The Unofficial History of Cribbage and Sir John Suckling

One of England’s greatest contributions to Western Civilization is the card game Cribbage, at least in the opinion of avid Cribbage players. Sir John Suckling is the one responsible for bringing us the game that we love today. Although there is no evidence to truly prove that Sir John Suckling was the creator of Cribbage, he is, at the very least, the one responsible for publishing and spreading the game all through the land.

Sir John Suckling, poet, playwright, master bowler/gambler and notorious womanizer, was born at Whitton, between Twickenham and Hounslow, Middlesex, on February 10, 1609. He was born into a very prominent family in England, although after his mother died when he was four years of age, his father was in charge of rearing the young child. His father was a member of the English Parliament and was the “controller” of the King’s household until his untimely death in 1627. Sir John was at the age of 18 when his father passed and was old enough to inherit his father’s considerably large estate. After receiving the inheritance he spent countless amount of money traveling, womanizing and of course gambling.

In 1623 he enrolled in Trinity College, Cambridge and then to Gray’s Inn in 1627. At the young age of 18, he pursued a military career and joined the army of Gustavus Adolphus during the Thirty Years’ War. At the age of 21, King Charles I knighted Suckling. The king quickly regretted the decision, so Suckling left the court and became involved in several different military adventures. He was said to have served in an expedition against France and it has been said that he fought in Lord Wimbledon’s regiments in the Dutch service. In October 1631, Sir John joined Sir Henry Vane who was serving under Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden. In 1632, Suckling quickly came back into King Charles’s good graces after delivering the dispatches, by orders of Vane, and after completing his mission he returned and remained in England.

After that he pretty much filled his time gambling, womanizing, and serving in the military for the rest of the decade. This is where he was said to have invented the beloved game of cribbage, which had some similar features to the games, Noddy and One-and-Thirty. Although when the Scottish war of 1639 began, he left his beloved cards and women to raise a troop of 100 horsemen and his army joined King Charles in the north. When the war ended, peacefully, in 1639, Sir John returned to London. He was elected to Parliament in 1640, but in May 1641 he was involved in a vain attempt to free a political prisoner, Thomas Wentworth, the earl of Stratford and held in the Tower of London. Sir John Suckling was then charged with treason and had to flee to France with very few belongings and almost no financial assistance, to avoid arrest.

In order to establish some kind of financial security in one of his darkest hours, Suckling started selling a large number of marked packs of cards and distributed them amongst the richest population in the region. He then started playing cards where the marked cards were distributed. In 1642, it was believed that Sir John Suckling committed suicide by taking poison. It has been said that his greatest accomplishments were the lyrics to “why so pale” and “wan fond lover?” and for Cribbage, which has changed very little since Suckling’s day and is one of the most popular card games in the English speaking world.

Tips and Strategies For Wits & Wagers 2nd Edition Board Game

If you are looking for a different type of family board game, I’m going to share one with you that you might not have heard of. Maybe I’m just not “with it” but I just discovered this game this past Christmas when I was searching for a family type game that would be fun for adults, yet easy enough for an 8 year old kid.

The name of the game is Wits and Wagers by the maker North Star Games. They are known for making games that are quick to learn, that keep all players involved all the time, and for keeping the games short (about 20 minutes).

Here’s a quick introduction.

Basically everyone contributes a numerical answer, which are then spread across the board with corresponding payout odds for each answer. All players then have 30 seconds to place a wager on the answer they feel is correct (or closest to without going over). Seven rounds are played to complete one game. The person with the most chips wins.

Strategy 1: If you don’t have the slightest clue as to what the answer might be, ride with the person you think probably knows the answer. In other words, place your bets where that person placed his/her bet(s). If it is a football question, copy the person who you think is knowledgeable in football.

Strategy 2: With strategy 1 in mind, you can spurt out a subtle bluff when the question is read. For example, if the question asks, “What percentage of American’s pay their credit card bill in full?” You can blurt out, “Ohhhhh, I just read about that last week….” even though you have no clue what the answer is. You then bet heavily on your answer to lure other players to ride with you but at the last minute, move your chips to the answer you think is correct. Hopefully they had bet heavily and lose a bunch of their chips.

Strategy 3: Similar to strategy 2, if you are knowledgeable in a certain subject and the other players know that, purposely submit the wrong answer and, again, bet heavily on your answer to lure others in. Move your chips at the last minute.

Common Sense Strategy: Know how many chips each player has at the ending part of the game. If you are the chip leader and the (current) second place player cannot catch up with you even if he/she bet all their chips and won, do not risk your stack of chips. In other words, do not risk more than necessary (this is a GREAT lesson applicable in life as well).

Tip: Write your name on your (erasable) white board so players know who to return the boards to (the boards are color coded but names are easier to remember).

Tip: Use a count down timer that beeps instead of the sand timer that’s included in the game. Usually everyone is so involved in the game that no one watches the timer.

Tip: If you want to stir up a discussion on a particular subject or event, create your own (7) questions that are hard to guess exactly, but ones that the group might have some idea about. This is a sneaky way for the host to surface his/her agenda.

Wits & Wagers 2nd Edition appeals to people who like games that require knowledge, to people who like gambling, and to people who like the party/social type of games.

Acey-Deucy Rules for Backgammon Fans

If you’re new to the game of Acey-deucy, the following rules should help get you started playing this simple and fun version of backgammon. If you’re a backgammon enthusiast, you can check out Acey Deucey and start improving your skills before you take on real live opponents.

Acey-ducey shares many similarities with the common game of backgammon. Players begin a game with the same number of checkers and dice. Two home boards on the backgammon board act as the destination to which each player wants to bring his checkers before bearing them off the board altogether.

However, the initial setup of the checkers differs to that in common backgammon rules. Each player must play all of his checkers onto the board instead of starting with them on the board as they do in backgammon. To get checkers onto the board, each player must roll two die. The aim is to get doubles or Acey-deucey, which is when the pip count is one and a two. When a player rolls Ace-deucy, he must move one of his checkers one space and a second checker two spaces. He then receives another turn and must move double (four times) the amount of his choice. A player must move all of his checkers onto the board before he can move those checkers already on the board.

For the purposes of this version of backgammon, a player must roll again each time he rolls a one and a two, or when he rolls doubles. However, several other variants of Acey Deucey exist. One of these stipulates that the player must roll the die again after making acey deucy and use that number to dictate his doubles. Another variant says that if the player cannot move the total amount of doubles after rolling a one and a two, he forfeits his turn.

To make this backgammon game even more difficult, players must roll an exact amount to bear off each checker. If you roll a six and a five, you can only move those checkers that are positioned on your six point and five point, not a checker that is on your four point. This rule can make for some nail-biting finishes. Despite the variations acey-deucy offers on standard backgammon, a player must still be first to remove all of his checkers from his home board in order to win.

Two commonly played versions of Acey-deucy exist; one American and the other European. The American version is thought to have been developed during World War One, where it became popular with sailors and navy personnel. The European version borrowed many of its rules from the American version. Both games are played for fun only, unlike the game of backgammon which is regularly gambled upon. The doubling cube found in backgammon is redundant in Acey Deucey and there are also no points awarded for backgammons or gammons. Instead, the game is considered a pure game of skill due to the difficulties players must face in bearing off exactly and playing all their checkers onto the board before being allowed to move them toward their home boards.

Greek Tavli Variations for Backgammon Fans

If you’re interested in backgammon you may be interested to know that several different varieties of backgammon exist and are played in different parts of the world. One of these is known as Tavli.

Tavli is a Greek version of backgammon and gets its name from the Greek word for “board”. Three separate games make up Tavli, all offering different rules and sequences of play. However, all three are usually played in sets where players compete in order to win the best of three, five or seven games.

The first version of the game is known as Portes, which bears the most similarities to backgammon as it is commonly played in the western world. Players begin a game of Portes with checkers set up identically to those in a game of regular backgammon. However, players do not use a doubling cube for Portes meaning the game is played for fun rather than money. There is also no backgammon. Instead two points constitute a gammon and a normal win receives one point.

A second Tavli variation is known as Plakoto. The starting point of all checkers in a game of Plakoto deviates from the standard backgammon set up. A player must place his checkers on his opponent’s one point to begin the game and then move them around the board to his home area to bear off. There is also no “hitting” of blots in Plakoto. Instead, if you trap your opponent’s checker on a space it must remain there until you choose to remove your checker. This creates an interesting new twist on the game of backgammon. If your mother checker (the last checker on your starting point) is trapped by your opponent, you automatically lose the game along with two points.

The third Tavli variation known as Fevga also requires players to begin the game with all their checkers on one point on the board. Beginning on the point situated to their far right, each player must move his 15 checkers around the board and bear off once they are safely in his home board area. A major rule in Fevga is that your first checker must pass the point at which your opponent has started before you can move any of your other checkers. Like Plakoto, there is no hitting in the game and one checker is enough to dominate a point. Plakoto strategy differs from regular backgammon as the player is not permitted to erect a prime over six consecutive points. If your opponent gets stuck behind your prime, you are obliged to move a checker to enable him to play on.

While the rules deviate for each Tavli variation, there are some common points you should remember if you’re interested in trying a game. All Tavli games use one set of dice and players must determine who takes the first turn by rolling the dice for a high number. The first player must then roll the dice again to take his turn. One point is awarded to the first player who successfully bears all his checkers off the board. All Tavli variations rely on the enjoyment of the game alone, therefore no doubling cube is used for gambling purposes.

Why People Are So Attracted to the Game of Yahtzee

Gambling of many forms has been a source of major entertainment over the years. However, people choose to resort to card or dice games mostly because of the use of strategy that can be coupled with luck in order to win games. However, many prefer to play dice games as it works completely in luck with little room for strategic manipulations. A dice game which has evolved and become more famous over time is Yahtzee.

The rules of Yahtzee are pretty simple and yet challenging at the same time. The game is played using five dice, compared to most other similar games which are played with two dices. The game is divided into 13 rounds, each corresponding to a different category. A player must score in all the categories in order to emerge victorious. As the game approaches a close, there may be circumstances where a player may even be required to score a zero in order to win the game.

The scoring in Yahtzee too seems to be a bit complex but tends to become easier after a few practice rounds. For example, a person who ends up getting three of a kind, a player must have three die that read the same score in order to score a high point. In cases of lower score games, players get the low score determined by the particular set or they end up getting zero after all.

The main climax feature of the game is obtaining a Yahtzee, which means that all 5 die must have the same number or reading. This may be an achievement which may take a long time as well as a whole lot of luck to happen, but it isn’t quite as impossible as it may seem, and therefore actually helps in adding the thrill factor to the game.

Another feature of this game is the chance strategy, where all the dice are rolled, and no matter what the outcome, their sum is added up as the grand total. The game to some extent resembles poker because of the fact that it has outcomes such as three of a kind or four of a kind, and also a full house. As per mathematical computations, the chance of a person scoring a Yahtzee is roughly 1 in 22 times. Yahtzee thus qualifies as an enjoyable yet laid back way of passing time, at the same time, keeping the mind occupied.