Antique Gambling Chips & Gambling Memorabilia Web Site
JUMBO (2") CATALIN POKER DICE,
AND LARGE CATALIN BACKGAMMON DOUBLING "CUBE" (NOT FOR SALE)
(Incidentally, I have other
web pages featuring dice: poker dice and
|These were probably made in the 1920's-30's.
I am told that they came with a large plain unmarked leather dice
|This is something I bet you don't see too often.
It must be a "doubling cube" for a form of backgammon. It is
3" across and 1-1/2" thick. There are 8 sides; 2, 4, 8, 16,
32, 64, 128 and 256. Most doubling cubes I have seen are on 6-sided
dice. The one I have above is 8-sided, so it must make for a more
expensive game. Michael Solinas, who saw this web page, emailed me
as to how the doubling cubes are used. He said:
"Say we're playing backgammon for $5 for a game (keeps it simple).
Most likely you pay something like 10 cents a point, so the amount I
beat you by matters. For simplicity, say we're just playing one game
for $5. Initially, the doubling cube is right in the center of the
board - where either of us can use it.
Say I get ahead of you, and think I will win. I'll pick up the cube,
set it so the "2" is uppermost, and offer it to you. If you decline
it, I win right there. If you accept, you've accepted an offer to
double the stakes. Now we're playing for $10. You have possession of
the cube, so I can't use it now.
Say things turn around again, and you get in a better position. Since
you possess the cube, you can double it again to "4". My options are
quit now, and pay you $10 (the $5 doubled) or to accept it, making us
play for 4 times the original bet. $20.
It can get interesting. By the time that 256 comes up, our $5 game is
for $1,280. Only it probably won't get that high. Accepting double
the stakes when you are at a disadvantage isn't done lightly."