Game of the Month: Gluckshaus (House of Fortune)

by Dagonell the Juggler

Gluckshaus is Old High German for "House of Fortune" and is a gambling game with dice. The board is illustrated below. Usually, these wooden boards were expensive and elaborately carved and painted works of art. Each square of the board contained a scene, and the rest of the board surrounding the squares was heavily illuminated.

                                  |        12|
                                  | The King |
                       |        11|         7|         3|
                       |          |  Wedding |          |
                                  |        10|
                                  |          |
                       |         6|         9|         5|
                       |          |          |          |
                                  |         8|
                                  |          |
                       | 2                            2 |
                       |          The Lucky Pig         |

Players took turns throwing a pair of dice. On a roll of a three, five, six, eight, nine, ten or eleven, the player took a coin if one was on the square belonging to that number, or placed one there if it was empty.

Seven is The Wedding square. If a player rolled a seven, he placed a coin on the square because one always brings a gift to a wedding. Two is The Lucky Pig. If a player rolled a two, he collected all the coins on the board except for The Wedding. Twelve is The King. If a player rolled a twelve, he collected all the coins on the board including The Wedding, because nothing can be denied to The King. There is no square for rolling a four. During the Renaissance, if a player rolled a four, he paid a coin to the owner of the board. In a friendly game, players should agree in advance whether a player rolling a four should lose his turn, or roll again.