My Mercado

This blog is about my adventures living along the U.S.-Mexico border, enjoying Mexican food, shopping South of the Border and how I combine all three with online stores.

Location: South Texas, United States

Monday, June 12, 2006

Learn How to Play Mexican Loteria

The topless mermaid ... a set of skull and bones ... or a very politically uncorrect black man with top hat and cane!

Which of the previous cards is among your favorite in the popular Mexican game Loteria?

You couldn't grow up in a Mexican-American home without playing Loteria sometime in your life.

Much like its American counterpart bingo - the idea behind Loteria is to fill your playing card with the characters that have been called out.

I grew up calling the game Chalupa - you know just like those yummy toasted tortillas piled high with lettuce, cheese, tomato and spicy meat?

But I've learned others call it Loteria or Mexican Bingo.

Just like bingo someone gets to call out the cards while everyone else puts beans or pennies on each of the characters called on their card.

The game is a lot more fun to play if there's a jackpot involved!

You can start small and play for pennies or nickels, but quarters and dollars are much more fun. Just make sure everyone puts the right amount of money in the jackpot at the beginning of each Loteria game.

You can play a full card or a straight diagonal, horizontal or vertical line. The person that fills their card first wins the jackpot.

Now don't be too shocked to find cards with a mermaid who is showing you her breast -La Serena, the drunk stumbling on the streets -El Boracho or the black man dressed with a top hat and cane -El Negrito. The Chalupa is a fair maiden floating down a river in a row boat.

Growing up we had nicknames for many of the characters.

Whenever someone called El Camaron - the shrimp - we always yelled out "Uncle Roger". That's because my Uncle Roger has a reddish complexion just like a raw shrimp. El Soldado - the soldier - was nicknamed Ronnie after my dad's cousin who was in the Air Force.

Just enjoy the game, win the jackpot and practice your Spanish at the same time.

Lots of folks are using the games and deck of cards to create Mexican Folk Art, Nichos, altars and lots of other items.

If you'd like to buy a Loteria game or a deck of cards, visit my online store at


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1:45 PM  
Blogger *star.mama* said...

Thanks for the playing tips!

10:48 PM  
Blogger Marissa Ordunez said...


10:13 AM  

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