hist-games: Gambling games for Tavern

Michael and Susan McKay seaan at concentric.net
Sat Sep 30 02:39:21 PDT 2000


I've done this several times.  It is most successful when you judge the
event and the people.  While probably all games have been used for gambling,
some are "better" than others.  How long do you want your participants to
play the game?  Chances are Medieval style chess will last far too long for
most players.

The stereo-typical gambling game is mostly luck, plays quickly, and
accommodates people coming in and out.  Here are a few classics:

1) Try playing "21" with dice (the black-jack card game).  Instead of
drawing additional cards, you keep on rolling.
2) Gluckhaus is totally luck driven, and therefore boring to avid gamers.
But some people regard it with the same fascination as slot machines.  I
would not be so quick to reject it.
3) For those who want skill, try checkers/draughts and some of the table
(backgammon) variants.
4) Landsknecht is a dead boring card game, but was known in period and I've
seen it appeal to the "I'm a simple solider" players at your event.
5) Goose is a good game, basically have the players forfeit a coin every
time something happens to them (good or bad).  The person who gets to the
center takes all the coins, and starts over.  New players can start anytime.
I've seen this go on for hours (with the help of my large bag of coins).

Well, it's late, so that's my quick thoughts on the matter.  Have you looked
at the web site associated with hist-games?  It is probably the best place
to start:

http://www.waks.org/game-hist/

Michael McKay  (known in the SCA as Seaan McAy)
seaan at concentric.net

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-hist-games at rt.com [mailto:owner-hist-games at rt.com]On Behalf
Of Lee-Gwen
Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2000 1:49 AM
To: hist-games at pbm.com
Subject: hist-games: Gambling games for Tavern


Unto the List does Gwynydd of Culloden send hearty greetings:

I have been asked to organise some medieval gambling games for an upcoming
Tavern event in my Barony.  What the Stewart wants specifically are games
which are : "quickish, easyish and you can wager large summs of gold coins
on."

Obviously, Tablero (all queries about it's history not withstanding!) is
high on my list, and I am considering the Game of the Goose as well, if I
can get my lady to make me a large calico board for it.  I have considered
and (regretfully) rejected Spoil Five because it takes too much learning and
Gluckhaus is out because I found it totally boring.

Can anyone on the list make any other useful suggestions - preferably with
rules or pointers to useful websites.

Gwynydd



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