The local bar. It’s a place to drink, eat, socialise, and of course play. Whether it be your favourite song on the jukebox, a game of nine-ball, or a few arrows, the local watering hole is a sure fire way to find your source of entertainment.
Across the globe bar culture differs. In the US you’ll find sports and fans holding their Bud Light high into the air every first down. In Delhi you’ll see drinking games and the party started on a Tuesday night. Whilst in Britain you’ll find a quiet pint of bitter and a quiz mid-week. And the same applies to bar games.
You won’t find skeeball in Beijing, just as you won’t see anyone playing Xiangqi in a downtown LA dive bar.
So if you’re a little tired of the usual bar games, take some inspiration from the rest of the globe as we go around the world discovering some of the world’s best bar games.
Of course we’ll start in the good old US of A and the Windy City, Chicago. For over 100 years the tradition of turtle racing has been packing out Big Joe’s and is perhaps the strangest race in the world.
Placing six numbered turtles in the middle of a ring, the race is on, with the first turtle to reach the outer perimeter of the ring winning a chance for a free trip to Vegas.
Although it isn’t just racing reptiles you’ll find in the USA, you’ll find plenty of dice games too. Perhaps the most obscure is Ship Captain Crew, a game in which you must – using five dice – collect a six, a five, and a four to assemble a navy, as well as your cargo.
Explaining the rules on the Bar Games Map by Full Tilt, the aim is to roll a 6, 5, and a 4 in descending order before scoring the highest possible score on the remaining two dice (your cargo).
Across the Atlantic south-bound to South Africa, and you’ll find a game which has been played for a thousand years, making its way from the cattle fields and into the bars of Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Like a cross between Connect Four and checkers, the aim of the game is to move your cows (pieces) around the board to make three in a row. Once achieved, that player can remove one of their opponent’s cows, until all their cattle are gone and a winner has been found.
Another game dating back thousands of years, to the days when Lord Mengchang looked down on the ancient State of Qi, the game of Xiangqi is one of the most widely played games in China and is known as the Chinese version of chess.
Representing a battle between two armies, the aim – like chess – is to move pieces around the board to capture the opposition’s army and put the king into check.