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Episode 28 Connection Contest: Pub Games

By sconway - Posted on 30 April 2007

Welcome to the new home for Back Shelf Spotlight guesses! Instead of sending emails, post your guesses here. This way, everyone can see the great guesses and perhaps you listeners can put your heads together if we stump you!

To start off, instead of our normal contest, we want you to tell us your favorite Pub Game. Post an entry here and you'll be in the running for a spiffy set of Spiel dice!


windywino's picture
Hi All Well this is a tough one as our board gaming club meets at a pub. So my favorite could be anything but the most successful pub type game the group has played was Pitchcar. Why? Well it had most people involved, created alot of interest and a number of people were standing around watching but most importantly most people played the game with a drink in their hand. (oh and I won both games played ;-)) David Featherston NZ
Man! It's good to finally have something to contribute! I'm too damn dumb for all your connection games and name that game stuff. NOW! I can be IN THE RUNNING! :) The best pub game I know I learned in an Irish bar in Singapore. I have NO idea what it was called, so I'm just going to call it something original: COASTERS. So, here's the deal. It uses those cardboard drink coasters that are around at every single bar on the planet. You take one of those and set it so that it hangs off the table edge. You put your hand underneath it, palm down. You have to snap your hand up, causing the coaster to flip, and you have to catch it. The game is simple and reminiscent of HORSE here in America. You take any number of coasters, with either or both hands (2 piles is allowed), in any format (behind the back, under the leg, eyes closed, whatever). You have to flip them all up and catch them in a single motion. If any fall, you lose. If not, your opponent has to duplicate the feat of skill. If he fails, he loses. If he succeeds, it is his turn to make the challenge. Repeat that all night until it's impossible to balance a coaster on the edge of the table without falling over!
LarryKruger's picture
One of my favorite pub games is LCR; however, we played with standard dice, three dollars per person, and we called it Polish Yahtzee. The game is a lot of fun and can be played with a few people or a large group. Although the game is fairly random, it is hilarious to watch people lose their dice to neighboring players and then regain the dice in future rounds. People are never out of the game until only one player has dice left and is able to keep them by rolling safe for each remaining die.
Dave's picture
This game gets a lot of grief from "serious gamers", but for some reason the local game stores keep selling out of it! Why is that? I think it is because it is basic enough that absolutely anyone can play, yet it does give you that feeling that you can only get when you are risking or wagering something. I agree with you 100%. One of the bet emotions in gaming is when you are completely out of a game one second and then walking away with the loot the next!! I think more people should try this game in the setting it was obviously designed for - The Pub!!
sconway's picture

Pitchcar would be a great game for a pub environment!

We've done timed Pitchcar laps to determine pole positions for our annual Formula De tournament and with everyone watching and cheering, it was a blast.

Dave's picture
I wondered what all those coasters were for at your houseCool
robin's picture
Two great pub games I remember: 1. Killer (darts) You'll always find a dart board in an English pub but the standard game is a bit dull especially for a large group. Instead, we used to play Killer. I've found the rules down the bottom of this page 2. Penny Football/Rugby Ok, that's two games really, and that's Football=Soccer, but again, like Shove Ha'penny there are dozens of variants that mix components of these two. Check out (as usual) wikipedia
Dave's picture

Thanks for reminding me about Killer. I used play a lot of darts and Killer was one of my favorite games. There was always a lot of ganging up in our games

Mike Brugato's picture
Cribbage. Plain and simple. We just call it 'bahj" for short (rhymes with 'garage'). Be sure not to miss any points in your hand, or your opponent will peg them! (Yes, we play THAT way. ;-)
atimrogers's picture
How about the Pub Crawl. Okay, it's not a game, but they always seemed like one. Darts? Or in the US, a good game of pool. Quiz night w/ a group of friends? What about playing for the pub-sponsored football or rugby team? Electronic gambling machines? Who's round is it? Tim in Greenville If I should win again, please donate my Spiel dice to the underprivileged gamers of Indianapolis.
My favourite pub game is an outdoor one played in Kent, England called Bat & Trap. Before my friend moved to Wales (the one I mentioned to you, Stephen), she lived in Kent, and we used to get a team together from our work every summer to play her local pub team. We'd have a barbie, drink some local Kent beer, then play Bat & Trap and get trashed by the locals. Then one year, to everyone's astonishment, we actually beat the local team (my son, who was 9 at the time, got 2 wickets and I played with a broken collar bone) - I can only assume they had been downing the local brew quicker than we had! I think it's the perfect pub game really - it involves teams, there's plenty of standing around involved (giving everyone a chance to top up their drink & chat), you can make a complete fool of yourself trying to bat, and all ages can play. To save space, here's a link to a web site which has an excellent description of the rules :- There's also some Skittles and Shove Ha'Penny stuff on the site if anyone wants to dig a bit deeper. Cheers Norman
sconway's picture
Bat and Trap sounds like a lot of fun. Plus it makes a little more sense to me than Cricket! Despite the fact that I am a gamer, like sports, and I spent half a year in England at university, I never really understood Cricket.
You are not alone - I've lived in England for 25 years now, and still don't understand cricket! Having been to see both games live as it were (and I'll get crucified for saying this), I much prefer baseball....
Sharga's picture
One rather wacky pub game is Aunt Sally. Here's a brief explanation from Wikipedia: "Aunt Sally was traditionally played in pubs and fairgrounds. An Aunt Sally was originally a figurine head of an old woman with a clay pipe in her mouth, or subsequently a ball on a stick. The object was for players to throw sticks at the head in order to break the pipe. The game bears some resemblance to a coconut shy, or skittles. Today, the game of Aunt Sally is still played as a pub game in Oxfordshire. The ball is on a short plinth about 10cm high, and is known as a 'dolly'. The dolly is placed on a dog-legged metal spike and players throw sticks or short battens at the dolly, trying to knock it off without hitting the spike." I wonder who's aunt the game was actually named after. -Aaron Lambert (San Diego, CA)
sconway's picture
I love it. Whoever she was, Aunt Sally must have been a force to be reckoned with if everyone wanted to knock her head off. Yikes!
dumpty's picture
I was into this in high school. I had a delivery job and used to save all my tips to go play foosball at night. We got to the point where we wore handball gloves so our hands wouldn't get sweaty and slip. I had no idea this could get this serious, but it was lots of fun when played well. David from Playa del Rey, CA
sconway's picture
I never thought about wearing gloves for foosball! We just got blisters or cracked knuckles from spinning the handles. :)
dumpty's picture
I was into this in high school. I had a delivery job and used to save all my tips to go play foosball at night. We got to the point where we wore handball gloves so our hands wouldn't get sweaty and slip. I had no idea this could get this serious, but it was lots of fun when played well. David from Playa del Rey, CA
punkzter's picture
Well, I don't spend much time at bars, but I guess that the game that I have had the most fun playing is pool. However, if you want to play a fun game based on a pub, check out Fantasy Pub. This great little filler is based on a fantasy drinking contest where a player moves orcs, trolls, imps, and dwarves around the different tables in a bar (with a dice rolling mechanism) converting coins to beer. But you have to be careful now to run out of money or your character will get kicked out of the bar. When a character leaves the bar you collect the beers that the character has drunk...the first one to collect a certain amount of beers wins.
sconway's picture

Nice way to turn the pub game challenge into a challenge about games with pubs in them! Fantasy Pub looks like a hoot. The artwork is fun, too. Here's a link to the BGG listing for it

As I do not indulge in 'spirits' much, any game I can play for money (the later in the evening the better)is acceptable. Given the choice, I always suggest Perudo/Liars Dice. Nothing beats a drunk trying to bluff.

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