OLD-FASHIONED pub games are booming as struggling landlords battle to attract customers.
Drinkers are joining in old favourites such as dominoes, darts, bar billiards, table skittles and cribbage, with many locals forming teams and competing in leagues.
Many of the games had died out with the introduction of music-dominated bars and gastro-pubs.
But breweries and campaigners are reviving them to try to pull in drinkers as pubs close at a rate of 16 a week.
Greene King, one of the country’s biggest pub chains, has sent landlords more than a thousand game kits, including table skittles, quoits and shove-ha’penny.
The Campaign for Real Ale said: “These games are part of our heritage and can be enjoyed by large numbers of people at no or little extra cost.
“This means more money can be spent at the bar which helps pubs and breweries.”
Michael Axford, 50, who runs the 16th Century Goat Inn at St Albans, Hertfordshire, with his wife Kate, 40, says bringing back bar billiards has been a hit with his customers.
He said: “Everyone likes it. We’ve not got a lot of room but we can put a billiards table into a corner.
"We now have a dominoes club and we have two darts teams and two cribbage teams.”
And Jonathan Drew, of indoor games maker Jaques of London, said: “We’ve noticed in the past 12 months there has been a high level of interest from suppliers to the licensed pub trade.”