Puerto Vallarta Lotería: A Local Twist of the Traditional Mexican Game
September, the most Mexican month of the year due to the celebration of Independence, represents a great opportunity to learn and play some of the traditional games that have been part of the culture of this country.
One of them, without a doubt, is the Lotería (the Spanish word for lottery), a game of chance, similar to bingo, that uses images on a deck of cards, each of them featuring iconic images of the Mexican folklore.
In the middle of this year, the Instituto Vallartense de Cultura, in collaboration with the city’s chronicler Juan Manuel Gómez Encarnación and the visual artist Elodia Jiménez, created a Lotería with a Vallarta twist, so the images refer several places of interest, animals, sculptures, historical figures, natural spots and foods of our destination.
The Puerto Vallarta Lotería is made of 56 cards, each of them painted by hand in watercolor.
How to Play
Each player (they can be up to 10) choose one tabla, a board with a randomly created 4 x 4 grid of pictures.
To start, the caller (cantor or singer) shuffles the deck. One by one, the caller picks a card from the deck and announces it by its name, sometimes using a verse before reading the card name.
Each player locates the matching pictogram of the card just announced on their board and marks it off (in Puerto Vallarta, it is traditional to use small rocks or beans as markers). The winner is the first player that shouts “¡Lotería!” right after completing a tabla or a previous agreed pattern: row, column or diagonal.