Monday, January 21, 2013

How to Play a Holen?

I miss playing “Holen”, back in elementary (during school break) playing “holen” is one of our favorite games of my best-friend.  

But what is a “Holen”? Well it’s a tagalog term for a Marble, sometimes we used to call this as “Jolen”.  There are plenty of colors you can choose if you want to buy a “Holen”.  Some are plain colors, but most of the time they are designed using multiple colors in stripes pattern.  

In early 90s, backyards in our town are purely sand, you could only see concrete roads when you reach the national highway that connects the nearby cities.  Playing holen needs at least 4 base holes (slightly bigger than the size of the holen) , and so we need to play them in a flat sand.

Nowadays, sands are topped with concrete roads for community development that’s why this game is not anymore famous in newer generations. And also I think due to advancement of technology, younger ones favorably play computer games than old traditional games of Pinoys.

Photo: Playing Holen - Pinoy Tumblr

How to Play: 

1. Since its a race to the finish line where each player gets a turn to play one after the other, the players are allowed to knock off the opponents marble as they progress through out the game to level the playing field. You either have the skills in rolling the marble into the hole or hitting/shooting an opponents marble to get to the finish line.

2. If you decide to roll the marble you must not come up short or allow your marble to become a target. On the other hand, before deciding to shoot an opponents marble you must be good at hitting the target/marble otherwise your marble will be shot too far from the playing ground and you will have a hard time inching your way back at every turn to roll your marble in the hole.

3. If a player decides to shoot an opponents marble, his hand must rest on the ground or be lifted at a height of 1 "dangkal". When shooting, the shooter must not thrust his hand forward to gain advantage and draw him closer to the target. If this is not followed the hit will not count. Since the jerking action when shooting is unavoidable, a line must be drawn by the shooter and the shooter moves back an inch or two to compensate for the jerking action.

4. If an opponents marble is hit, the opponent goes back to the starting line on his turn and loses all progress gained and starts from scratch.

5. Going back the same way after reaching the last hole in the line is a tricky part in the game since you will be heading towards the players who are behind you and leaving you open as a target to beat you to the finish. In most cases, throwing or placing your marble away from the opponents line is the smartest move and allow them to move forward and not give them a chance to shoot your marble. If you are a good shot, the easiest way is to just shoot them and clear your path straight to the finish.

6. The fastest way to win the game is called "Kulto Finish". Its not common but it does happen where a shooter accidentally hits an opponents marble and the opponents marble goes into the hole.

What kind of game do you play using a hole?  Leave your comment below:


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