Pass The Pigs

Fast & fun, push-your-luck piggy throwing game

An evolution of the 1940s dice game ‘Pig’ – Pass the Pigs requires each player to take turns throwing two miniature pink piglets each of which has a single spot on one side (note these are tiny plastic replicas, not actual real pigs. Are you insane?).

Varying points are awarded for the different combination of piggy positions – the more acrobatic the more points are scored. After each throw a player must decide whether to bank the score or keep rerolling to accumulate their score further.

The potential fly in the oinkment (sorry couldn’t resist), is that if at any point the player throws a ‘pig out’ – one spot up, one spot down, the player is ‘bust’ and they lose ALL points scored for that turn, and pass the pigs (again, not literal pigs, just the aforementioned porcine models). If the pigs are ever touching, the player’s entire score is reset to zero.

The winner is the first to achieve 100 points (or the agreed predetermined target score).

This is such a speedy, uncomplicated joy to play – thoroughly addictive and an absolute riot in a group. The push-your-luck mechanic is a marvel to witness, with each player in visible turmoil – internally weighing up the odds with each new throw of the pigs – “Should I bank?” “Maybe just one more throw?”

Invariably players swiftly fall in to two camps – steady Eddy’s who roll a couple of times and bank a sensible 10 or 15 points, and then the gung-ho brigade who quickly scale the heights of 50 or 60 points in one sitting only to push their luck too many times, go bust whilst remaining super eager to repeat the same winning strategy the next time it’s their go. “’cos you never know I might get to 100 in one turn!”

Despite my family’s assertion, I am not this type of player, there is a sophisticated method to my apparent piggy madness. Just don’t let me loose on Vegas!

The beauty of this game is the lack of barriers to engagement – everyone can be involved from the start, there are no complex rules to learn, board or counters to move, turns are brisk, and the communal fun factor is high. Yes it’s primarily a game of chance, with the only ‘skill’ being determining your personal appetite for risk – when to bank, and when to keep on rolling, but it’s a compulsive, moreish joy.

For younger kids this is a great veiled way to get them to flex their maths skills and learn about probability, whilst also rolling about laughing when Daddy goes bust…again. The publisher’s age recommendation is 7+ but mature 5 or 6 year olds could easily join in the porky japes.

Pass the Pigs is THE ultimate travel game, literally occupying no more space than two dice essentially (assuming you can memorise the scoring combinations and are happy to keep track of score on your mobile or handy paper scrap).

My advice – get a set o’pigs for your pocket, handbag or bum bag as soon as possible. Great fun.

Why get it?

Immense, immediate fun. Ridiculously addictive, compact and super affordable. Perfect for larger groups. Oink oink squeeeeal!

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