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.