In bowling, to knock down all ten pins on the first ball bowled (thus achieving the highest score possible on that frame). Note that, while in baseball and labor relations a strike is bad, in bowling a strike is always to be desired.

A strike is indicated on the scorecard by an X in the top right hand corner. Its score is ten points, plus the total of the next two balls (whether the next two balls comprise one frame or two). For example, should I bowl

  • A strike, then 7-2 on the next frame:
    I score 19 (10+7+2) for the strike frame, and 9 (7+2) for the second frame.
  • A strike, strike, 0-4:
    I score 20 (10+10+0) for the first frame, 14 (10+0+4) for the second frame, and 4 for the third frame.
  • A strike, strike, strike, 9-0:
    (Well, first of all, if this happens, my game got a lot better... :-) )
    I score 30 (10+10+10); 29 (10+10+9); 19 (10+9+0); and 9.

Two strikes in a row is known as a double, three strikes is known as a turkey; four strikes as a four-bagger.