To play this amusing game, which is of German origin, it is necessary to be furnished with five cards, on which are painted the figures of a white horse, an inn, a bell, a hammer, and a Dell and hammer ; with eight little ivory cubes marked on one side only, six numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and the other two marked, one with a bell and the other with a hammer; with a box for throwing the dice, a hammer for disposing of the cards by auction, and a proportionate quantity of counters for the players.
The cards, dice-box, and auctioneer’s hammer, are shown in the annexed illustration.
Any youth who can draw may easily prepare the cards; the cubes may be procured from an ivory-worker’s and may be marked with ink. The game can be played by as many persons as are present.
The counters are to be distributed by one of the players who holds the office of cashier, their value having been previously determined upon by the players. This being done, twelve are to be deposited by each player in the pool. The cashier then disposes of the five cards separately to the highest bidders, the produce of which is also to be placed in the pool.
The white horse is by far the most valuable card, and therefore fetches the highest price in counters.
The inn ranks next, and is usually purchased by the most speculative player, as its value depends upon circumstances. The bell and the hammer generally fetch the same number of counters, these cards being equally valuable, and the card upon which both bell and hammer are painted fetches about half the number that is given for one of the single figures.
The bidders are not bound to confine themselves to the number of counters dealt out to them at the beginning of the game; should they exceed it, they may pay the remainder of the debt by instalments out of their receipts in the course of the game.
Each person is at liberty to purchase as many cards as he may think proper.
The dice are then to be thrown by the players alternately, beginning with the holder of the white horse, any one being allowed to dispose of his throw to the highest bidder.
When all blanks are thrown, each of the players pays one to the holder of the white horse, and he pays one to the inn. If with the blanks the bell, or hammer, or the bell and hammer together are thrown, the possessor of the card so thrown pays one to the white horse.
When numbers accompany the bell, hammer, or bell and hammer, the cashier is to pay the counters, to the amount of numbers thrown, to the holder of such card, from the pool; but if numbers are thrown unaccompanied, the cashier then pays to the thrower.
When the pool is nearly empty there arises an advantage to the inn, for if a player throws a figure greater than the quantity contained in the pool he pays the overplus to the inn; thus: suppose 4 are in the pool, if the players throws 10, he is to pay 6 to the inn; and if 2 are thrown, those 2 are paid to him from the pool, and so on till a figure is thrown which clears the pool, and so concludes the game.
If all blanks are thrown after the inn begins to receive, the players pay nothing, but the owner of the white horse pays one to the inn; and should the bell, &c. be thrown with the blanks, the holder of that card pays one to the inn; and if numbers accompany the bell, &c. the holder of that card must pay to the inn the number thrown above those remaining in the pool.
Nuts are sometimes used as counters, and the players keep their winnings. Sometimes the cashier receives a halfpenny or a penny a dozen for the counters, and when the game is finished the receipts are divided among the players according to their winnings. Those who do not hold cards frequently find themselves richer at the close of the game than their speculative companions, whose winnings do not always exceed the price paid for their cards.
Excerpt from the book:
EVERY BOY’S BOOK: A COMPLETE ENCYCLOPÆDIA OF SPORTS AND AMUSEMENTS.
EDITED BY EDMUND ROUTLEDGE.
With more than Six Hundred Illustrations
FROM ORIGINAL DESIGNS.
LONDON: GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS,
THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE.
NEW YORK: 416, BROOME STREET.