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Pétanque (pronounced "pay-tonk") originated in Provence, France at the turn of the last century. It's played with metal balls (boules) and, like horseshoes and bocce, is easy to learn and fun to play. You throw the boules while standing with your feet together in a circle. There's a small wooden target ball (the cochonnet), which you have to get as close as possible to. What makes the game so appealing, is that you can be way ahead for a while, yet lose a second later, or vice versa. Because nothing is decided until the last player plays the very last boule. If he or she moves the cochonnet or hits an opponent's boule out of the way, the layout of the boules - and thus your score - can change dramatically.

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