What connect British children, a piece of string and a nut you can't eat? The answer is a game called conkers. For the last hundred and fifty years, children in the UK have collected shiny brown nuts from under horse chestnut trees in September and October, when it's autumn in Britain. They use these nuts — called 'conkers' — to play a game, which is also called conkers.

Conkers

How to play

To play the game, you need two players, two conkers and two pieces of string about 20cm long. Each player makes a hole in the middle of their conker and pulls their string through the hole. They tie the string to stop the conker falling off. One player holds Ai their conker up by the string, and the other player then swings their conker at the other one as hard as they can. Then it's the other player's turn to hold up their conker. The winner is the player whose conker breaks the other player's conker.

Advanced rules

If the two strings get tied together, the first player to shout 'Strings!' can have another turn. If one player's conker falls on the ground, that player tries to shout 'No stamps!' before their friend can shout stamps! If the first player is successful, they can pick their conker up and continue playing. If not, their friend can stamp on the conker (break it with their foot) and he or she wins the game!

Tricks to win

Some people try to make their conkers harder by baking them, soaking them or keeping them fora long time. Some schools have stopped children playing conkers in the playground because they don't want children to hurt themselves. Now there are even games of conkers you can play online, but they are not as much fun as the real thing!

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