hist-games: Gluckhaus

Alan Winston awinston at scn.org
Sat Oct 5 11:45:14 PDT 2002

I'll second the other poster: it seems that aside from the Lucky Pig and
King, the 7's "Marriage" is the only commonly and consistently named space.

I would be very interested in seeing more images of nonmodern or truly
indigenous boards, to confirm the inconsistancy of illustration for the
other spaces. I would welcome emails of URLs or image files, and if
warranted will compile a consolidated list on a web page, along with rules,
discussion, and whatever else appeals (see
http://www.geocities.com/albrwi/schimmel/ for a beginning which I am hoping
to extend to selected other games, probably less intensively).

German language sources often show and describe the game as simply a chalked
pattern with numbers, like an undersized hopscotch layout. I am inclined to
suspect that this is the ur-version, and that the illustrated boards get the
attention they do because of collector interest, not predominance. Obviously
a cheerfully illustrated board is more likely to survive than a chalked
pattern on a rough-hewn table, and obviously there is more commercial
potential in a decoratively illustrated board than in a simple numbered

German language sources also frequently refer to a similar, very probably
older, game with a simpler layout, and a slightly different procedure:

PINKE (One of multiple versions)

For any number of players, though said to be best for three to six. Each
player will require a moderately large number of coins, "at least 25" per
http://www.info-pur.com/Wurfelspiele/finke_berupfen.htm .

Similar to Glückhaus in many ways, Pinke uses a simpler rectangular layout
and two conventional six-sided dice. Chalking it directly on the tabletop is
traditional, but drawing it on a large sheet of paper may be more
acceptable, depending on venue.

The layout here is a three spaces high by five spaces wide, with the top and
bottom rows merged into single full-width cells (sometimes rounded to make
the layout an oval). Sometimes the 2 and 12 cells are omitted, but I think
they add charm, especially rounded (see the URL above, where such a layout
is illustrated).

The cells are numbered in order 2 (top) through 12 (bottom), and play begins
with all cells empty.

Each player in turn rolls the dice and pays or receives coins based on the
contents of the cell corresponding to the number thrown.

For an empty cell other than 2 or 12, the dice thrower pays that number of
coins to the number thrown. A player unable to pay the full amount is out of
the game.

For an occupied cell other than 2, 7, or 12, the dice thrower takes the
contents of the cell and may optionally throw again, and may continue to
throw until an empty cell is thrown and payment is made.

For a roll of 7, the dice thrower pays 7 coins to the center "7" cell,
whether it is occupied or not.

For a roll of 2 or 12, the dice thrower takes the contents of all the cells,
including the 7, and *must* throw the dice again. If this second throw is
not a 2 or 12, then the dice thrower simply pays the appropriate coins to
the newly emptied cell. But if the second throw is 2 or 12, then the dice
thrower must place coins in each of the cells corresponding to the number of
that cell. Lacking sufficient coins, the player pays as many cells as
possible, beginning at the lowest number. Either way, play then continues
with the next player.

The game is classically played to the bitter end, with all but one player


Alan Winston

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