Christmas Party Games – Festive Holiday Fun

Christmas party games make any holiday celebration fun. Party games get the party going and keep it going. Like most Christmas traditions, Christmas games were enjoyed throughout the centuries as an important part of holiday celebrations.

As early as the 16th century it was customary to play games at Christmas. Late medieval English law allowed servants and commoners to play games at Christmas that were forbidden the rest of the year. These games included tennis, dice, cards, billiard and others.

Christmas games enjoyed in the modern period were blindman’s bluff, feed the dove and hot cockles. In Hot Cockles each player in turn is blindfolded. The blindfolded player puts his hands behind his back, palms up. One of the other players hits the hands of the blindfolded player. The blindfolded player must guess which of the other players has hit him. If he does so correctly, he may penalize the player whom he “caught.” hose who preferred a greater mental test might retire to a game of chess, while the physically agile might

challenge each other to tennis or skittles.

The English also enjoyed playing cards and gambling at Christmas time, especially with dice. During the reign of the Tudor kings, working people may have found greater pleasure in these games than the well-to-do, since they were prohibited by law from playing games except at Christmas time. In the sixteenth and 17th centuries the Puritans condemned those who celebrated Christmas by playing games and gambling.

In Victorian England parlor games remained popular Christmas entertainments throughout the 19th century. Victorians favored such games as Snapdragon, Forfeits, Hoop and Hide (Hide and Seek), charades, Blind Man’s Bluff, Queen of Sheba (a variation on Blind Man’s Bluff), and Hunt the Slipper. In Snapdragon players gathered around a bowl of currants covered with spirits. A lighted match was dropped into the bowl, setting fire to the alcohol. Players challenged one another to grab a flaming currant out of the bowl and pop it into their mouths, thus extinguishing the flames. A bit of light verse describes the fearful delights of this game:

Here he comes with flaming bowl,

Don’t he mean to take his toll,

Snip! Snap! Dragon!

Take care you don’t take too much,

Be not greedy in your clutch,

Snip! Snap! Dragon!

With his blue and lapping tongue

Many of you will be stung,

Snip! Snap! Dragon!

For he snaps at all that comes

Snatching at his feast of plums,

Snip! Snap! Dragon!

But Old Christmas makes him come,

Though he looks so fee! fa! fum!

Snip! Snap! Dragon!

Don’t ‘ee fear him, be but bold-

Out he goes, his flames are cold,

Snip! Snap! Dragon!

Players heightened the effect of the glowing, blue flames by extinguishing all other lights in the room except that cast by the burning bowl.

In Hunt the Slipper players formed a circle around one person. They held their hands behind their backs and passed a slipper around the outside of the circle. The person in the center of the circle had to guess who was in possession of the slipper at any given moment.

A number of other English Christmas games have now disappeared so completely that only their picturesque names remain behind. Folklorists cannot now say how they were played. These forgotten games include Shoeing the Wild Mare, Steal the White Loaf, Postand Pair, Feed the Dove, Puss-in-the-Corner, and The Parson Has Lost His Cloak. Before a Christmas party broke up for the evening, the sleepy guests might play one last, quaintly named game called Yawning for a Cheshire Cheese. The players sat in a circle and yawned at one another. Whoever produced the longest, most open-mouthed, and loudest yawn won a Cheshire cheese.

Christmas Games are also played in other Countries. Some traditional Christmas games are for children. In many nations Advent calendars amuse children with a kind of counting game in the weeks before Christmas. Children in Mexico often play games with piñatas at holiday season parties. In Iran youngsters play egg-tapping games at Christmas time. Most Christmas games, however, involve adults and younger people. In a number of different countries sporting matches, games of chance, or fortune-telling games are associated with one or more days of the Christmas season.

In past times Swedes used to play games with Christmas gifts, which they call Julklapp, on December 24. On St. Stephen’s Day both Swedes and Norwegians used to race horses (see Norway, Christmas in). Ethiopians celebrate Christmas Day by playing ganna, a sport that resembles hockey (see Ethiopia, Christmas in). In the United States, many people enjoy watching football bowl games on New Year’s Day. In Lithuania people entertain themselves on Christmas Eve with fortune-telling games.

Some popular Christmas games we enjoy today are Yankee Swap, Elephant Gift Exchange, cookie exchanges, caroling and others. There’s no doubt that Christmas party games still play a big part in making the season special and memorable.

A Good Stickman Makes Casino Craps More Fun

A live casino craps table is typically manned by a crew of four people. The “boxman” sits at the center of the table by the casino’s chip stack. Her job is to control the game, ensure the dealers don’t make mistakes, and to protect the casino and players from cheats and thieves. Two dealers stand to the sides of the boxman. They collect bets when the casino wins and pay bets when the players win. They also position players’ chips for bets that are not self-service (i.e., players are not allowed to position their chips on the layout for certain bets, so the dealers do it for them). The “stickman” stands at the center of the table across from the boxman and calls the game. The stickman also retrieves and controls the dice after each throw.

A good stickman can add tons of fun to the game. If he’s good, he’ll use a big vocabulary of craps jargon to add humor and make the game more interesting. For example, if a die bounces off the table and lands in a player’s chip rack (i.e., the wooden shelf around the table perimeter where players hold their chips), the stickman is obligated to say, “No roll,” and then he retrieves the die for the boxman to inspect it. The stickman then pushes the dice with his stick to the shooter to roll again.

A good stickman adds lively banter to the game to make it more fun for the players. After all, the more fun the players have, the better mood they’ll be in, which increases the likelihood that the players will make more bets (good for the casino) and give the dealers more tips (good for the crew). To liven up the game, instead of boringly saying, “No roll,” a good stickman might say in a loud, rhythmic voice, “Die in the wood, roll no good,” or “I can’t read her, she’s in the cedar.” The game is much more fun when the stickman spouts all kinds of craps jargon and rhymes.

Over the years, dealers have dreamed up lots of cute slang for the results of a dice roll. The following are the ones I commonly hear when playing. I suspect that there are just as many that I haven’t heard. Listen for them the next time you play. The number 2 (i.e., a 1 on one die and a 1 on the other) is called “aces.” Aces are more commonly known as “snake eyes.” They are also called “eyeballs.”

The number 11 (i.e., a 6 on one die and a 5 on the other) is called a “yo,” which is short for “yo-leven” (with emphasis on the “yo”). The stickman says “yo-leven” to distinguish “eleven” from “seven” so the players don’t misunderstand the call.

The number 3 is an “Australian yo.” When a 3 shows (i.e., a 1 on one die and a 2 on the other), the opposite number (i.e., the number on the bottom of the dice) is 11, which is “down under.” On dice, 1 is opposite the 6, 2 is opposite the 5, and 3 is opposite the 4. So, when a 1-2 combination shows, the opposite side “down under” (i.e., the bottom of the dice) is 6-5.

The number 12 is called “boxcars” or “midnight.”

The combination 3-3 (i.e., a Hard 6) is sometimes called “Brooklyn Forest.”

The numbers 2, 3, and 12 are all called “craps.” Note that when a shooter establishes a point and then subsequently throws a 7, it’s called a “seven-out.” A seven-out is not a craps. Remember, a craps is the number 2, 3, or 12, so when the shooter rolls a 7, don’t show your inexperience by yelling in disappointment, “Oh, man, he crapped out.” The correct whine is, “Oh, man, he sevened-out.”

The number 8 is sometimes referred to as “Eighter from Decatur.”

The number 9 is sometimes referred to as “Jesse James” (he was shot with a.45, and the 4-5 dice combination is a 9). The number 9 is also called “Studio 54” when the dice combination 5-4 shows (the combination 5-4 is a 9).

The combination 4-4 (i.e., a Hard 4) is sometimes called “Little Joe.”

The combination 3-2 is sometimes called “OJ” (OJ’s jersey number was 32).

The combination 5-5 (i.e., a Hard 10) is called “lady’s delight.”

The combination 1-4 is occasionally called “One-eyed chicken in the weeds.” I don’t have a clue what that means, and neither did the dealer when I asked him. He said he learned it years earlier from another dealer and has since repeated it.

Hearing the stickman bark funny craps jargon makes the game more fun. It also gets the players to interact more, which usually adds to their enjoyment. Imagine the shooter rolling the dice and they show a 1-4 combination. Imagine the stickman blandly saying, “Five.” Now, instead, imagine the stickman shouting, “One-eyed chicken in the weeds!” The players laugh and begin asking each other, “What did he say?” Their questions then lead to more talking and interaction, which adds to everyone’s fun. The casino values a good stickman because happier customers are more likely to be repeat customers.

How to Do Magic Tricks For Fun – Guessing the Total of Rolled Dice

Tricks with dice are always popular with Magicians and the public. People find dice interesting to look at and to handle. They also appear exotic because of their connection with gambling and casinos.

In this great trick, you apparently guess the total of three dice rolled by a spectator!

How It Looks To The Audience

The Magician gives the spectator three dice and then turns away from the spectator.

The Magician then tells the spectator to roll the three dice on the table and then add the three numbers showing at the top of the dice.

He then tells the spectator to pick up any one of the dice and add the number that was on the BOTTOM of this die to his previous total.

He then tells the spectator to roll this die again and add the new number at the top to his previous total.

The Magician then turns around and says that he has no way of knowing which of the dice was rolled a second time.

He then picks up the three dice and shakes them in his cupped hands.

After a few seconds of mystical deliberation, The Magician then calls out the final total that the spectator has in his mind!

How The Trick Is Done

Although this looks like a clever piece of mind reading, the answer is simplicity itself. When you turn around, you quickly, mentally add the three, top numbers of the dice and then add 7 to this number. This will be the same number that the spectator is thinking of!