Wednesday, August 10, 2022
UncategorizedTraditional pub games in the UK

Traditional pub games in the UK

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We all find different ways to pass the time. For some it’s walking, for others it’s reading. And then there are those that like to get stuck into a good game. How competitive you make it depends on your personality as well as those you’re up against, but there’s no doubt that playing games brings joy to millions up and down the UK.

Photo by Fred Moon on Unsplash

And there’s a tradition in this country of combining games with another of the nation’s favourite pastimes – going to the pub. For many of us, there are few things that bring more joy than sitting around a table in your local, chewing the fat with your friends over a few drinks. Combine that with one of these traditional pub games, and you’re on to a winner.


No, we’re not referring to your favourite takeaway pizza outlet, but a tile-based game that has roots in China thought to date as far back as the 10th century. There are a number of variants on how you can play dominoes, but the most common involves trying to lay all your tiles before your opponent manages to do so.


Not to be confused with the rainbow-coloured sweets that come in a bag, the game of skittles is a precursor to the more modern pastime of ten-pin bowling. Like the contemporary version, it’s typically played by rolling a ball down a long alley towards a selection of standing skittles. You can compete as individuals or in teams, and scoring systems can vary, but traditionally those who knock down the most skittles across a number of goes are crowned the winners.


Played on a table with the same dimensions as used for snooker, billiards is a historical game that dates back to the 18th century. Points can be scored by pocketing balls and cannoning into others, although the space needed to house a table means they have become increasingly scarce in pubs around the country, with pool taking precedence. Instead, you might be better off seeking out your local snooker and billiards club.


Perhaps the ultimate in pub games? At the very elite level of the sport, huge strides have been made over the past 20 years or so to the point where the world champion receives £500,000 for lifting the title. Such sums are not on offer in pubs around the country, of course, but the rules remain the same: three darts per turn, quickest to score 501 points (finishing with a double) is the winner. So, what are you waiting for? Get down your local and get practicing!

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