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The Online Guide to Traditional Games

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- History and Useful Information -

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Welcome.  This website provides history and useful information about traditional games from around the world.  You will find it copied and plagiarised all over the Internet - rest assured that everything on this website is original. The games featured have survived for centuries or millenia simply by being passed down from generation to generation and most continue to thrive today. The author welcomes your comments.

Look up a specific game using the 'Game Index' button above or you can drill down to your area of interest using the categories below.

Board Games

 

Burmese Chess PiecesThe histories of all the major board games played today from all over the world.  Including Western board games favourites like Chess (descended from Shaturanga),  Draughts (descended from Alquerque),  the ancient Egyptian game of   Nine Mens Morris  and  Backgammon (descended Go banfrom Senat) and childrens favourites Snakes and Ladders, and Chinese Checkers (a modern version of Halma). Just as importantly, games which are even more popular but less well known in the West  such as GoShogiChinese ChessMancala and  Pachisi (Ludo).  Plus some unusual games like the ancient Norse game of Tafl, the Madagascan game of Fanorona and some really ancient games like the Royal games found at Ur.

Table Games

 

CrokinoleBagatelleTable games including Carrom from Asia and the Billiards family through Snooker to the American and European derivatives, Bar Billiards, Bagatelle, Pool and Carom Billiards.  Also, the Shovelboard and Shove Ha'penny family, Squails and Crokinole plus the table-top versions of Skittles, Indoor Quoits and Bagatelle and casino games such as Roulette. Not forgetting Table Tennis.

Pub Games

 

QuoitsThe history of British pub games and other unashamedly traditional British pastimes: Dominoes, SkittlesCribbage, Quoits, Shove Ha'penny, Billiards and Snooker, Skittles, Darts, Bar Billiards and a few splendidly eccentric extras for good measure like Ringing the Bull, Toad in the Hole, Bat & Trap, Knur & Spell and Aunt Sally.

Lawn Games

 

BowlsTennisTraditional Lawn games including

Bowls, Cricket, Croquet, Tennis, Rounders, Baseball and Badminton, Pall Mall.

Dice, Cards and Tiles

 

Chinese playing cardsCriibage boardMah JongDominoes, Shut the Box

History of Playing Cards

Cribbage, Poker, Baccarat

Some traditional games are in decline and perhaps need some help. The increasing popularity of online casino games, maybe, at least in part, responsible for this decline.

If you are organising a league, competition or maybe just play a less well-known pub game in your local, the author is happy to mention it on this website for free. See the Leagues and Pubs page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email to jm at tradgames.org.uk

Copyright 1997 - now by James Masters.

 

 

 

 

Popular Games from Masters Traditional Games Shop

Giant Games - Giant Jenga, Giant Connect 4, Giant Snakes and Ladders, Giant Chess

Croquet Sets

Drakes Pride Bowls

Board Games - Dal Negro Backgammon, Jaques Chess, Lewis Chess, Mah Jong, Games Compendium, Go, Shogi, Ludo

Pub Games - Bar Billiards, Skittles, Table Skittles, Skittle Alley, Cribbage

Roulette, Card Tables, Table Football, Air Hockey

Kubb

 

 

All from Masters Traditional Games