The Pocket Guide to Dice & Dice Games

The Pocket Guide to Dice & Dice Games


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Dice games have been played for centuries and are a staple of the playground, board games, and casinos alike. This pocket guide spans the history of dice and offers clear explanations of popular dice games, including farkle (played since the Middle Ages), Gluckhaus (a German game of fortune, played since the medieval era), craps, and Jacks! This guide also includes tips on winning and how to avoid being tricked by loaded or “crooked” dice. 

Famous dice players, such as the Roman emperors Augustus and Caligula, lost money playing dice and quickly stole other people’s to continue their gaming sprees. In the early nineteenth century, fortunes could be won and lost at the roll of a die and it was not only money which was gambled away, but estates and even marriages. Full of fascinating facts and useful tips, this is a must-read book for everyone interested in family fun, games, gambling, or social history. 

Did you know? 
• Dice derives from the Latin datum, meaning “ought to be played” 
• The black marks showing the numbers are called pips 
• Dice were first played in India around 3000 bc  
• Dice were originally made from bones, including knuckle and ankle bones 
• Traditionally cubed, dice also come in other geometric shapes, incuding the zocchihedron, the 100-sided die, and the deltoidal icositetrahedron, where each side is shaped like a kite 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620871805
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 01/01/2013
Series: Skyhorse Pocket Guides
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 834,894
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Dr. Keith
Souter was born in St. Andrews, Scotland, and studied medicine at Dundee
University. He is a part-time doctor, medical writer, and novelist. Using his own name and a few pen names, he has published over thirty books, including twelve novels in four different genres. In 2006, he won the Fish Prize for one of his historical short stories.

Laura Matine is an illustrator based in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Since graduating from Cambridge School of
Art, Laura has balanced her time between illustrating and running her own design company. She is also the illustrator of Medical
Meddlers, Mediums and Magicians: The Victorian Age of Credulity.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 6

A Personal Note 8

Part 1 The Many Uses of Dice Through the Ages 9

Chapter 1 Roll the Dice - The Early Games 11

Chapter 2 From Knucklebones to Cyber-Dice 17

Chapter 3 High Rollers and Bad Losers - Some Tales of the Dice 28

Chapter 4 Dice Lore 39

Chapter 5 Crooked Dice 44

Chapter 6 Odds and Probability 50

Chapter 7 Dice Magic 61

Chapter 8 Dice Stacking 75

Chapter 9 Dice Divination 83

Chapter 10 Dice Control 88

Part 2 Dice Games 101

Chapter 11 Knucklebones (Jacks) 103

Chapter 12 Medieval Games 108

Chapter 13 Craps 116

Chapter 14 A Few More Games Of Risk 124

Chapter 15 Board Games 130

Chapter 16 Dice Chess 141

Chapter 17 Family Dice Games 149

Chapter 18 Backgammon 156

Chapter 19 Role-Playing Games and War-Gaming 162

After-Dice 166

Dice Glossary 167

Select Bibliography 170

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