Crown and Anchor

Crown and anchor is a game played different forms all over the world. It is a simple gambling game that requires good luck to come out ahead. The object of the game is to bet on which symbol will be rolled by any of the three dice. In social games I do not know how the players decide who will be the dealer. Since odds are firmly stacked in the dealer’s favor, having an opportunity to play as the dealer could be a good idea. If any readers have experiences playing this game please leave a comment.

Three dice, a dice cup, a canvas or felt the layout with the symbols of the dice.
2 or more
How to play
There is one dealer and as many players as the dealer can afford to play against. The players bet by placing their wager on the square that has the symbol that they think is going to come up on one or more of the three dice that the dealer’s rolls. When the dealer rolls he or she he pays an equal amount for every time the symbol is shown on the dice. Let’s say a player places a dollar on the anchor and a dollar on the spade. If the dealer rolls two anchors and a heart the player would be paid two dollars for his anchor bet, and lose his dollar on the spade.


In Vietnam this game is called bau cua cá cop, and is often played during Tet. It is played the same way, but the dice are shaken in a cover bowl , and have different pictures as shown bellow.




Domino Cards



Here is a good idea for travelers who like to play dominos. It is a domino set made in the form of a deck of cards. The deck is much lighter than a traditional domino set , but it is big enough to be played with comfortably.



Similar to Yahtzee, Cacho is a dice game popular in cafes and night spots of Boliva. The object is to get the highest score by rolling certain combinations. To win you need good luck and an understanding of probabilities.

Players: 2-6
Five dice
A dice cup
Paper and pencil to keep score

How to play

Each player gets a maximum of three rolls to get the best score they can in each of 10 categories.

Players take turns rolling the dice to score one category at a time.

After the player’s first roll, the player must declare what category he or she will score. The player may then set aside one or more dice and roll the remaining. If the player wishes to change which category he or she wants to score, all the dice must be rolled again.

The player then scores his dice on the announced score category

Scores are as follows:

The numbers category are worth the sum of the pips from the dice that score. For example, three 2’s count 6 points, or two 6”s count 12 points. The remaining dice do not score any points.

A Straight made by rolling all the numbers in sequential order. On the first roll it is worth 25 points, or 20 points if scored after using a re-roll

A Full house made up of a pair and a three of a kind. It is worth 35 points on the first roll, or 30 points after a re-roll.

A Four of a kind is worth 45 points or 40 points if scored after a re-roll

Five of a kind rolled on the first roll is an instant win ( called a Grandes de mano), on
a re-roll it is worth 50 points( called a grandes) . You can score only two grandes a game after that they are only worth there face value

Scores are recorded on a cross hatch like the one in the photo above. 1-3 scored on the far left side and 4-6 on the far right. The straight, full house, and four of a kind are scored top to bottom in the middle row. Grandes are scored underneath the cross hatch.

Play continues until every section of the cross hatch are filled with a score or an X. Then the scores are added together the person with the highest is the winner.

Traditionally scoring marks in the center column are are not the points scored. Instead write “O” for making the category on a re-roll , an “X” for not making the category , and a “5” for making the category on the first roll of your turn. The scoring mark for “Grande” is a “$” placed just underneath the cross hatch


* Cacho can be played for stakes. The players put an agreed amount in the pot and the winner collects. It is also sometimes played as a drinking game. The loser of the game must drain their glass dry.

* There is variation of Cacho where each player has three cross hatches that are be played all at once. The hatches are in a column with the top one worth one game point, the middle one is worth 2 game points, and the bottom one worth 3 game points. After the players first roll they chose which category they will try for, but wait till the end of the turn to decide which cross hatch it will go on.

* Cacho can also be played with partners. On the teams’s turn each player of the team takes a turn rolling the dice. The team then picks which players roll will be scored on the cross hatch for that turn.

* Generala is a very similar game that is played in Puerto Rico. It is played like Cacho except you do not have to chose the category you want to score till after you are finished rolling the dice. If played for for stakes the winner collects the difference between their score and the losers score.

Thai checkers


Mak-hot is Thailand’s own version of the classic game of checkers. It is a interesting variation where the number of pieces are reduced and the power of the kings is increased.

Players 2
Equipment 8X8 Checker
board 8 white checkers and 8 dark checkers

How to play

Checkers are set up on just the dark squares of the player’s first two rows as shown in the photo above.

Checkers move forward on the diagonal one square.

Checkers can capture forward on the diagonal by hoping over the opponents checker and landing on the empty square behind it . Captures are immediately taken off the board. If there is another checker that can be capture when it lands it continues to hop. Captures are mandatory, but players do not have to chose the move that makes the most captures.

When a checker reaches the back row it becomes a king. A king moves as many empty squares as the player wish forward or backwards on the diagonal. When a king captures it hops the opponent’s checker and lands on the empty square on a diagonal line directly behind the captured checker. Captures are immediately taken off the board

A player wins when he or she captures all the opponents’ checkers or blocks them so the opponent has no legal move.

Six Love Dominos


Here is a game from Jamaica to really test your skills as a domino player. In six love dominos the winner of the match is not the team that accumulates the most points left over in the opponent’s hand. In this game a team must win six games in a row to win the match. That means, when the other team breaks the winning streak by winning a hand all the scores rest to zero.


Four players playing in teams of two

A set of double six dominoes
Score pad

How to play

Teammates sit across from each other. The game starts by shuffling the dominos face down.

Each player picks seven for their hand.

The player with double six domino starts the hand. The lay out has only two ends that can be played on. Each player in turn plays a domino whose number matches either end of the layout on the table. The matching numbers are placed on the lay out so that they touch. Doubles are often placed crossways to help keep track of doubles played.

If a player cannot play on either end of the layout they are skipped. Players can signal this by tapping the table or just saying pass.

The first player to have played all their dominoes wins the hand for their team

If no player can play on the layout the player with the lowest number of points left on their dominos wins the hand for their team. In the event of a tie between the players with the lowest dominos, the hand is replayed and is worth two hands rather than one. If the tie breaker is a tie it is replayed and is worth three. Each tie breaker continues to accumulate games until a team wins the hand.

The team that won the last hand leads the next one

Each hand won is worth one point. A team can add new points to their score only if the opposing team’s score is zero. If a team wins a hand after the opposing team has scored any points, the opposing team’s score goes to zero. The first team to win six points while the opposing teams score is zero wins the match.


For a faster game try playing Straight Six. In this variation the team who is the first to win six hands wins the match. Unlike six love, when the opposing team wins a hand the scores are not reset.

Another variation is called Cut Throat. There are four players and no teams. The player who wins six hands with at least one player at the table that had won no hands is the winner of the match. If all the players at the table have won at least one hand all the scores reset to zero.