hist-games: query re: gambling competitions

Jane & Mark Waks waks at comcast.net
Wed Aug 16 18:27:52 PDT 2006

Crescentia _ wrote:
> I'm organizing a gambling competition for an upcoming SCA event, and was 
> looking for any interesting/ different/ offbeat ideas as to how to go 
> about formatting the competition. I had thought about using it as an 
> opportunity to introduce people to some more obscure games than the 
> usuals--- but I also didn't want to overwhelm them when they just wanted 
> to have fun. ^_^

Well, I wouldn't over-complicate it. Competitions of this sort are 
usually best if you just give everyone a standard pile of coins, let 
them at it, and declare the person with the most coins at the end the 

One tweak that has worked well for us in the past, though, is to 
encourage people to use coins in other period ways -- patronizing 
storytellers and singers, for instance, so that non-gamers can get in on 
the act; this teaches people a somewhat more realistic view of the 
economic environment. We've even sometimes had people "pay" for lunch 
out of their initial coins, and encouraged them to tip the servers.

Another thing to note is that some fun period games really only make 
sense in the gambling context. You might take it as an opportunity to 
introduce some moderately lightweight games like Tick-Tack or Laugh and 
Lie Down, which are *great* for gambling but kind of pointless 
otherwise. Heck, even some of the totally braindead dice games can be 
fun if you're wagering on them...

				-- Justin

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