Posted by: Wayne Robinson | January 26, 2012

Games – Gluckshaus

This group of European dice games is generically called “Merry Seven” (from the French: Jeu du Sept). The regional variations of the game take their names from a distinctive feature of the game board. In Germany, it is called Das Glückshaus (the house of fortune); Game of the Harlequin in Holland and; Game of the Skiff in Italy. Normally played on using board with ten equal sized circles around a larger circle in the centre. You could as easily draw the circles on a piece of paper or vandalise a tabletop with a knife.

Basic Play

Two dice are thrown. If the score is a 3, 5, 6, 8, 9,10 or 11, the player who rolls the dice places a coin on the corresponding place on the board. If there is a coin on the place, the player takes the coin. If the throw is a four, the player makes no move and passes the dice to the next player.

If the throw is a seven, the player puts a coin in the square marked with the cup. The player does not remove the coins from this square. A throw of two entitles the player to remove the coins from all the squares except the seven. A throw of twelve entitles the player to collect all the stakes from the board.

Variations: A variation that increases the stakes is the “lottery” game. On any roll but a 2 or 12, the player places that number of coins in the corresponding square.

Slightly later German variation: Essentially the same as the version above, except that the board is illustrated and had the following explanations:

2 is the Pig – the Pig eats all, but is not invited to the Wedding

7 is the Wedding – everyone must bring a gift to the Wedding

12 is the King – the King takes all, and is of course, invited to the Wedding

I rather like these colourful space-names.

On a throw of 4, the rules say that you pay a coin to the owner of the board, but we Routiered this into the “Friend of the World” rule where you must fill every vacant space.   This has had no bad effect on the game, and makes it more exciting…


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