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What Comes After a Turkey in Bowling? The Must-Know Scoring Breakdown and Secret Bowling Lingo

  • Reading time:12 mins read

Striking out the competition with multiple strikes in a row is the dream for any bowler. And there’s nothing quite as satisfying as throwing a turkey – three consecutive strikes in bowling.

As you pick up that gratifying turkey, the excitement starts to build. Suddenly the stakes feel higher and pressure mounts as all eyes turn to see if you can keep the momentum going.

So what comes next after you gain turkey status? And how can you strategically maximize your score?

This guide will break down what happens after you bowl a turkey, key bowling scoring concepts, and tips to master strikes. By the end, you’ll be a bowling lingo expert armed with the knowledge to thrive after turkey time.

How Strikes Are Scored in Bowling

Before getting into turkey aftermath, it helps to understand exactly how strikes are scored in bowling.

In the standard 10-pin bowling game, a strike occurs when you knock down all 10 pins with the first ball throw in a frame. This feat is signified by an X on the scoresheet.

The scoring advantage of a strike comes from the bonus rolls it provides. Rather than just the 10 pins knocked down, a strike earns you:

  • 10 points for the pins bowled over in the strike
  • The total pins knocked down in the NEXT 2 rolls

For example, say you throw a strike in frame 1. Then in frame 2, you knock down 6 pins on the first ball and 3 pins on the second ball. The strike in frame 1 would be worth 10 + 6 + 3 = 19 total points.

Strikes in later frames work the same way. The bonus includes the next one or two rolls depending on if it’s the first or second throw in a frame.

This unique scoring system makes strikes especially advantageous. Not only do you gain points from the strike itself, but also strikes give you additional opportunities to maximize your score.

Scoring Scenarios After a Turkey

Now that you’ve cemented your turkey status with 3 strikes in a row, the excitement begins. The frames after a turkey can vary quite a bit depending on how you follow it up.

Here are the different scoring scenarios and bowling lingo for what could come after your turkey:

  • 4 Strikes in a Row – This scoring feat is called a Four-bagger or Honey Pot. With 4 consecutive strikes, your score would be at least 60-70 points depending on the next rolls.
  • 5 Strikes in a Row – Knocking down 5 strikes consecutively is known as a Five-bagger or Golden Turkey. You’re guaranteed at least 90-100 points with the opportunity for plenty more.
  • 6 Strikes in a Row – A Six-pack refers to 6 strikes in succession. At this point, you have a minimum of 120-130 points just from strikes alone.
  • 7+ Strikes in a Row – This rare scenario is referred to as Wild Turkeys. It may not have the same ring as a turkey, but any streak of 7+ strikes is wild in its high-scoring potential.
  • Split After a Turkey – The dreaded 7-10 split or other tricky split can follow turkey euphoria with disappointment. Spares still earn points but decrease strike momentum.
  • Spare After a Turkey – Leaving a single pin or making any other spare after a strike is still decent. But it opens the door for more standard frame-by-frame scoring.

Beyond these standard scenarios, combinations of strikes and spares can lead to all types of totals. The key is always to maximize your strike opportunities when they come.

Should You Aim for More Strikes After a Turkey?

Once you snag a turkey, the temptation can be high to keep throwing for strikes while you’re in the zone. But carefully consider whether this risky play is a wise move.

Here are factors to weigh when deciding to bowl for strikes after a turkey or play it safer:

  • Current Score – If already well ahead of opponents, discretion may be the better part of valor. Protecting your lead with conservative spares could win the game.
  • Frame Left – With several frames still to bowl, spare leaves have time to catch up. More risk may pay off down the line.
  • Split Susceptibility – Some bowlers are more prone to splits. Forcing consecutive strikes could lead to low scores and major splits.
  • Momentum and Focus – Feeling locked in the groove with precision aim? Ride the hot hand while you have the focus.
  • Opponent Skill – Lagging far behind lower-skilled opponents may warrant attempting more strikes to run up the score.

The ideal balance depends on your bowling style, equipment consistency, and in-game scenario. Stick to your strengths and aim for the optimal risk-reward ratio.

Other Key Bowling Terms and Scoring

Beyond various strike streak labels, there are a few other bowling scoring concepts useful to know for mastery of the game:

  1. Spare – Knocking down all remaining pins on the second throw in a frame. A spare earns 10 points plus the next ball roll.
  2. Split – When the first ball knocks down the headpin but leaves two or more separated pins standing. Trying to pick off difficult splits can lead to low scores.
  3. Chop – Hitting the headpin very lightly on either side, leaving it standing along with several other pins. Easily leaveable spare but displays a lack of power.
  4. Washout – Hitting the headpin too full on, bouncing the ball backward into the pit without clearing pins to the sides. Tough leave.
  5. Open Frame – A frame without a strike or spare. Your score is just the total number of pins knocked down in that frame.
  6. Foul – Stepping over the foul line on your throw. A foul yields a score of 0 for that ball.

The more bowling vocabulary and mastery of scoring techniques you gain, the better you can analyze frame situations and maximize points.

Tips to Capitalize After Bowling a Turkey

You’ve conquered the turkey – an impressive feat. Now it’s time to make the most out of your accomplishment with these pro tips:

  • Stay Focused: Don’t lose concentration after the turkey. Keep your eyes on the pins and make adjustments for the ideal strike shot.
  • Keep Consistent Speed: Alter speed too much and you’ll end up with poor accuracy. Make minor speed tweaks only when necessary.
  • Adjust Your Strike Target: Expand your strike aim to hit different pin pockets to keep the lane fresh.
  • Visualize Strikes: Imagine smoothly delivering more strikes in your mind before throwing for confidence.
  • Take Deep Breaths: Use brief pauses to breathe and regroup when feelings of anxiety or distraction strike.
  • Celebrate Spares Too: Avoid disappointment if a spare follows your turkey. Spares still earn points so applaud them too!
  • Have Fun: Enjoy the thrill of chasing strikes. Using positivity and lightheartedness keeps you playing to your potential.

With the right mindset and strategic adjustments, you can maximize scoring after a hot turkey start. Don’t let the pressure overwhelm you.

How to Improve Your Overall Bowling Scores

While chasing the turkey and its successors provides a thrill, consistently excelling at bowling requires mastering more fundamental skills.

Here are some key ways to sharpen your bowling abilities for higher scores:

  • Perfect Proper Bowling Form: From perfecting the approach, backswing, release, and follow through. Repeat proper mechanics through repetition.
  • Identify Your Strike Target: Find the best pin pocket strike point to maximize your aim consistency.
  • Invest in Your Equipment: Bowling balls fitted to your hand size, style, and unique release prevent blaming rental ball quirks.
  • Learn How to Hook the Ball: Curving your throw expands your range of targeting options and strike opportunities.
  • Practice Spare Shooting: Even pros maximize scoring by reliably converting spares. Drill corner pin angle spares.
  • Analyze Your Stats: Review scores, converted spares, splits, and other stats to diagnose weaknesses.
  • Watch Bowling Instructional Videos: Study techniques from the pros and apply their tips during practice sessions.
  • Compete Often: Enter fun leagues and avoid long layoffs between bowling outings to stay sharp.

Diligently working on all aspects of your bowling game pays off with big turkeys and high scores down the line.

The Thrill of Bowling After a Turkey

That fantastic feeling as you convert a turkey and your teammates cheer you on is hard to replicate. Suddenly your adrenaline kicks in as you contemplate keeping the strike streak going for even more points.

But don’t let the pressure overwhelm you. Stay focused on each frame at a time. With the scoring, lingo, and tips above, you’ll be ready to thrive when that turkey finally comes home to roost.

After bowling the big bird, take a deep breath, line up your next shot with precision, and envision plenty more X’s on the scorecard. Achieving turkey status means your bowling abilities are reaching the next level. Now build on your newfound momentum and become the league’s top bird hunter!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there anything after turkey in bowling?

Yes, there are several terms for scoring consecutive strikes after a turkey:

  • 4 strikes in a row is called a Four-bagger or Honey Pot
  • 5 strikes in a row is called a Five-bagger or Golden Turkey
  • 6-10 strikes in a row are called Six-Pack, Wild Turkeys, etc.

What is 9 strikes in a row called?

There is no special term for exactly 9 strikes in a row. It would be considered part of a Wild Turkey streak.

Why is four strikes called a hambone?

The origin of “hambone” for four strikes is unclear, but some think it refers to the bowling motion being like cutting ham. Others relate it to the bone shape of four strikes on the scoresheet.

What is 4 strikes in a row called?

Four consecutive strikes are called a Four-bagger or Honey Pot. After a turkey, four strikes earn at least 60-70 points.

What is 10 strikes called?

There is no special term for 10 strikes in a row. It would be an incredible feat considered part of a Wild Turkey streak.

What is 5 strikes in a row called?

Five consecutive strikes are known as a Five-bagger or Golden Turkey. It guarantees at least 90-100 points.

What is 11 strikes in a row called?

Like 10 strikes, scoring 11 consecutive strikes has no unique name. It would be an extremely rare and impressive part of a Wild Turkey streak.

What is a dinosaur in bowling?

In bowling, a dinosaur refers to 4 strikes in a row rolled by a single player in one game. It’s the same scoring feat as a Four-bagger.

What is 3 spares in a row called in bowling?

There is no special term for 3 consecutive spares. They demonstrate consistency without the bonus excitement of strikes.