Ninepins is still found throughout Europe, where it originated. This version of the game was brought to the U.S. in colonial times, but became outlawed in the 19th century due to its association with drinking, gambling and other vices.

According to legend, someone realized that the law banning "ninepins" could be circumvented by simply adding a tenth pin. Sadly, this person's name has been lost to history.

The formation of the American Bowling Congress to standardize the rules of tenpins, combined with the invention of the automatic pinsetter, increased tenpins' popularity while accelerating the decline of the ninepin game. Today, ninepins survives in the U.S. in a handful of private clubs located in and around San Antonio, Texas.