Jaza's World Trip

Hammerschlagen (video)

Hammerschlagen is a game with a simple set of rules, and a very difficult gameplay. In this centuries-old German / Austrian social game, you have a tree stump (with its surface flattened and smoothed), you have a hammer, and you have a bunch of nails. Each player takes a nail, and hammers their nail a few millimetres into the stump. Then — using only the thin, axe-like side of the hammer — each player in turn attempts to whack their nail all the way in. For this evening's après-ski in Kitzbühel, we kicked off the night with a visit to Chizzo (an outdoor bar in the main street of town), where they have a Hammerschlagen area set up. Jake and Mitch introduced the rest of us to the game: here in Kitzbühel, the rule is that the loser (the last person to hammer their nail in) shouts a shot of Jäger to everyone else who played. Check out the video.

Hammerschlagen in Kitzbühel.

Little kids having a whack: you’re meant to use the other side of the hammer.

I have a few pieces of advice for anyone who wants to play Hammerschlagen:

  1. Don't play if you're broke. When we played this evening, we ended up getting about 7 people in a single game. The loser (fortunately not myself) had to shout over €20 worth of Jäger shots!
  2. Don't play against the barman. Woody is the barman at Chizzo, and he's a Hammerschlagen prodigy: one hit, and he gets it all the way in, every single time.
  3. Don't play against the people that taught you. Jake and Mitch are pretty savvy at the ol' Hammerschlagen, too.
  4. Don't lose hope. Just because you've missed the nail the previous 20 turns, doesn't mean you won't pulverise it spot-on during your next turn.
  5. Just whack it. This is the most important piece of advice I can give you! The truth is that whether you tap like a girl ("carefully" — or at least attempting to be) or you whack like Hercules, you have the same (un)likelihood of actually hitting the nail. So you might as well give it all you got: then, at least, when you finally do hit it, you'll get it all the way in (or close to it) in one shot.

After the game: free Jäger shots for all!

Other than that, all I can say is: enjoy yourself, take it easy, and keep them Jägers coming!

Filed in: KitzbühelAlcoholGamesVideoJust for fun