The Cow Game is a fun and addictive game that you can play with others whilst traveling. There are surprisingly more cows around than you’d expect!

The aim of the game is simple – The first person to spot a cow (or herd of cows) and yells out “I Win The Cow Game!”, wins!

There are however some rules to how The Cow Game is played and they can be found further down in the rules section.


The exact origins of The Cow Game are a bit hazy, but some time in the late 1990’s, The Cow Game was invented (and/or refined) by Claire, Alice (Both Australian), or maybe it was Linda (English) or Jean (American) –  They were a group of friends that worked at Nature’s Classroom and who were traveling around the US.

Whatever its exact origins, The Cow Game has since been passed onto many friends and families, who’ve played this game, on countless road trips and across all continents of the world!

The Cow Game can become quite competitive and can really brighten up a long boring trip. A humorous and precise description of the game and its tactics written by Bart can be found here. Some people however don’t like playing The Cow Game, as they feel it is too restrictive as focusing only on cows – they are the type of people who yell out “I won the horse game” – everyone knows there is no horse game! Love it or hate it though, it always generates laughs and stimulates conversation!

Controversy: It is important to initiate new players into The Cow Game (see Rule 6). When initiating new players into The Cow Game, they must lose their first game – This is achieved by the element of surprise! It is therefore important to refrain from teaching new players of The Cow Game’s existence, or its rules, prior to their first loss. New players often feel that it is unfair that they lost at a game, that they didn’t have the opportunity to compete at – this generally spurs them on to become more competitive at subsequent Cow Game opportunities!

You can see other people playing #TheCowGame at the following links:


Do you play a variation of The Cow Game or a have variation to The Cow Game rules ? We’d love to hear about it, so write it in the “Alternative Rules” section of the forum!

We’d also love to hear about where in the world you’ve played The Cow Game, so feel free to tell us in the forum.



The rules of The Cow Game are as follows:

Rule 1) The winner of The Cow Game is the first person to spot a cow (or herd of cows) and yell out “I Win The Cow Game!”.

Rule 2) The Cow Game cannot be won if anything other than I Win The Cow Game!is yelled out. Eg: You can’t win by yelling “I saw a cow!” or “There’s a cow!“.

Rule 3) The Cow Game may only be won once per day.

Rule 4) The Cow Game may only be won by spotting a real, live cow/herd. Images, photos, billboards, stickers, toys or any other likeness of a cow may not be used to win The Cow Game.

Rule 5) If a player incorrectly spots a cow/herd and yells out “I Win The Cow Game!”, then that player is excluded from playing The Cow Game for the rest of that day. In this instance, The Cow Game has not ended and may be continued by the remaining players.

Rule 6) The Cow Game is taught to new players by having them lose The Cow Game  initially – New players must not be told of The Cow Game, or its rules, prior to their first loss. (See Controversy section here).

Rule 7) The winner of The Cow Game for that day, tops the wins from any other game played that day.

Rule 8) A draw occurs when more than one person simultaneous calls out “I Win The Cow Game”. When a draw occurs, The Cow Game has ended for that day.

Rule 9) The Cow Game may only be played in the physical presence of other players. The Cow Game cannot be won via electronic means, or remotely to other players. Eg: text, phone, email, messenger, photos, streaming, broadcast, website, etc.

Rule 10) The Cow Game may be played anywhere or at any time of the day.

Rule 11) The Cow Game may only be won, as long as the majority of players can see the spotted cow/herd.

Optional Rule 1) Prior to a win, existing players of The Cow Game may alert each other that The Cow Game is currently being played. This can lead to a more competitive game!