How to Play Cow Poker

Cows are notoriously cleaver creatures. They are adept at hiding behind objects, buildings, and landscapes. Several bovine critters can hide behind the smallest of obstacles. Cows are more like mice than you think. You would be amazed at how many can be behind a barn, a tree, a boulder, or even a fence post.


Car teams are divided into two, left side and right side. It is each team’s responsibility to “count” as many cows as possible in a given time frame (i.e., the entire trip). Points are awarded solely for the number of cows. Team members call out “COWS”, point their location, and give the amount. Some may be in plain sight, in an open field. While others may be “hiding”. The caller must exactly count all of the animals. The opposite team may challenge the counting. The caller MUST justify the number by precisely describing the animal’s locations (100 inside that barn, 42 behind that fence post).


127 Cows Hiding Behind a Tree


If more than two travelers, the driver has the ultimate say in all challenges. If only two people in the vehicle the caller is to continue to describe the cow’s location in greater and more specific detail until the opposing side capitulates. They won’t, so just keep going until the plug their ears and starts loudly saying “lalalalalala la la la”. The first person to become exasperated loses. If stubbornness prevails, an alternative method of settling the dispute must be reached. Common disputes are typically settled by one of the following methods:

  • Rock, Paper, Scissors (Lizard, Spock);
  • Ignoring the caller (typically a lot of “uh huh” , “mmm hmmm”, “ok”, and “if you say so” while absently looking out the window;
  • Passenger changing the radio stations incessantly until the driver concedes;
  • Driver furiously hitting the brakes smashing the passenger’s head into the dash or windshield, thus ending the argument


Additional points are granted for “alternative cows”. Alternative cows must be creatures that are of similar size to a cow. A squirrel does not count as an alternative cow. However, horses, bison, llamas, camels, antelope, etc., may be used. Additionally, alternative cows must be referred to by alternative names (for instance, antelope are “pointy prairie squirrels”, racoons are “trash pandas”, and bald eagles are “freedom gliders”). Bonus points for alterative names.


Cow Poker – Field of Dumb Bear Cows




In the pen beside the barn.

That is a sheep.

No, it is a sweater cow.

What is a sweater cow?

They are indigenous to northern states, Ireland, and naval vessels. They are known for their ability to hide in the snow and avoiding being eaten by the undomesticated woodland canine.


There are 72 of them in that field back there about a mile back.

No there wasn’t.

You are welcome to get out and look. Here, I will slow down. Remember to tuck and roll.


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