Playing the Mysterious Game of Pig in Middle Tennessee

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playing cards, Selden Saunders

Folks in Tennessee’s Fentress and Pickett Counties have been playing a card game called Pig for generations, but nobody knows the origin of the locally cherished game – or where it gets its name.

But one thing’s for sure. When the last Saturday of February rolls around, the Annual Pig Tournament at Pall Mall’s Forbus General Store is the place to be.

About 100 people compete in the tournament, now in its fifth year. The rules aren’t easy to master, but “the best way to learn Pig is to watch Pig,” says organizer Jim Buck.

When the tournament ends, the winner walks away as the Pig World Champion – a coveted title where the game’s roots run deep.

“My father is 91, and he doesn’t even know how the game started,” Buck says. “All he knows is he’s been playing Pig his whole life.”

Want to learn how to play? Click here for the official rules of Pig.

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