How to play
- To start a game of Lotería, at least three players are required. One of these players must be selected to announce the cards. This player is called el gritón, or “the yeller”.
- Each player gets one tabla (a board with a grid of pictures) and a handful of beans.
- The game starts when el gritón begins pulling cards and announcing the words on the cards.
- When el gritón announces a card, the players must search their tabla to see if they have a match. If a match is found, the player places one bean on the tabla where the matching card is.
- Tip: el gritón should try to distract players so they are more likely to miss a card on their tabla as they are announced!
Lotería is a traditional game of chance that originated in Italy in the 15th century. The game eventually made its way to Spain then Mexico in 1769. Lotería became widely popular in 1887 when Don Clementa Jacques published and marketed it as an upper-class hobby. The game eventually spread beyond the upper-class people of Mexico to soldiers in the Mexican Independence war. The soldiers eventually brought the game back home to their families where it became a widely popular family game for all ages.
The imagery on the classic Don Clementa Jacques cards historically feature Mexican Folk Art but throughout the years, the imagery has shifted to represent popular culture and social developments. Modern Lotería cards may include imagery of la feminist, la selfie, la corona, or la botella, representing a bottle of hand sanitizer.