Nigeria is a very diverse country with a rich and immersive culture. So it is no wonder that they are passionate about games that range from traditional to competitive to digital.
Football was brought by the British to Nigeria in the 1920s and exploded in popularity. In 1949, the national team (UK Tourist) went to England for their first playing tour and won without wearing shoes. In 1960, the team re-branded to being the Super Eagles, the name they still use today.
In 1973, Nigeria emerged triumphant in the All Africa Games, proving why they are called the “Giant of Africa.” The golden age of Nigerian football came in 1981. And when they won the Olympics Men Soccer Semi-finals in 1996, the whole country rejoiced.
The shared experience of rooting for the Nigerian national team is incomparable. Thousands would cheer in the stadiums, bars would reopen to accommodate the partiers. And massive bonfires are lit all over the roads. The sport still maintains a huge following in the country today. When the Super Eagles played, all eyes were on them.
Dambe has its roots in the martial arts tradition of the ethnic group Hausa. Hausan butchers originally participate in the sport as a test of bravery during festivals. Fighters would use a rope called ‘Kara’ to bind their hands tightly. And use them to pummel their opponents for up to three rounds or until one of them falls to the floor.
The sport has a long and bloody history as players would often get massively injured or worse. Nevertheless, Dambe is still thriving today. They are even finding new audiences worldwide through popular videos on YouTube.
The brutality, discipline, and grace involved in the contact sport are undoubtedly alluring. This explains why its star has never waned. Talks of a national Dambe league being established started in the past year. Rumors included the possibility of being in the Olympics.
3. Real Money Slots
Online casino games are gaining momentum worldwide, and Nigeria is no exception. The online gambling industry brings excitement and an interactive experience that takes your game to the next level.
Real money slots are games commonly found on online casinos and on smartphones. They differ from free slots because, as the name suggests, you have to pay a set minimum bet. However, there are many slot types out there that can give you the thrill you are looking for. That includes basic, straightforward ones, ones with multipliers, and others with creative and fun spins.
Many trusted online gambling platforms are offering real money slots for Nigerian gamblers. 22 Bet Casino and Betway Casino are top-rated. They come with a vast selection of games, various payment methods, and fast cash-in. 1xBet Casino, in particular, has over 3,000 slot games available and many bonuses and jackpots up for grabs.
Nigeria and the AFN have regularly wowed in Track and Field Athletics throughout the years. They’ve taken home 13 Olympic medals (the most out of any category for the country). The sport has many moving parts. It can be played as an individual or a team and utilizes running, throwing, and jumping skills.
The country has produced many fine track and field athletes who went on to represent Nigeria. Sunday Bada, Ese Brume, Tobi Amusan, and Chukwuebuka Enekwechi are just a few Nigerian athletes to name. They claimed victories in prestigious international competitions.
Chioma Ajunwa was the first black woman to win Nigeria’s first gold for her Long Jump pit at the Olympics.
Football wasn’t the only game brought by the British to Nigeria, there was Whot! too. In the British version, there are five suits: circles, crosses, triangles, stars, and squares. The goal is to eliminate your cards first by matching them with the cards lying face-up on the pile. Wildcards are also in play to spice things up.
What is the national card game of Nigeria and a fan favorite pastime for all ages? The game eventually evolved throughout the years. And separated itself from the original British version.
The Nigerian suits are ball, angle, cross, carpet, and star. Another key difference is that Nigeria kept the original number of cards (54). On the other hand, the British play with a 53-card pack.
6. Nigerian Thunee
Another popular Nigerian card game is Thunee (or Thuni). It originated from the Indian migrant community in South Africa. It’s a trick-taking game with a 24-card pack played with up to four players. Each player starts with five cards each. Then, they each take turns bidding until the remaining hands are ranked according to J-9-A-10-K-Q and corresponding values.
In the Nigerian version of Thunee, 32 cards are ranked according to J-9-A-10-K-Q-8-7. Plus, there are no card values. This version is very popular in Jos, Lagos, Abuja, and Ibadan.
Because Thunee has stayed popular until today, it has also gone digital. As a result, there are various online versions available. That includes a downloadable desktop version, an app, and an online site version.
Blackjack was first played in France until it was spread by French colonists. Eventually, it reached Nigeria. The theme of the game is simple. You just have to be the first to reach the value of 21 with two or more cards. This premise has become a popular table game in casinos around the world.
In Nigeria, the finest casinos are all located in the premiere hotels like Sheraton and Concorde. Every evening their blackjack tables come alive as players from all over test their luck. But, of course, the game won’t be complete without sampling a delicious buffet and a drink from the bar.
Another boost to Blackjack’s popularity in the country is the rise of online casino games. So instead of playing against a dealer, you will be facing a machine. Popular online Blackjack casinos include Spin Palace and Casino Cruise.
As varied as these Nigerian games are, there is no doubt that the unique blend of history, culture, and modernity is behind their popularity.