Boltból: The Hungarian Tradition of Throwing Horseshoes


Boltból, otherwise called Hungarian horseshoes, is a conventional game that has been played in Hungary for a really long time. It includes tossing horseshoes at a stake in the ground, fully intent on getting as near the stake as could really be expected. This game has been gone down through ages and is as yet famous among Hungarians today. In this article, we will investigate the set of experiences, rules, and varieties of boltból, as well as its social importance in Hungary.

History of Boltból

The starting points of boltból can be followed back to the Medieval times, when horseshoes were first utilized on ponies to safeguard their hooves. As horseshoes turned out to be more normal, individuals began involving them for sporting purposes, including tossing them at targets. This in the long run developed into the round of boltból as far as we might be concerned today.

In the good ‘ol days, boltból was essentially played by ranchers and workers in rustic areas of Hungary. It was a way for them to take a break and contend with one another. After some time, the game acquired ubiquity and spread to different pieces of the nation, turning into a cherished diversion for individuals of any age and foundations.

Rules of Boltból

The guidelines of boltból are genuinely basic, making it a simple game to learn and play. Here are the essential guidelines:


  • A set of horseshoes (usually 2 or 4)
  • A stake or pole in the ground
  • A flat playing surface, such as grass or dirt


  1. Place the stake in the ground, leaving about 12 inches of it above the surface.
  2. Divide players into two teams, with each team having their own set of horseshoes.
  3. Determine a starting line, usually about 20 feet away from the stake.


  1. The first player from one team stands at the starting line and throws their horseshoe towards the stake.
  2. The second player from the opposing team then throws their horseshoe, trying to get as close to the stake as possible.
  3. Players take turns throwing their horseshoes until all of them have been thrown.
  4. Points are awarded based on how close each horseshoe is to the stake. The closest horseshoe gets 3 points, the second closest gets 2 points, and any other horseshoes within 6 inches of the stake get 1 point.
  5. If a horseshoe lands on or around the stake, it is considered a “ringer” and earns the player 5 points.
  6. The game continues until one team reaches a predetermined number of points, usually 21.

Variations of Boltból

While the essential principles of boltból continue as before, there are a few varieties of the game that are famous in various locales of Hungary. The following are a couple of models:

Körömbolt (Nail Horseshoes)

In this variety, rather than utilizing customary horseshoes, players use nails that have been bowed into a horseshoe shape. The stakes are likewise more modest, making it more testing to get a ringer.

Távolból (From Afar)

This form of boltból is played with longer distances between the beginning line and the stake. This expects players to toss their horseshoes with more power and exactness, adding an additional degree of trouble to the game.

Szabadtéri (Outdoor)

As the name recommends, this variety is played outside, generally in a recreation area or open field. It is a famous decision for family social events and picnics, giving a pleasant action to everybody to appreciate.

Cultural Significance of Boltból

Boltból is something other than a game in Hungary; a social practice has been gone down through ages. It is frequently played at family get-togethers, celebrations, and other get-togethers, uniting individuals and encouraging a feeling of local area.

What’s more, boltból has likewise been highlighted in Hungarian writing and workmanship, further cemenating its spot in the nation’s way of life. It is a wellspring of pride for some Hungarians and fills in as a sign of their legacy and customs.

FAQs about Boltból

What is the origin of the name “boltból”?

“Boltból” comes from the Hungarian word “bolt”, and that implies horseshoe. It is accepted that the game got its name since players would toss horseshoes that were bought from a smithy’s shop (bolt).

Is boltból only played in Hungary?

While boltból started in Hungary, it has acquired prominence in different nations also, including Romania, Slovakia, and portions of the US.

Can children play boltból?

Indeed, boltból is a family-accommodating game that can be delighted in by individuals, everything being equal. It is an incredible method for acquainting youngsters with a conventional Hungarian interest.

Are there any professional boltból tournaments?

Indeed, there are yearly competitions held in Hungary, with monetary rewards for the victors. These competitions draw in both novice and expert players from everywhere the country.

Is there a specific time of year when boltból is played?

No, boltból can be played all year, as long as the weather conditions licenses. Notwithstanding, it is generally usually played throughout the mid year months when individuals are bound to assemble outside.


Boltból is something other than a game; a cherished practice has endured for the long haul in Hungary. Its straightforward principles and varieties make it a pleasant movement for individuals of any age, while its social importance adds a more profound significance to the game. Whether you are a carefully prepared player or new to the game is a must-pursue anybody hoping to encounter a piece of Hungarian culture. So accumulate your loved ones, get a few horseshoes, and partake in a round of boltból!

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