Crown and Anchor

Crown and anchor is a traditional dice game from my neck of the woods; England, which was and still is played by the sailors in the British Navy. It was used to pass the time on the ships and submarines, because being in tight quarters with a whole bunch of men (and women) with nothing to do was very boring. It’s usually a Mans gambling game the most though.

So to wile away the hours while waiting for the orders to go off somewhere they would play dice games, as it was easy to put in your pocket.

Today it is still being played in the channel islands—Jersey the most but Guernsey as well as Bermuda. There are older men sit in the square in Jersey and they play the dice game for fun and to make a few dollars.

The game consists of three special dice, which are of equal size and shape but instead of the numbers on the dice, there is symbols resembling a crown, an anchor, a diamond, a spade, a club, and a heart. As you probably noticed the last four are the same as on a regular deck of playing cards.

Using a canvas or felt mat, a player wagers on one or more symbols, he then throws the three dice and is then paid by the bank accordingly. An even money payout is paid if one of his bets comes up, like 2:1 if two, and 3:1 if three.

During the game of crown and anchor a player can expect to lose at least 7.9% each turn he plays.

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