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Hammerschlagen! | by powelli
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Hammerschlagen!

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammerschlagen

 

Believe it or not this is a traditional pub game. It involves nails, the sharp end of a hammer... and drinking. Sounds like a recipe for disaster right?!

 

We were introduced to it on a snowboard trip to Westendorf in Austria, although I think it's originally a German game. Each player has a nail that they have to try and smack into a wooden stump with the chisel end of the hammer head, taking it in turns to strike a blow. The loser is the last one to get the head of their nail flush with the surface of the stump, and their punishment is to buy the rest of the players a round of schnapps.

 

It was St Patrick's Day the night we went to this particular pub and the combo of the Après-ski atmosphere, St Paddy's spirit and some Irish visitors meant that this pub was pretty raucous. Still no one bats an eyelid at tipsy people wielding a hammer in the corner of the room, it's brilliant but feels a little bit weird! I cannot imagine this ever being allowed in the UK.

 

We ended up playing against an Austrian guy who was some kind of 7 foot rugby player, and he had a very different approach to our measured and careful taps. He would smack at the wood with all his might and invariably missed the nail, burying the head of the hammer by a centimeter or more. But on the occasions he struck the nail it would disappear half way in with one blow. In that way I guess it's a game of odds, but also a psychological one of intimidation! Pretty complex for a drinking game :-)

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Uploaded on May 29, 2013