What is Pall Mall in Bridgerton and was it a real game?


Season 2 of Bridgerton has been enthralling Netflix viewers since the new episodes arrived on the streaming service on March 25th, 2022.

The new season sees Anthony Bridgerton step up his search for a wife after his love affair with Siena Rosso came to an end in season 1.

During the new season, fans are treated to a scene where the Bridgertons and their guests, the Sharma sisters, play a round of a lawn game known as pall mall.

Naturally, the fun-filled game has prompted plenty of questions from fans, notably, is pall mall a real game and if so, what are its rules?

*WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Bridgerton season 2*

Bridgerton | Season 2 Official Trailer | Netflix

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Bridgerton | Season 2 Official Trailer | Netflix

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The pall mall scene in Bridgerton season 2

In episode 3 of Bridgerton’s second season, the Bridgertons invite Kate and Edwina Sharma to their family home of Aubrey Hall and challenge the sisters to a game of pall mall.

The lawn game is a popular one among the Bridgerton siblings who take the occasion very seriously, even bringing out the competitive side in the Sharma sisters.

Pall mall proves to be a fun bonding experience for the Bridgertons and the Sharmas, with Kate especially starting to realize that Anthony Bridgerton isn’t as insufferable as she first believed.

The scene is a particularly crucial one as it offers up hints of romance between Anthony and Kate when they lose their balls in the bushes, something that will ignite the spark in their love affair for the episodes to come.

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Was pall mall a real game?

Yes, pall mall was indeed a real game that is believed to have originated in France and was introduced to Britain throughout the 16th and 17th centuries.

A number of similar games were played throughout Europe, notably versions of ground billiards including, trucco in Italy and jeu de maille in France, the latter supposedly inspiring pall mall.

According to historian Jordan Almond, The English name for the game is derived from the Italian term ‘pallamaglio’ which translates to ‘mallet ball.’

Pall mall is seen as a precursor to modern-day croquet, but rather than being played on a lawn as we see in the series, pall mall was traditionally played on long, thing alleys with hard surfaces.

In London, the stretch of road leading to Buckingham Palace, Pall Mall, is supposedly named after the game as it used to be played along the long street.

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What are the rules of pall mall?

According to the Topend Sports encyclopedia, the goal of pall mall was to strike a wooden boxwood ball using a heavy wooden mallet down an alley and through a raised iron hoop.

The winner of the game would be the player to get their ball through the hoop in the fewest shots.

In Bridgerton, the version of pall mall we see is closer to modern-day croquet, with the Bridgerton and Sharma siblings hitting their balls through a series of hooped wickets.

However, as fans of the original books will know, the Bridgerton siblings also have their own rules for the lawn game.

  1. Never use a regulation course
  2. No honor and no honesty
  3. Never play with an odd number
  4. No collusion between competitors
  5. No sportsmanship
  6. No cheering for your opponent
  7. Order of play goes oldest to youngest
  8. Always follow one’s ball
  9. The black mallet is the “mallet of death”
  10. Instant victory if you send Anthony’s ball into the lake
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Season 2 of Bridgerton is available to stream now on Netflix after releasing on March 25th, 2022.

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