Believe it or not, gambling in medieval times was an activity embraced by one and all. It was game on as long as you had to pass the time and had the bits required to play with or without the glitz and glamour.
Like many other games back then, all you had to be was present, along with your counterparts. Technology has changed that status quo with online gaming. AmazonSlots offers high-quality online casino games, some of which are inspired by classic medieval games.
During medieval times, gambling was the domain of the rich and privileged, who were the only ones allowed to partake in this activity. If you were ranked below a knight, they practically barred you from placing a wager. However, this law, brought in by King Richard I in 1190, did not stop commoners from placing wagers.
Some games of chance were, however, the domain of the wealthy such as cards, which due to the fact that even a single card being destroyed or lost from a deck would require the replacement of the whole deck, which needed to be made by hand.
Gambling became so popular in some cities that it clogged the arteries, making it hard for the citizens to go about their business. This is also where the different varieties of games originated. When a particular game was banned, players changed a single rule, declared a new game, and went on as before.
When it came to gambling, not many things have ever been as popular as dice. They often crafted these dice from bone; because of that, wooden dice would have grain and would make them favour a side to land on. However, some cheaters used mercury to weigh down one side of the bone dice, making this more prone to land more often on one side.
Popular Medieval Gambling Games
Gambling took on many facets during the medieval times. Popular games of the times included:
Passe-dix: Played with three six-sided dice, the aim was to throw a combined number of ten or above, which, if you do, doubles your stake. If you throw below ten, you lose your money.
Hazard: This dice game was the predecessor of the modern-day Craps game now found in casinos worldwide. This game involves six-sided dice. Which the player throws onto a circular table, calling out whether it will fall on 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9.
Cross and Pile: This is basically a game of heads and tails; one of the two players calls out whether they think it will fall on the head or tail side.
Thimble-Rig: This game is also better known as cups and balls; played with three cups and a ball. The player needs to guess where the ball is while the cups are being switched around. This game is still found on the streets today, although it is notorious for the cheating involved.
The proverb “The more things change, the more they stay the same” couldn’t be more accurate here. Our tools and other devices may have advanced, and we may have better responsible gambling institutions in place, but the core remains. We love to live our lives with lots of fun and amusement.