Authentic Mexican Party Games

by Jessica Briggs
Piñatas are a very well known Mexican party game.

Piñatas are a very well known Mexican party game.

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Finding authentic Mexican party games can be a difficult, because many have been appropriated and given non-Mexican names like "Pin the tail on the donkey." However, there are a number of authentic Mexican games that will bring a ton of fun to your party, whether it is for kids or adults.

Piñatas

Piñatas are likely the most well-known Mexican party game. A piñata is a cardboard shape, usually of an animal or an easily-recognized object such as an airplane or cactus. It is usually filled with candy or other treats, then covered with brightly colored tissue paper and hung from a tree or other tall structure. Players are blindfolded, given a long stick and spun around in circles until they are dizzy. The object is to strike the piñata until it splits open and dumps its goodies on the ground, at which point everyone dives in and stuffs the treats in their pockets.

Loteria

Loteria is a wildly popular game that is played in a similar manner to bingo, but players collect images instead of numbers. The caller has a deck of cards, and each card has an image on it, such as La Dama (the woman) or El Tambor (the drum), and flips one at a time, calling the name of the image out. Each player has a sheet with a miniature version of a random assortment of the images, and places a marker (usually a plastic disc or dried bean) on an image when the corresponding name is called. When a player has markers on all the images in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row, he shouts "¡Lotería!" and has won the game.

Mexican Train Dominos

Mexican Train dominos can be played by almost any number of people sitting around a central hub. Each player puts down an "engine" tile designated by the round being played -- first round, highest tile denomination. Players then must put down a tile with a matching side to the previous tile (like train cars) on each successive turn. If no tiles match, then the player cannot play and loses that turn, putting down a marker (often a tiny plastic train that came with the domino set) at the end of the cars on the track. Other players may then add cars to your track from the tiles in their hand. The first person to use all of the tiles in their hand wins.

Stealing the Sombrero

While primarily a kids' game, stealing the sombrero can easily be played by adults. Each player is given a sombrero to hang from its string down the back. Mariachi music is played, and each player attempts to steal sombreros from other players without losing their own. The host pauses the music sporadically, and each time the music stops anyone caught without a sombrero is out. The game is over when one person is left with all of the sombreros.

About the Author

Jessica Briggs began writing professionally in 2011. She has written for high school, college and law school newspapers such as "The Justice" and "The Hoot" at Brandeis University. Briggs holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Laws in international criminal law and justice.

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