When was the last time you went into a traditional English themed pub? If you don’t live in England, this was probably quite some time ago! Even if you do live in England, there’s a good chance you haven’t seen many of the traditional pub games being played for a long time.
Why Pub Games?
Playing games in pubs or taverns have been traditional across the world for centuries. It’s not always about the gambling either, many traditional pub games have very minimal gambling, and are a lot more accessible in terms of rules than more complex card games like poker.
For pubs that don’t serve food especially, games can be a great way to keep patrons in the establishment and buying drinks and snacks to keep them going. For the patrons of the pubs and taverns, having traditional games to play is a great way to spend a cold winter’s night with friends in a sociable environment.
Here’s a look at some great pub games that need to make a comeback.
Shuffleboard, also known as Shove Ha’Penny in older English towns, is a very easy game to play with either two or four players.
Consisting of a long flat board with three zones at each end, the aim of the game is to push (or ‘shove’) your weight from one end to the other and having it land within one of the marked zones to get the point. Players can knock their opponent’s weights off of the board to stop them from getting a point, and points are counted up at the end of the game.
This is a very old game that has its roots back in the medieval era where it would be played with pennies and groats. Traditional Shuffleboards can be hard to come by, but homeleisuredirect.com has some really stunning examples.
Three or Nine Men’s Morris
Another ancient game, this one has been found carved into tables and windowsills all over the world in both its three and nine play form.
Three or Nine Men’s Morris is akin to tic tac toe (noughts and crosses) crossed with draughts or checkers. Each player has either three or nine pieces in their own color and the object is to make a line to win the game.
These are both easy games to play, with Three Men’s Morris being the easiest to learn, and a small game can be made of almost any material, but have traditionally been made by leather and pottery pieces or horn pieces.
Dominoes is another simple game that seems to have fallen out of favor in the last few years. A relatively easy game to play, each player plays his domino chip in turn, matching the number on one edge of his chip to a number already played on the table.
The reason dominoes has survived for so long is because of its pure simplicity and easy rules. Although there is some strategy involved, the game itself can be picked up in no time at all and enjoyed as a quiet pastime over a pint of good English ale!