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Subject: "National" board/card games in your country rss

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Augustinas Zemaitis
Lithuania
Vilnius
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Tjhere is much discussion on national sports but like national sports every country seems to have one or more board games with rules known by (nearly) everyone (and a popular pastime).

Usually these are old "classic" games (e.g. chess, checkers, go, bridge, dominoes, backgammon and the like).

So what is your country and what are the games which may be consider "national" in your country?

These games are not necessarily actually designed in your country but the ones you may expect a random stranger to know the game, know the main rules and to have played the game multiple times in his life.

I am from Lithuania and I think these games are the most popular here:

a)Chess (western) - regarded a sport and a serious issue, its main results reported at sports news. Many know the rules but some do not dare to play it ("I am not good at this"), multiple public hobby tournaments exist.
b)Checkers (64 tiles) - regarded an easier alternative to chess.
c)Durnius (a card game, litterally meaning "Stupid" - not sure about its English name if it exists). Generally everyone know the rules.
d)Karas ("The war") - a very simple card game of pure luck where people show their top card and the one with the better card takes all the other cards. Regarded too childish by most adults although rules are typically known.

Since 1990s most Lithuanians also learned Monopoly, in 2000s Alias became probably the most popular party game while Poker (Texas hold'em) also gains influence now.
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Bill Hartman
United States
Roseville
California
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Here in USA, it depends on where you live really.

D&D and some RPG's are popular near college campuses especially, I've found. Magic: The Gathering and Warhammer are pretty much everywhere.

Otherwise, I find that most people tend to stick to the old staples, or look down on boardgames as "Childish" mostly, unless it's Apples to Apples or something of the sort.

Here where I live in Central PA, there isn't a real board game store anywhere nearby worth a spit. I Drive up to STate College, to a comic book shop there, and buy games once in a while (the guys are really nice, but have a small selection). But mostly I have to buy on the internet.

I found 2 guys that I play boardgames with regularly, but it's tough around these parts... I'd imagine in bigger cities here, it's probably easier to find a good store and people playing more than Scrabble, Chess, and Monopoly.

I think Monopoly, Chess, Checkers, Scrabble and Uno are probably a few that everyone seems to know in this country, so not too much different from you.

Card games like Poker, Bridge, Rummy, those are all pretty well known here too.
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This geeklist might be of interest to you.

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/11212/national-games-games...
 
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Augustinas Zemaitis
Lithuania
Vilnius
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D Beau wrote:
This geeklist might be of interest to you.

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/11212/national-games-games...


Thank you, the list is indeed interesting. Its format however I believe underrepresents certain popular international games (chess, checkers, etc.) as it is listed by games rather than by countries and people attempt to come with more unique games rather than describing readding the games that were already introduced to the list and linked to different countries.

It is perhaps easier for a person to report what are the national games in his own country.
 
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Augustinas Zemaitis
Lithuania
Vilnius
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To my knowledge (and the information I gathered in travels) the zones where the major board games are "national" are as follows although this necessarily has many generalizations:

Backgammon: Balkans and the Middle East
Dominoes: Carribean
Chess: Eastern Europe, India, to a somewhat lesser extent the West (not sure which particular western countries more)
Checkers: Same as Chess(?)
Go: Japan, China, Korea
Shogi: Japan
Chinese Chess: China
Mahjong: China, Philippines
Owambo: Africa (southern?)
Scrabble: USA (not sure where else in the West it is most popular)
Monopoly: USA (not sure where else in the West it is most popular)
Durak (Durnius or other local variants of the name): Former Soviet Union and occupied areas
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Caio Corrêa
Brazil
Brasília
Distrito Federal
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Well, Brazil does not play a lot of games, when brazilians do, they play mostly card games: Truco, Buraco (lit Hole) and Sueca (lit Swedish Woman), I don't really know if there is any equivalent in english

Dominoes are pretty popular, specially with the elderly

Regarding board games, everybody (at least of my age) have played Risk and Monopoly, but we don't have a "tradition" to play board games around here.
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Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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A traditional game here in the Philippines is "sungka", which is in reality Kalah, and that can be found in many countries.

An extremely popular street game is "pusoy dos", which is defined in Wikipedia as:

Big Two, is a popular type of shedding card game with origins in the Philippines. The object of the game is to be the first to get rid of all your cards by playing them to the table. If you cannot be first to play all your cards, then your aim is to have as few cards as possible when another player finishes first. Cards can be played separately or in certain combinations using poker hand rankings. Games of Pusoy Dos can be played by three or four people.

Pusoy (Chinese Poker) is also popular, and of course the ubiquitous chinese game Mahjong.

In toy shops and bookstores mass market games such as Monopoly (there is even a Philippine edition now!), Monopoly Deal Card Game,Sorry!, Chutes and Ladders, etc. etc. can be found.
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