The Passing of the Pigs

  by Andrew Wolgemuth

The beauty of the little squealers contained in Pass the Pigs is that they do all the work. Seriously – I don’t know what flubber-like material these fellas are made of, but with just a slight flick of the wrist they dance delightfully across the table.

And then they pose, the nature of their pose awarding the roller-of-the-pigs some number of points … or a “pig out” (end of turn and the loss of points accumulated during that turn). So: roll, count points, and decide whether or not to roll again. Do you want the chance of more points with the risk of losing your turn’s points? Or do you want to bank your turn’s points and pass the pigs to your opponent?

That’s it. Pretty simple. And pretty fun.

Basically any kid who can roll the pigs can play the game (and rolling the pigs is pretty simple). For young / new players, you can help tally and track points and decide when to pass the pigs to the next player. As your kids get older, you can start handing them these tasks: perhaps they tally the points earned for a turn while you keep the master score. Or perhaps you handle the numbers while they decide whether to keep rolling or pass.

As you play, you’ll all have some fun, and your kids will learn:

  • taking turns
  • counting and adding
  • dealing with risk
  • names for weird pig poses

It’s the sort of fun that one can reasonably expect only from a game that has a wonderful, magical animal as its star.


Games and kids just go together. We’ve written about Candyland (oy) and Yahtzee. However, sometimes energy needs to be burned; consider building an obstacle course for your kids (and you).

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Picture by Robert Richards; Used via Creative Commons license. Amazon links are affiliate links.