hist-games: Dice game - raffle?

Adrian Seville A.H.Seville at city.ac.uk
Wed Mar 28 05:35:16 PST 2001


The Oxford Enghlish Dictionary dates the word 'raffle' used in this sense as 
1350-1450 and gives the primary meaning as a winning throw of three dice 
alike.The origin is given as French but obscure beyond that statement.

The idea of a 'raffle' as sweeping the pool is continued in our modern usage of 
the word. 

Three-dice games were common in Italy in the 1500s and often used elaborate 
printed sheets to set out all the combinations of throws.  The game of Pela Il 
Chiu' (pluck the owl) was of this kind. Each dice combination has a definitie 
instruction to pay or take a specified number of counters from the pool - but 
the main winning throws are those where all three dice are the same.  Three 
sixes (honoranza) takes the pool; other triplets take half.  Three sixes is the 
raffa maggiore (major raffle) the others are minor raffles.

This game is also called civetta and another version is called carico l'asino 
(load the donkey).  There are French versions, too.

Sometimes these games are confused with Goose but the boards are merely 
instruction sheets, not a progressive race set-up on which pieces move.

Later, Mitelli in Bologna published some three-dice games in which the main 
winning combinations were still the triplets but other pay/take instructions 
depend on the toal points raher than the detailed combination.

There are ninetheenth century versions.

I am not at all sure what version of the three-dice game is being considered in 
the reference that you give.

Adrian Seville


From:           	Teceangl <tierna at agora.rdrop.com>
Subject:        	hist-games: Dice game - raffle?
To:             	tierna at agora.rdrop.com (Teceangl)
Date sent:      	Sun, 25 Mar 2001 16:20:30 -0800 (PST)
Copies to:      	hist-games at pbm.com (hist.games)

> The aforementioned pamphlet, "Delights of Life in Fifteenth-Century
> England" mentiones a dice game called "raffle", supposedly played in the
> 15th c. with three dice and sourced to the book I inquired about, McLean,
> Teresa, _The English at Play in the Middle Ages_ (Windsor Forest: Kensal
> Press, 1983)
> 
> Has anyone ever heard if this game?  I've been seeking pre-17th century
> dice games and have exhaused known online resources and lots of printed
> ones.
> 
> - Teceangl
> -- 
> In response to radio announcer with tangled tongue:
>                   "He washed his mouth and can't do a thing with it."
>            - SJK  8-28-96  04:23
> 
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe from this list, send email to majordomo at pbm.com containing
> the words "unsubscribe hist-games". If you are subscribed to the digest
> version, say "unsubscribe hist-games-digest". To contact a human about
> problems, send mail to owner-hist-games at pbm.com
> 



-------------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe from this list, send email to majordomo at pbm.com containing
the words "unsubscribe hist-games". If you are subscribed to the digest version,
say "unsubscribe hist-games-digest". To contact a human about problems, send
mail to owner-hist-games at pbm.com



More information about the hist-games mailing list