Play: Our Exclusive Gen-Z Mexican Lotería!
Download and play our free Mexican Lotería with the first set of cards designed by Lateenz especially for Gen-Z!
What is Lotería?
Lotería is a traditional Mexican card game. It’s like American Bingo, except that Lotería uses images instead of letters and numbers. Over the years, there have been many different versions of Lotería based on different pictures and themes. We thought it would be fun to reimagine the classic images of the Don Clemente Jacques version of Lotería with the first set of cards designed specifically to reflect the cultural icons and experiences of Gen-Z!
History of Mexican Lotería
The basic idea and structure of Lotería originated in Italy in the 15th century and was brought to New Spain (what is now Mexico) around 1769. Lotería started out as a parlor game for members of the wealthy upper classes and was later popularized through games played at Mexican fairs. In the 20th century, Lotería became a common family pastime. The traditional version of the game was created in 1887 by Don Clemente Jacques, a French entrepreneur and immigrant to Mexico who printed the “Lotería El Gallo” in his factory. The Lotería El Gallo has 54 cards, each with a different image. These images are also printed in random groups of 16 on various “tablas” or playing boards arranged in a 4×4 pattern.
How to Play
The cards are shuffled and placed face down on the table. One person is assigned to be the “El Cantor” (the caller) who reads out one card at a time. Players check to see if the card that is called matches one of the images on their “tablas.” If so, they place a marker (typically a dried bean) on the tabla over the image. The first player to cover four squares in a horizontal row and yell ¡Lotería! is the winner.
“Kick It Up a Notch”: Fun Variations
Multiple Callers – Instead of having a designated caller, the players take turns calling the cards.
Alternating Winning Patterns – Keep the players on their toes by changing the winning patterns. Some possible patterns are: the four squares in the center of the tabla, any four contiguous squares (each square touches the others), the four corners of the table, four squares in a vertical row, or the full card.
Clues, Riddles and Rhymes – Instead of saying the name of the card, the caller identifies the card with a clue or riddle.
- El Venado (the Deer) – “When I was a baby, I wore a spotted dress. Now, I wear branches on my head.”
- La Botella (The Bottle) – “Tengo cuello, pero no tengo cabeza.” (“I have a neck but no head.”)
- La Sirena (The Mermaid) – “I communicate by sea-mail.”
- La Alpaca (The Alpaca) – “Mi vellón te mantendrá caliente.” (“My fleece will keep you warm.”)
Raise the Stakes – Have the players contribute a certain type of coin (e.g., dimes or quarters) to a “pot” at the beginning of the game. Then use coins instead of beans to mark the tabla. The winner gets to keep the all the coins on the winning tabla.
Download our free Mexican Lotería Cards (print double-sided) and Mexican Lotería tablas
¡Esperamos que te diviertas!
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