ball every frame if you wanted and then throw your strike ball to pick up the spare.
    You would have a spare and a count in the fill ball. Throwing gutter and then attempting a spare would be even greater odds at actually sparing it up.
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    I had a clean game last week but I had a few strikes in there (5 actually). I have never thrown a 300 and probably never threw an all spare game but I would think the all spare would be easier. Pretty sure if I wouldn't have had any strikes in that clean game I probably would have had a clean all spare game unless I had a bad leave.
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    Might check out if there are any updates since you last looked to your old thread about this subject over on ballreviews.

    https://www.ballreviews.com/miscella...l-spare-gamea/

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    The article that states 11,500 to 1 is for the average bowler. Also states the odds for a PBA bowler rolling a 300 are 460 to 1. Assuming those numbers are fairly correct this shows the ability of the bowler will affect the odds.

    So Ultimately the knowing the odds on bowling a 300 or all spare game will depend on the bowler doing the bowling. The odds for a lower average bowler will be different than the ones for a Pro level bowler.

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    When you consider that an all-spare game is most probably thrown on a tough lane condition where strikes are very hard to come by, the odds are probably about the same. I've thrown one 300 game (in practice), and one all spare game. The all spare game came in a tournament many years ago where we were bowling on a reverse block and getting to the pocket was almost impossible. I had to pick up the ten pin in the tenth for my final spare, and picking up the ten on a reverse block is no picnic!

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    Some quick math: Let's take a good league bowler who strikes 50% of the time and picks up 85% of spares. To get 12 strikes in a row is (0.5)612 or 1 in 4096. To get ten spares in a row it requires each shot to not strike and each spare to be picked up or [(0.5)*(0.85)]^10 or 1 in 5201.
    If the strike rate drops to 40% the 12 strikes in a row drops to 1 in 59604 while the 10 spares in a row increases to 1 in 840.
    At 40% striking and 70% spares (probably more like the average league bowler) the 10 spares in a row changes to 1 in 5855.

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