While it may have been adversely impacted in the wake of the Great Recession, the travel and tourism sector has evolved to achieve an annual economic impact of more than $6.5 trillion worldwide. Increased competition between independent airlines has played a pivotal role in driving profitability within the industry, as companies have created a higher diversity of routes and the cost of flying has fallen dramatically as a result.world-map-davidsbeenhere

Photo courtesy of Rosario Fiore via Flickr

As someone who has had the good fortune to travel the world, I have encountered a unique array of experiences and unusual games. In particular, I have played some of the most enjoyable bar games imaginable, from the most Western points of Northern America to the depths of the Indian Subcontinent. Here are the three best and most unusual games I have enjoyed, travelling from West to East across the globe: –

Texas Hold’em Poker, Western America

Whether you enjoy playing poker online or in person, you will be familiar with the rules and appeal of Texas Hold’em. The origins of this game can be traced back to the emergence of Western saloon, and in its infancy it was only played in the quiet suburban Texan city of Corpus Christi. Now firmly re-established as a universally popular bar game, it requires each player to be dealt two cards before deciding whether to fold, check or bet. Then the dealer produces what is referred to as a flop, and once this is complete three communal cards are placed face down to complete each player’s hand. Then comes the turn, a final draw and two rounds of betting, before the cards are revealed and the pot is claimed!

Bimini Ring Game, the Caribbean

After a brief sojourn in the Caribbean, I was fortunate enough to enjoy the unique and exciting Bimini Ring Game. According to the bar games map by Full Tilt, it originated off the island of Bimini when the renowned Ernest Hemmingway caught a prize Tuna in the region and returned to the Big Game Club in celebration. Despite the fact that I was not particularly good at the game, it was easy to learn and requires only a ring, a hook and a piece of string. Simply attach the ring to a long piece of string that hangs from the ceiling, ensuring that this is long enough to be caught on the hook when thrown from a distance. Then players get ten turns each round to throw the string, with the one who is most accurate and accumulates the most points ultimately successful.

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Bagh Chal, Nepal on the Indian Subcontinent

Asia is the birthplace of many a classic game, from dominoes to chess, although has also earned a reputation for enjoying more diverse, innovative past-times, and no single game embodies this better than Bagh Chal (Tiger Game). Essentially, the game involves goats being chased by tigers across a five-by-five point grid, as one player assumes control of the tigers and others a group of goats. The four tigers are each afforded a corner, before the goats are placed and the game can commence. Once a minimum of five goats are captured, a winner can be determined although I have to confess to losing prolifically during my time in Nepal. I later learned that there is even an app that replicates this game, so check this out if you get the chance.

Know of any more exotic bar games from around the world? Leave us a comment below!