La vache qui tache

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La vache qui tache (English: "the cow who stains") is a party game for any number of players, originally started in France. The only prop required is a cork with one end of which has been blackened in a candle flame.

Assign each player a number. Player one calls out "Je suis la vache qui tache sans taches numéro 1 et j'appelle la vache sans taches numéro X" ("I am the spotted cow with zero spots number 1, and I call the cow with zero spots number X"), where X is the number of any other player. When the game first starts no-one has any spots, so the number of spots is zero, or "sans tache". The next player, X, must immediately repeat the phrase, using his/her own number and another player for X ("I am the spotted cow with zero spots number X, and I call the cow with zero spots number Y"), where Y is the number of any other player. The game repeats this way until someone makes a mistake.

If a player makes a mistake, like mixing up the cow numbers, taking too long to respond, or calling the wrong number of spots, that player gets "spotted", using the blackened cork to make a big round black dot on his face. If a player gets one spot, then that player must say "I am the spotted cow with one spot..." and so on for the number of spots received.

Each mistake earns a player another spot (and, of course, both your number of spots and the number of spots of the player you're calling must be taken into account every time you call another player). The game may continue indefinitely or end when someone gets a certain number of spots.[1]

A French idiom for being falling-down-drunk is "black faced" in reference to this game.

Ibble Dibble[edit]

Ibble Dibble or Ripple Tipple in Australasia is an English variant. It also involves marking people's faces with a blackened cork or a similar substance such as peanut butter.[2][3][4]

Ibble Dibble is similar, but the name of the person is used instead of a number. For example: "I am Ibble Dibble Kyle with no Ibble Dibbles calling Ibble Dibble Kate with one Ibble Dibble."[5] Another variant is referring to "spots", saying "I'm number one spot, I've got no spots, how many spots has number x spot got?".


In 2004 la vache qui tache was made into a commercial party game, distributed by Jeux F.K.[6]


  1. ^ "La vache qui tâche". Jeux a boire. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ibble Dibble". Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Curran, Josie (2011). Organised Fun for Grown-Ups. Pan Macmillan. 
  4. ^ Martin Toseland, Simon Toseland (2012). 365 Family Games and Pastimes. Random House. p. 40. 
  5. ^ "Perfectly silly party games". Seven (Sunday Telegraph). 14 Dec 2007. Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  6. ^ La vache qui tache ! (in French)