Blind cow rules – blind cow rules, game

Blind cow, which in the English-speaking world as "No peeking!"Or"Blindman’s buff“Is known is an age-old board game, but today almost only from children is played.

Rules and style of play

Any number of people can participate in the game, but there should be at least three. They become a player Blindfolded, he gives the "Blindman’s Buff". The other players annoy the cow, run around it and pull it by clothing or hair. If one of the players is caught by the cow, he must be blindfolded and take on her role.


Over the centuries, numerous variants of blind cows have developed, three of which are still in use today.

version 1

The blind cow does not have to catch their tormentors, but only has to hold on to them briefly or touch them. Anyone caught gets out. The game continues until there is only one person left who then becomes the new blind cow.

Variant 2

A player who is touched by the cow must stop and be palpated. If the cow can guess who it is, it must take its place.

Variant 3

While in the first two variants the hearing, the sense of orientation and the reflexes are mainly used, the third form of play of blind cow is all about the sense of touch. In this variant, many different objects are placed on a table. Then the cow is blindfolded and has to rotate in a circle a few times. Now the player has to find the table and grab and scan one of the objects. As soon as he has found out which object he is holding in his hands, he can remove the blindfold and pass it on to the next player.

For variant 3 of the blind cow, ready-made play sets are now being released by different publishers. The games usually contain a mask or a cow’s head made of cardboard mesh that replace the blindfold. In addition, a set contains panels with several dozen figures made of hard plastic. The characters that have to be felt are divided into three different difficulty classes, the children from the age of three to twelve Years. Children under the age of three should not handle the plastic molds as there is a risk of them swallowing them.

Historical development

Blind cow in its current form is least known in Europe since the late Middle Ages. In the early modern era, gaming was already very popular among adults, but was probably banned in some countries. One of the most revealing early sources is the novel "Gargantua and Pantagruel" by the French writer François Rabelais. The five-volume cycle, which deals with the young giant Pantagruel and his father, was published between 1532 and 1564. The two giants had two favorite hobbies: eating and forbidden games, the latter including blind cow. Around 1560 the game was already known and popular among Dutch children. In Holland it was probably never banned and even occupied art. Dirk van der Lisse’s painting "Nymphs at the blind-cow game" from 1635 is one of the best known works of this subject.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, i.e. during the Baroque and Rococo periods, the game became fashionable among the nobility and the upper classes in the cities. In court circles, the blind cow in variant two developed an erotic component. At that time, the cow’s palpation of the body of a captive tormentor often had a frivolous connotation. It still remained in the Empire during Napoleon’s reign. Only in the course of the 19th century did the blind cow slowly develop into a child’s play. A long way, considering that it was originally a pagan-era ritual for expelling demons.

Similar playful rituals in India and Indonesia can be traced back to around 400 BC. How and when the game first set foot in Europe is unfortunately not known.


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Christina Cherry
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