hist-games: dice games

Jon at Gothic Green Oak jon at gothicgreenoak.co.uk
Sat Jan 26 07:28:06 PST 2008

Hi all

I had come across one of these these documents, though really cannot find anything to authenticate the game as being pre 20th C, let alone Tudor. 


Interestingly, and this doesn't help authenticate the game, most Tudor dice games that have surviving rules are relatively short sharp gambling games where each player rolls the dice as many times as is needed according to the rules and wins or loses any stake placed before passing the dice to the next player, for example, Inn and Inn, Passage and of course Hazard. Novem Quinque is a bit more longwinded depending on the number of players. Farkle is a much longer game and untypical of the type played at that time. Also not mentioned by Shakespeare, which is never a good sign. 


May I bring us back to Blind Dice


This is reputedly 16th C a six dice gambling game described by Jeffrey DeLuca (Salaamallah the Corpulent) in his Medieval Games book. The six dice each have five blank faces and one numbered, each die having a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. A banker rolls the dice and punters bet on combinations that may come up. I like the idea and it seems typical of the sort of gambling games of the period. 


Can anyone authenticate it?


Best wishes to all on a cold January morning in the mountains of mid Wales




See these addresses for people passing Farkle as a Ren game. Don't know if they have any true leads to its origins.



I've seen this document in various forms:





>From another site:

While some sources will tell you that it originated with Sir William Farkle (whoever that is), current Revolutionary War historians and American history re-enactors agree that the game actually came over on French sailing ships in the 1600's. The historic, traditional game - spelled "FARKLE" - was played with five dice and had varying rules and scoring combinations which were passed down in families. Consequently, how you played the game depended on whose house you were at.

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