One, Two, Three Shoot: It’s an Ancient Game

image Do you remember playing "1, 2, 3, Shoot!"?  I do!

One, Two, Three, Shoot! is a choosing game.  A game to settle disagreements between two or more people. 

When I was a kid playing this game, we always played with two people.  It was a perfect game for deciding who would win an argument.  Kids would say, "Let’s shoot for it."  Then they’d play 1, 2,3 Shoot.  It’s similar to "Rock, Paper, Scissors".

One person would choose "Odds" and the other "Evens".  Each player puts their hand in a fist and they say together, "1, 2, 3 Shoot!". On "shoot" each player puts out either 1 or 2 fingers.  If the numbers on the kids fingers add up to an even number, then the one who chose "Evens" wins.  If the numbers on their fingers equals an odd number, the one who chose "Odds" wins.

You can play with either one round – where whoever wins the first round wins the game, or you can play 3 rounds and whoever wins 2 out of 3 rounds wins the game.

Variations of this game have been played since at least the time of the ancient Romans.  In Rome it was called micatio or digitis mieare. A game of chance, combined with skill, also played by two people.  Both would hold up their right hands with closed fists.  Then, at the same time they put out a certain number of their fingers, while calling out at the same time the total number of fingers on both players’ hands.  Whoever guesses the right number wins the game.

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The figures in the pictures are from an Ancient Egyptian tomb showing two people playing a variation of this game!  In their version they can use both hands.

This game is also called Morra.

Feel free to share any versions of this game you know in the comments below.

Mama Lisa

Reference: A Dictionary of Roman and Greek Antiquities (1901) by Anthony Rich

This article was posted on Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 at 10:38 pm and is filed under 1, 2, 3, Shoot!, Choosing Games, Countries & Cultures, Egypt, Games Around the World, Italy, Micatio, Morra, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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