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Learn more about archery in Toronto by visiting archerytoronto.ca, or the Toronto Public Archery Range Facebook page
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

10 Archery Gambling Games

For Valentines ArcheryToronto.ca has released a list of 5 Archery Gambling Games on their website.

The Five Archery Games are:
However we think there is room for 5 more archery gambling-style games people can play for fun.

Like the ArcheryToronto.ca website, we encourage only gambling with tiny amounts like quarters. 25 cents is not a big deal and makes it clear the game is just for fun. (With the exception of the Iron Archery Competition, #10 below, which is more of a "pay to enter sporting competition with cash winnings".)

Please note we are not endorsing high stakes gambling. We recommend people pay for quarters, nickles, dimes, candy or similar treats. eg. "The loser pays for sushi."

#6. Aces are Wild

  • Similar to Poker, this game involves pinning the face cards and aces from a deck of cards on an archery target.
  • For fun we recommend arranging the cards and pinning them up like a X shape, but not with the aces in the middle - no, in order to make it harder, put the jacks in the middle, then the queens, then the kings, and then the aces at the outer edge. That way the aces are spread out and are the hardest to hit.
  • Your goal is to get 4 or 5 of a kind of Kings, Queens or Jacks (Aces are wild and can be used for any of the above 3.
  • Because there are only 4 aces, 4 kings, 4 queens, and 4 jacks you have to match them up. 
  • If you shoot the same card twice or more, only the first shot counts. All additional shots on the same card do not count. The goal is to make this an aiming exercise so people learn how to adjust their aim.
  • The person who gets the most of a kind, wins.
  • Kings beat Queens and Jacks, Queens beat Jacks.
  • If all your cards don't match you can also get a full house (set of 3, set of 2) or two pairs.

There are many variations on archery poker (as shown in the image on the right). Normal Poker games are rather unsuitable for archery games, so feel free to make up your own version of archery poker.

#7. Two Shot Cluster

  • Each archer gets two arrows.
  • Each archer, in their own time, shoots the two arrows one at a time and tries to get them in a tight cluster.
  • If necessary you may need a ruler or measuring tape to measure the size of the cluster.
  • The archer with the tightest cluster wins the round and the pot.
  • Archers should endeavour to try and hit their own arrow / Robin Hood it.

#8. The Rovers' I Betcha Game

One part gambling, one part drinking game, Roving is a tradition dating back to England of young men going out drinking and shooting at random things as they "rove" around the countryside. The following game recreates the act of Roving and turns into one part gambling game and one part drinking game.

As they rove / walk each archer takes turns saying things like "I betcha cannot hit that apple!"

If an archer accepted, they had to try and hit the apple. If they succeeded, they won several coins. If they missed, they lost several coins.

However they could also refuse to take the shot - to which they would then be forced to take a large gulp of strong alcohol. If they refuse regularly, they will be really drunk in a hurry - but at least they will still have their money. Or maybe they will get so drunk they agree to a hard shot, and completely miss because they are drunk.

The archer whose turn it was - whether they hit, missed or drank - then chooses a person and makes a new bet. Thus the game continues indefinitely, until all the arrows have been lost/broken, or all the alcohol is gone, or until one archer has all the money - whichever happens first.

#9. Black Jack

  • Similar to the Poker game mentioned above, Black Jack uses cards as targets.
  • In this scenario you need: 4 Jacks and 4 Aces.
  • Distribute the cards on the target board randomly, so they are spread out.
  • Jacks are worth 10 points and Aces are worth 11.
  • Each archer shoots two arrows.
  • The archer with the highest score wins (or ties) and collects / splits the winnings.

#10. The Iron Archery Competition

Inspired by the Iron Man Competition.

Each archer pays $10 to enter the competition. Ideally you want a cap of 300 archers in the competition. That means $3,000 in the pot.

  • Bicycle 5 kilometers.
  • Shoot 10 Arrows
  • Swim 200 meters.
  • Shoot 10 Arrows.
  • Sprint 200  meters.
  • Shoot 10 Arrows.
  • Sprint 200  meters again to cross a finishing line.

Each archer's score out of 300 (30 arrows x 10 points) is recorded.

The first archer who crosses the finishing line gets 300 points.
The second archer gets 299.
The third archer gets 298.
Etc.

Each archer's archery score out of 300 is then added to their score for crossing the finishing line.

The archer with the highest combined score wins half the pot, $1,500.

The second best archer gets $1000. The third best gets $500.

The organizers sell food and drinks and pocket the profits from food/drink sales.

If there is a smaller number of archers, simply divide the archery score, reduce the points for crossing the finishing line, and divide the winnings accordingly.

For example if you only have 30 people competing...

Divide the archery score by 10, so it is a score out of 30 instead.
Crossing the finishing line first only awards a maximum of 30 points.
Total winnings is $300. Winner gets $150, 2nd gets $100, 3rd gets $50.

Note - Such a competition is not so much gambling as it is a "pay to enter sport" with cash winnings.

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