The Games of “Cowboy Weekend” – From Poker to Nine Men’s Morris

Last week I wrote a short bit about a friendly get together called the “Cowboy Weekend”, in which I extolled the virtues of the rough and tumble suburban camping experience. While I’ve covered a bit of the general setup, I’ve been asked to clarify a few points in regards to entertainment specifically.

First up, the game table. Now while I know that poker is the first game that comes to mind, it can be a bit intimidating. Generally, I find in a poker game that there is generally a single power player that sweeps the table. I also tend to find that that person is me. Not because I’m a great player, but because I have a basic understanding of poker and it’s strategies.

Poker's not your game... How 'bout a spelling bee?
Poker’s not your game… How ’bout a spelling bee?

If your set on reenacting your favorite scene from Tombstone, I’d suggest some pregame reading at Save ya from getting screwed in the bad way, ya hear?

Cowboy Games

One of the house favorites at our weekend was Liar’s Dice, a game in which you lie to one another. A diception if you will. Played with 5 dice a piece, players all roll in a cup at the same time, and make wagers as to the number of sided die present on the table. Remember though, this is a liars game so be sure to conceal your tells and stay cool.

Next up is your Cowboy Checkers or Nine Men’s Morris. Two players take turns placing their nine pieces on a grid of 24 points. The aim of the game is to get 3 of your men lined up horizontally, or vertically, which allows you to remove an opponents piece. While easy to learn, the strategies involved in Cowboy Checker’s can become pretty deep depending upon your opponent.

Now one of the funnest things we had at our night was a high powered telescope a friend brought in. Thankfully, we had good conditions and could get a very clear look at the moon. While not technically cowboy themed, taking a closer look at our solar system and then warming up by the fire just felt right. There were also some classic Westerns available to get use all in that rough-n-tumble spirit. Ranging from “Once Upon a Time in the West” to “Back to the Future 3“, there was plenty of tense staring and gun drawing to be had.

Remember, Cowboy Weekend is about having fun and anything can be appropriated for that. Hell, if you add enough whiskey, a 10-gallon hat, and rough denim and anything goes for a Cowboy Weekend.

And i mean anything...
And i mean anything…

(Photos by Andy Thomas, Tombstone, and Brokeback Mountain)




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Philosopher, writer, bad-pun maker and enjoyer of novelty. I enjoy bikes, video games, and beer all at the same time. When it comes to reading, I can and do.

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