hist-games: FW: Question about a dice game

Teceangl tierna at agora.rdrop.com
Thu May 3 05:01:21 PDT 2001

> I recently bought a very pretty dice game that looks like this a walnut tray
> about the size of a legal paper in-box the numbers 1 - 9 along one long
> side,
> they can be covered with walnut flaps. A green baize dice throwing area
> covers about 2/3 of the box. This is a crude representation of the game.
> <------- 17" -------->
> ______________
> |1| 2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| ^
> |-----------------------|
> |                       | 11"
> |                       |
> -----------------------| v
> Any idea what this game is called and what the rules are?

The game is Shut the Box.  Two dice are rolled and numbers are covered which
total the roll on the dice.  If a 2 and 4 are rolled the 1 and 5, the 2 and 4,
or the 6 may be covered.  A player rolls until he covers all numbers or until
a roll may not be used in its entirety, then remaining numbers are counted and
added to his score.  Play continues either until a pre-determined number of
rounds has passed or someone covers all boxes in their turn, whichever the
players agreed upon before start of play.
It is not, so far as I can tell, a period game.  It looks like it was
developed in the 18th or perhaps 19th century and played extensively by
French sailors off the coast of Normandy.  Since they were referred to in
one source as "Norman soldiers", Jeffrey deLuca (Salamallah the Corpulent
in the SCA) included it in his book "Medieval Games", probably missing the
fact that Normans are still among us to this day.

- Teceangl
                         Ad astra per felis.

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