The game of "Lobo"

"Lobo" is a card game based on the London Underground of the 1930s. I first came across Lobo as a small child: my grandparents had a set and we often played it during visits. A few years ago I inherited it from them, and am now taking the opportunity to make it better known.

I am extremely grateful to De La Rue plc, who have kindly given me permission to reproduce the pictures and the rules on this site. Copyright in the game remains with them, and I cannot and do not authorize any copying of this part of my site.

Lobo is a card game similar to rummy, played with a pack of special cards that name stations on the London Underground. Players had to make up "journeys", consisting of two ordinary stations and a junction; the stations had to be from those listed on the junction card. For example, one junction card was:


which allowed four possible journeys. "Season tickets" provided wild cards. The rules of Lobo and a full list of stations are on separate pages.

While the game itself is fairly simple, the true attraction of the game is the cards themselves and the box they come in.

Typical junction card Typical station card Season ticket
Reverse of all cards Box colour-enhanced version (courtesy of Mark Brader)

Each station card has a local scene depicted. These pictures are linked from the stations page, or you can see the complete set on one page (warning: this is several Mb in total).

Internal evidence dates the set between late 1933 and early 1937. The northern extensions to the Piccadilly Line - opened in 1933 - are referred to, as is the present name of Green Park station, which was renamed in September of that year. On the other hand, St.Pauls station is still called Post Office, a name that was relinquished in February 1937. So the game was almost certainly produced in the mid-1930s. A separate page describes the Underground of the late 1930s.

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