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Mastering Spare Shooting pt. 2: The 2-4-6 System

The 2-4-6 Spare Shooting System

In the first part of series "Mastering Spare Shooting" we've discussed the "3-6-9 spare system", exploring how it works and how to implement it to your game.

This time, we continue our quest to master the art of spare shooting, discussing the 2-4-6 system, also known as the "Swedish Spare System".

This method is tailored for the more advanced bowler, requiring a bit more finesse and skill, but once you figure things out, the 2-4-6 spare shooting system can be highly effective.

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Understanding the 2-4-6 Spare Shooting System

In contrast to the 3-6-9 system where the feet are adjusted, the 2-4-6 spare system maintains a stable starting position on the approach.

Instead of moving the feet, bowlers visually adjust the target based on the spare pin leave. This feature makes the 2-4-6 spare system particularly advantageous in situations where foot movement is restricted, such as when the ball return obstructs movement or when playing near a wall.

There are two main approach positions: one for when you're aiming for a strike and another for when you're targeting the 10-pin (7-pin if you're a left-hander)——no matter what spare you're trying to make.

Implementing the 2-4-6 Spare Shooting System

To apply the 2-4-6 system effectively, follow these steps:

  1. Know your strike and 10-pin starting positions: to use thr 2-4-6 spare system effectively, you must first know your strike and 10-pin starting positions.

  2. Adjust your aim: Depending on the pins left standing, move your target on the lane while keeping your feet in the same spot on the approach.

  3. For pins on the left you must use your strike starting position, while for pins on the right - your 10-pin starting position.

  4. Know the adjustments: Memorize the 2-4-6 spare shooting system chart to know what adjustment to make when targeting different pins.

Use the following table as your targeting guide. While the table is designed for right-handed bowlers, for left-handed bowlers, the directions are reversed, with right becoming left and left becoming right.

3-6-9 Spare System Chart

Pin 1

Throw your regular strike shot

Pin 5

Move your target 1 board right of your strike position

Pins 2 or 8

Move your target 2 boards left of your strike position

Pin 4

Move your target 4 boards left of your strike position

Pin 7

Move your target 6 boards left of your strike position

Pins 3 or 9

Move your target 4 boards left of your 10-pin position

Pin 6

Move your target 2 boards left of your 10-pin position

Pin 10

Throw your regular 10-pin shot

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Pros & Cons of the 2-4-6 Spare System

To fully implement the 2-4-6 spare shooting system into your bowling game, you must know the main advantages and disadvantages of this method.


  • Precision targeting: With the 2-4-6 system, you can make really precise adjustments to your aim without having to move your feet around, which can lead to more accurate shots.

  • Adaptability: It doesn't matter if you're left-handed or right-handed—this system works for everyone and can be used for all sorts of spare configurations.

  • Simplicity: It is super easy to follow and it can be extremely helpful when bowling in alleys with limited space.


  • Inconsistency on different lanes: Variations lane conditions can affect ball reaction and the system's efficacy, leading to inconsistent performance.

  • It takes some getting used to: Because there are two starting points based on the pin you are trying to spare, it might take a bit of practice to get the hang of it.

  • Consistent pocket: Just like with the 3-6-9 system, the 2-4-6 system is highly dependable on your consistency. Missing few boards right or left might result in an open frame.

Extra Tips to Master the 3-6-9 Spare System

To maximize your success with the 3-6-9 spare shooting system, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Practice your aim: Spend some time during practice sessions aiming at specific spots on the lane to improve your accuracy.

  2. Work on your footwork: Keep your approach consistent and steady to set yourself up for a successful shot.

  3. Practice Regularly: Familiarize yourself with the adjustments required for different spare configurations through consistent practice.

  4. Pre-shot routine: The same movements or rituals performed during each throw help to focus on the shot and increase the chances of achieving a better result.

  5. Focus on Alignment: Pay close attention to your alignment on the approach, ensuring that your starting position and targeting remain consistent.

  6. Moitor the lanes: lane conditions constantly change. Identify those changes to make corrections on time.

In conclusion, the 2-4-6 spare system is a valuable tool for experienced bowlers looking to boost their spare shooting skills. While it might take a bit of practice to get the hang of it, mastering this system can lead to more accurate shots and higher spare conversion rates. So, give it a try and see how it can take your game to the next level!

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