Balut (game)

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Balut is a game of dice, similar to Yahtzee. It was created by an American soldier named Edgar Woolbright stationed in the Philippines as an alternative to poker, and is a popular pastime of Danish businessmen overseas.[1] The game is named after a delicacy made from the fetal duck egg available in some Southeast Asian countries.

The international Danish community has taken the game as a popular method of social interaction abroad and at home, with Danish expatriates/businessmen gathering to play the game monthly. Rules of the game, code of conduct including dress code are enforced by participants and by the gamemasters, and games are organized by members of the International Balut Federation, or IBF.[2]

Play[edit]

The game involves rolling five dice up to 3 times to make various combinations, which are noted on a scorecard. A Balut is a five-of-a-kind of any denomination, but unlike in Yahtzee it counts for little in terms of points. Players who obtain a Balut announce it to the other players by calling out "Balut!"—similar to calling out "bingo!", and note it on a special scorecard. Players try to guess before gameplay how many Baluts will be made during the game; correctly guessing the total number can earn a prize.[1][3]

South East Asia variation[edit]

There is also a different version of Balut played in Members’ Clubs in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines which follow a set of rules established in 1978 at Singapore Town Club. These Clubs organize regular local and international tournaments as well as gathering together each year for the STC Balut Interport Championship. The 28th was held at the British Club Bangkok in 2008 and the 29th was held at the Sabah Golf & Country Club in 2009. In 2010 the 30th STC Interport Competition will be held at the British Club Bangkok on 19 to 21 November.

References[edit]

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