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|Other name(s)||Mexican bingo|
Lotería is a traditional game of chance, similar to bingo, but using images on a deck of cards instead of numbered ping pong balls. Every image has a name and an assigned number, but the number is usually ignored. Each player has at least one tabla, a board with a randomly created 4 x 4 grid of pictures with their corresponding name and number. Players choose a tabla to play with, from a variety of previously created tablas, each with a different selection of images.
Lotería is the Spanish word for lottery. The deck is composed with a set of 54 different cards with a picture on it. To start, the caller (cantor, or singer) shuffles the deck. One by one, the caller picks a card from the deck and announces it to the players 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 with a chip or other kind of marker. In Mexico, it is traditional to use small rocks, crown corks or pinto beans as markers. The winner is the first player that shouts "¡Lotería!" right after completing a tabla or a previous agreed pattern: row, column, diagonal or a pozo.
Lotería de Pozo is a variant version of the traditional Mexican Lotería, where the basic rules apply. For this version, before the game begins, players agree on how many pozos are to be completed in a row, column or diagonal pattern. A Pozo is a group of images in a square. The square may contain 2 x 2 (4) or 3 x 3 (9) images for a traditional tabla.
The origin of lotería can be traced far back in history. The game originated in Italy in the 15th century and was brought to New Spain (modern Mexico) in 1769. In the beginning, lotería was a hobby of the upper classes, but eventually it became a tradition at Mexican fairs.
Don Clemente Jacques began publishing the game in 1887. The current images have become iconic in Mexican culture, as well as gaining popularity in the US and some European countries. Other popular Lotería sets are Lotería Leo, Gacela and Lotería de mi tierra.
During the 1930s, the Catholic church came up with their own version of la Lotería. It consisted of Catholic images instead of the traditional images used in the original game. The Catholic church did this to promote their beliefs by making their very own game board similar to the Lotería.
Cards and associated verses
The following is a list of the original 54 lotería cards, traditionally and broadly recognized in Mexico. Below each card name and number, are the verses (in Spanish) sometimes used to tell the players which card was drawn. However, there are several less traditional sets of cards, depicting different objects or animals.
1 El gallo ("the rooster")
2 El diablito ("the little Devil")
3 La dama ("the lady")
4 El catrín ("the dandy")
5 El paraguas ("the umbrella")
6 La sirena ("the mermaid")
7 La escalera ("the ladder")
8 La botella ("the bottle")
9 El barril ("the barrel")
10 El árbol ("the tree")
11 El melón ("the melon")
12 El valiente ("the brave man")
13 El gorrito ("the little bonnet")
14 La muerte ("Death")
15 La pera ("the pear")
16 La bandera ("the flag")
17 El bandolón ("the mandolin")
18 El violoncello ("the cello")
19 La garza ("the heron")
20 El pájaro ("the bird")
21 La mano ("the hand")
22 La bota ("the boot")
23 La luna ("the moon")
24 El cotorro ("the parrot")
25 El borracho ("the drunkard")
26 El negrito ("the little black man")
27 El corazón ("the heart")
28 La sandía ("the watermelon")
29 El tambor ("the drum")
30 El camarón ("the shrimp")
31 Las jaras ("the arrows")
32 El músico ("the musician")
33 La araña ("the spider")
34 El soldado ("the soldier")
35 La estrella ("the star")
36 El cazo ("the saucepan")
37 El mundo ("the world")
38 El Apache ("the Apache")
39 El nopal ("the prickly pear cactus")
40 El alacrán ("the scorpion")
41 La rosa ("the rose")
42 La calavera ("the skull")
43 La campana ("the bell")
44 El cantarito ("the little water pitcher")
45 El venado ("the deer")
46 El Sol ("the sun")
47 La corona ("the crown")
48 La chalupa ("the canoe")
49 El pino ("the pine tree")
50 El pescado ("the fish")
51 La palma ("the palm tree")
52 La maceta ("the flowerpot")
53 El arpa ("the harp")
54 La rana ("the frog")
On December 9, 2019, Google celebrated Lotería with a Google Doodle. The interactive game has the El Apache, El borracho, El diablito, El gorrito, La muerte, El negrito, El soldado, and El valiente cards replaced with El ajolote ("the axolotl"), El buscador ("the search engine"), La concha ("the conch"), El elote ("the fresh ear of corn"), El emoji ("the emoji"), El gorro ("the cap"), El guacamole ("the guacamole"), and El xoloitzcuintle ("the hairless dog"). Artworks for La sirena and El guacamole cards not found during the game can still be seen in the background of the end screen.
- Villegas, Teresa. "History of La Lotería", www.teresavillegas.com
- "Lotería de Pozo". www.maravillasoftware.com. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
- "How the Loteria Mexicana / Mexican Bingo became an online game?". Maravilla Software. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
- "Celebrating Lotería!". Google. 9 December 2019.
- Lotería: A Novel, by Mario Alberto Zambrano
- Playing Lotería: El Juego de La Lotería, by René Colato Laínez
- El Arte de la Suerte, by Artes de Mexico Número 13, Otoño 1991, Nueva Época
- Loteria Rules and how to play