At some point in the ’90s, for reasons which escape you both then and now, you began collecting these things called “Pogs.” You’d carry around your lot of decorated cardboard discs in neon plastic tubes, and proudly show off your refined taste for flames and ying-yangs come recess.
The thing is…did anyone ever really know how to play Pogs? You’d stack them up, maybe knock them over, and try to take all of your friends’ items. But in the end, since no one ever wanted to trade or lose their precious Pogs — especially not that cool skull and roses one —you just packed them back up, with no clear winner.
3. It probably looked a lot like this…
4. A bit of background first…
So what are Pogs? The name comes from a brand of juice called POG (stands for passion fruit, orange, guava), which came packaged with lids that made good pieces for playing the game we’d eventually just call “Pogs.” There have been earlier forms of Pog-like games played for ages — usually with milk bottle caps — but Pog is the term that stuck in the ’90s.
5. Basic rules…
1. The game starts by creating a stack of Pogs face-down. How high is up to you and your friends, but everyone contributes the same number of Pogs.
2. The first player takes a Slammer and throws it at the stack. Remember those? They looked like this…
3. After the slammer has knocked over the stack, player gets to keep all Pogs that land face-up.
4. The remaining face-down Pogs are re-stacked and the next player takes his shot.
5. Player with most Pogs wins and keeps his loot — if, that is, you’re brave enough to risk a “for keeps” game.
This is the most boring game. But whatever.
Of course, Pog aficionados will know that the game is not quite as simple as just chucking a Slammer. (Well, maybe it kind of is.) But you can use certain throwing techniques to improve your odds. You could aim it downwards, short-range. Or you could try a horizontal shot. If you want to study up on it, someone took the time to go into the finer points of the game, even estimating a shot’s accuracy.
9. Many brands and companies created their own Pogs. Like these beautiful Shaq by Taco Bell ones:
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