A bare table is wanted for
these three simple but strenuous and hilarious games. Should the table be
rounded at the ends but oblong, the chances are all the more varied.
Should it be round the players can range themselves all round it, with a
chalk tick or a strip of stamp-paper to mark where the diameter comes,
dividing the sides. If the table is rectangular the players must confine
their beginnings to either end.
A scrap of stamp-paper is
stuck in the centre. Each player has two draughts (black one for one side,
white for the other) or, if there are no draughts available, one side
plays with two halfpence apiece, the other with two pennies (or superior
players may resort to sixpences and shillings, or even to half-crowns and
florins). Colours or coins are first tossed for, then there is a second
toss for the start. The draughts or coins are ranged, two at a time on
either side as if on a shovehalfpenny board, each one being only half on
the table. Everybody plays their two in turn, side and side about.
Thirteen points is game. Anybody making a bull - i.e. covering or partly
covering, but not merely touching the stamp-paper, scores 13 for his side.
Failing this, the side that comes nearest to the stamp-paper counts one
for that counter and for every other counter that is nearer than any of
the other side's, but not for any counter that has a successful rival on
the other side. This means that while only one side scores, it may be kept
from scoring more than a single point in one game. When coins are used
they change sides with each game.
Goals are chalked at either
end of the table and a marble is put on the centre sticking-plaster. The
players kneel behind the goals (as many as the table will accommodate, or
singly) and try to make a goal by blowing the marble.
Four players stand at the
four corners of a rectangular table that has a coin placed on
sticking-paper in the centre. They bounce an old tennis-ball transversely
across the table, trying to dislodge the coin, while the man at the other
corner catches the ball and has his try in returning it. If possible there
should be two tennis balls, one for each pair of cross corners, as this
saves passing the ball from hand to hand and makes the game faster. An
alternate shot and return is allowed to each pair of cross-players, these
being partners. Or each man may play for himself, the score being
The same as above, but the
coin, preferably a shilling, is placed on the floor at one end of the
room, while the players, divided into two sides, take their stand at the
other end and try to dislodge the coin with the ball. Only one tennis-ball
is needed for this.
Instead of the coin, put a
cap or hat in the middle of the room, range the players at equal distances
round it and give them either two playing-cards or two coins apiece. These
they try to throw into the hat, one at a time as the turns pass. Or one
player may deal with a whole pack of cards at a time, taking, of course,
each card singly.