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Classic Nigerian Board Games That Have Stood The Test Of Time

Nigerians have always had their way of relaxing through old, traditional games, even before the advent of modern video games and technology. These games have stood the test of time, remaining a leisurely and competitive sport for participants.


Ayo or Ncho

Ayo. Photo: Osun Defender

Easily the most popular traditional board game in Nigeria and well-known across Africa, this ancient game is played by two individuals in an attempt to get more seeds and emerge the winner. The game is made up of 12 holes, six on each side of the board. Each hole contains four seeds, totalling 48 seeds.

Checkers or Draughts

Checkers. Photo: You Tube

This strategy board game involves two players alternating turns, one with dark pieces on one side and the other with light pieces. Played on a 10×20 board, it involves jumping over opponent pieces to capture them. A player without pieces remaining or who cannot move due to being blocked loses the game.


Chess. Photo: Chess Bazaar

Played on a checkered gameboard with 64 squares, this strategy game helps strengthen brain muscles and improve skills. It is played by many Nigerians and millions of people worldwide. Each player begins with 16 pieces. The objective is to checkmate the opponent’s king by putting it under an inescapable threat of capture.


Ludo. Photo: Wikipedia

With its yellow, green, red and blue “houses”, this game brings back fond memories. Ludo sees its two to four players racing their four pieces from start to finish according to the rolls of two die in a dice cup. Still played by Nigerians all over, the fun game remains one of the kings of board games.

Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders. Photo: BT

This game is full of traps and tricks. Roll the dice and the ladders will take you up, or the slippery snakes will take you down. The objective of this simple race contest is to reach the top square first. We found this classic multiplayer game behind the packs of Oxford Cabin and Yale biscuits you could cut out and play.

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