There is something about Paris that sets it apart, both in terms of its cultural appeal and its ability to resist prevailing social and economic trends. Even as the tourism industry buckled beneath the weight of sluggish economic recovery in 2012, Paris continued to deliver consistently high figures and recorded growth of 1.5% on the previous year.
There is good reason for this, and one that goes beyond the appeal of popular attractions and monuments. More specifically, Paris has a rich and diverse cultural heritage that outshines all other European nations, whether you consider the arts, innovation or the fascinating world of local cuisine.
From the cafes that line the Champs Elysees to the dark back street bars which come alive of an evening, the hustle and bustle is infectious, with great wine, great beer, and great entertainment.
In terms of alternative entertainment, it is also worth noting that Paris has an urban and rustic side. This is reflected in the prominence of popular bar games in the Parisian suburbs, some of which originated in the French capital and others that came from alternative destinations.
Of course, you’re never going to be bored in the French capital, but if you need to ramp up your evening, channel your inner Frenchman on a Friday night and enjoy some of their best-loved bar games.
While blackjack may be synonymous with the bright lights of the Vegas strip, this casino game actually originated in the French heartland. According to the Full Tilt bar games map, the game was first referenced in a piece of literature that was written by author Miguel de Cervantes as far back as 1601. As simple as it is popular, a dealer distributes two face-down cards to each player before apportioning themselves two with the second one facing upwards. Each player then has the option to hit, stand, double or split in a bid to reach 21, and the winner will be determined by who (other than the dealer) gets closest to this landmark. Each hand is officially closed when the dealer turns over his final card and confirms the results.
Pool is another example of a globally renowned bar game which has retained its enduring popularity through the ages, and once again its origins may come as a surprise. It actually evolved from the game of croquet, which was played on the 15th century lawns of French nobility. Popularised by bars in the U.S. and Western Europe, it can be found everywhere from American dive bars, to traditional British pubs, to of course the hip bars of Paris. While there are several regional variations of the game, the most famous format is the eight-ball version where players must sink balls in consequential order before nominating a pocket and potting the black.
While Sueca is a popular card game that originated in Portuguese speaking nations, it has a cult following in both Spain and France. A typical game includes four players who are split into two teams, while an ace is the most valuable card followed by a Seven, a King and Sixes. Play usually proceeds counter-clockwise, with each player being dealt ten cards at the start of the game. The deck’s bottom card sets trump and is turned face-up, before each player must take their turn in an attempt to trump the previous card. Points are accumulated over the course of each round, with the winning team being the first to reach the magical number of 61, and the losers going fetching another bottle of Chateau Montelena.