Learn how to play conkers.

Conkers can become quite a competitive activity if you have a group of friends who are playing as well.

Preparing your conker is easy and it only takes one game to go from a new contender to the ultimate champion!




You will need :

  • Conker
  • Hand drill
  • String
How to make it…

  1. Find a conker from under a conker tree. Be careful they come in spiky packages!
  2. Ask an adult to help you drill a hole straight through the middle of the conker with a hand drill. Use a clamp to keep it steady if you have one.
  3. Thread a piece of string through the hole and secure with a large knot.

How to play it…

  1. You will need at least one friend who also has a conker to play.
  2. The aim of the game is to smash your competitor’s conker.
  3. Taking it in turns, one competitor holds their conker up by the string at arms length in front of them. They have to make sure it’s steady, not swinging.
  4. The second competitor holds their conker and string a bit like a catapult, with the string in their left hand and the conker in their right hand with the string taught. (assuming you are right handed, reverse if you are left handed)
  5. The second competitor flicks the conker down as hard as they can onto the held conker and tries to smash it. They get three attempts before swapping over.
  6. The game is over when one person’s conker is smashed.
  7. Scoring: When you win a conker match your conker wins one point and is a ‘one-er’, if it wins two matches it is a ‘two-er’ and so on. Where it gets fun is if you smash a conker which has won other conker matches, you take on their points. So you might start with a new conker and beat a conker which has won 9 matches already. Your conker would then be a ‘ten-er’.
  8. Before a conker match starts, you must declare how many matches your conker has already won. You are also supposed to declare that your conker hasn’t been baked (which makes them stronger)


  • If conkers are ready they should already be out of their spiky packages or it should be easy to open them up.
  • Wrap the string around your hand for better grip.
  • You may need to practise with your aim, conkers are quite small targets and it takes some skill.
  • The highest scoring conker goes first.
  • When scoring, just remember to add ‘er’ to the end of the number.

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