hist-games: Five Stones is harder than it seems

rffreq rffreq at inil.com
Sat Sep 30 10:05:23 PDT 2000

Five Stones is played with five small pebbles approximately the size of
dice. The game is similar to modern jacks. To start place all five stones in
your palm of your hand. Toss them up and catch them on the back of your
hand, as many as you can. Toss them again and catch them in your palm. If
you catch all five you win and the next player takes their turn. You must
catch at least one in your palm to start your turn. If you drop all of the
stones on the back of your hand or the palm it is the next players turn. Any
stones you catch on both your back of hand and palm are ones you do not have
to pick up, freebies. Lay all but one stone down on the ground. Toss up your
one stone, straight and high, and pick up one of the stones laying on the
ground and quickly catch the falling stone you tossed up. This is onesies.
Lay one stone down and continue tossing and picking up each stone on the
ground one at a time(ones you dropped, not your freebies). When you have
completed onesies you move on to twosies , threesies, foursies and fivesies.
For twosies repeat the palm toss, catching the stones on the back of your
hand  then your palm, then pick up the stones two at a time while tossing up
one stone and catching it. Note if there are odd number of stones on the
ground you  may shake or roll one off the back of you hand or spread your
fingers during the palm toss placing  it near one on the ground so you can
pick the two or three or four up easily depending on what you are doing. If
during your turn you drop a stone you lose and the next player takes their
turn. Continue through twosies , threesies and foursies until you  reach
fivesies. You only have five stones so you cannot toss one up and pick up
five. This is where your practice comes in with the palm toss. For fivesies
you must catch all five stones on the back of your hand then the palm to
win. Try this with different size and shape stones to find ones that suit
you. I learned this game 30 years ago in Scotland and was told that it is
centuries old. If anyone has any information on this please let me know at
rffreq at inil.com


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