Most popular Sports & Games in Nigeria > How Nigerians Have Fun

Most popular Sports & Games in Nigeria

As stated previously, Nigeria is an extremely diverse nation with a lengthy history. Depending on their personality, interests, and abilities, residents decide how to have joy. While some may concentrate on building a bulletproof musical career in order to become one of the country’s wealthiest musicians, others may relax and appreciate the company of their peers.

There are certain activities that everyone enjoys regardless. From traditional sports to competitive video gaming, some activities are simply enjoyable. Below are some of Nigeria’s most popular pastimes.

1. Football

Unquestionably, football is Nigeria’s most beloved recreation. Whether observing or participating, the sport is dear to everyone’s heart.

Since its introduction to Nigeria in the 1920s, football has taken the country by storm. Nigeria founded their national team, the UK Tourists, in the 1940s and competed internationally in 1949. Despite not having any boots to play with, the UK Tourists defeated the English 5–2, culminating in a thrilling victory for both the team and the spectators.

Following this, the team’s moniker was changed to the internationally renowned Super Eagles. In the 1960s, they banded together with other African football nations to compete in the AFCON, also known as the Africa Cup of Nations. Nigerian football players have also competed in major competitions such as the 1996 Olympics, where they reached the semi-finals.

2. Dambe

While Nigerians have made football their own, combat sports such as Dambe have a longer history. Dambe dates back to the 10th century and derives from the Hausa people, one of the largest ethnic groups in Central and Western Africa. Similar to the Brazilian martial art of capoeira, players must fight their opponents until they collapse to the ground in order to win.

Dambe has historically been used by butchers and fishermen to celebrate harvests and festivals. Additionally, the techniques of the discipline were traditionally incorporated into the training of soldiers. As in boxing, where players secure their hands with thick gloves, Dambe fighters wrap one hand in a special rope called Kara while leaving the other hand free for use as a shield.

Dambe, as one might expect, is not for the feint of heart. Despite the fact that participants no longer resort to death as they did in the past, it is still a more violent sport than football. In any event, it is a well-liked pastime in Nigeria that remains popular today.

Online Games

In addition to physical sports, Nigerians appreciate online gaming, whose popularity has increased in recent years. Among the numerous games, slot machines are the most popular.

In addition to the exhilarating rush of watching the wheels spin and listening to the jingling sounds, slot players appreciate the variety. For instance, most slot machines have a specific RTP, or return-to-player rate.

The RTP, expressed as a percentage, informs the participant of the amount of money they can anticipate to receive from their wagers. The RTP informs the participant of the house edge, allowing them to strategize accordingly.

As a result, participants make wiser decisions because they consider the house advantage while playing. For instance, players are more likely to gravitate towards games with higher RTPs, as they are aware that these games will work in their favour.

1. Thunee

Similar to traditional online casino games like slots, Thunee is a fun card game in which participants wager.

The game originated in India, but as more Indians migrated to South Africa, it spread throughout the continent of Africa. The standard method of play involves twenty-four cards and four participants. Each participant is dealt five cards and then bids on their hands in an attempt to acquire the highest-valued cards.

In contrast to Western card games, in which face cards are the most valuable, the value system in Thunee is distinct. The system of rankings is as follows:

  • Jack 30 points
  • Nine 20 points
  • Ace 11 points
  • Ten 10 points
  • King 3 points
  • Queen 2 points

The Nigerian version differs marginally. Instead of twenty-four cards, thirty-two are required. In addition, the ranking system is distinct because there is no point system. It is strictly determined by rank, as follows: Jack, Nine, Ace, Ten, King, Queen, Eight, and Seven.