Find a conker from your local horse-chesnut tree, usually found around October each year.

How many players are there in Conkers?



How do you play Conkers?

These are the rules of playing Conkers.

Shell the conker, it is contained within a soft shell with pointy needles around it.

Once shelled drill a hole through the middle big enough to thread a shoelace or string.

String should be around 12 inches long or best thing is to use a shoelace.

Tie a knot at one end and thread the string/shoelace through the drilled hole.

One player dangles their conker at the bottom of the string in their outstretched arm.

The other player then attempts to hit the conker with their own.  This is done by holding the conker in one hand while tensioning the string, let go of the conker and swing it over and down onto the opponents conker.

If the conker is struck then you get another go.  If you miss then it is your opponents turn to swing at your conker.

If the either conker breaks then the the points are awarded to the surviving conker.

Conkers start life as noners, or none-ers.  They have not yet played.

If you play and beat a none-er then your conker becomes a oner or one-er.

If your conker is a two-er and you play and beat a three-er then your conker becomes a six-er.  One point for beating them plus their original score.

Submitted by David Radisic

The Origins

The first recorded game of Conkers using horse chestnuts was on the Isle of Wight in 1848. 
Prior to this time children did play a similar game using hazelnuts and snail shells which may also indicate where the name came from as the nineteenth-century dialectal word conker means snail-shell.
Submitted by anon

Other Rules

Some people tie knots in the top of their shoelace/string to indicate how many times they have won.

Some people take turns in striking whether they hit their opponents conker or not.

Submitted by David Radisic

I played this on a caravan site in west Wales where most of the kids were from urban South Wales or the English Midlands (but I was from rural SW England and did not play street games at home). Billy guarded the can against a wall, as it was a caravan site there were lots of places to hide and creep up from all directions, under and around cars and caravans bins etc.

Billy would take the risk of ranging away from the can and if he spotted someone had to run back to the can to touch it, point them out and name them and where they were hiding. You could run in and kick the can away if he was not touching it.

Once out you lined up and tried to help the free rangers by distracting Billy or pretending to help him. If the can was kicked I think we were all released again. If Billy spotted everybody, the first one to be spotted was the next Billy.

Submitted by anon

Other Names

Gallitos : Puerto Rico Submitted by anon
Billy Kick the Can : Submitted by anon

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