Mr. Scarne was not one who, when the boys rode off to war, gave them good advice, chocolate bars, or woolen underwear. Rather he took the men aside, warning that if they like to gamble with dice and cards they were heading for an Army and a Navy abounding in sharpers and crooks. Then, from his incomparable knowledge of the subject, he instructed in spotting such crooked gentry and, if necessary, exposing them. In due time Mr. Scarne’s activities became of interest to the editors of Yank, the Army weekly. With the undersigned—who functioned solely as a writer—he began in that publication a series of articles exposing crooked dice and cards, and sharpers in general. In no time the phrase ‘According to Scarne’ was as familiar and definitive to the GI’s of World II as was ‘According to Hoyle’ to less rugged generations.—Allen Churchill, Navy Editor, Yank
David A. Mitchell (1883-1926) was a well-known player and writer in chess and checkers. He enthusiastically promoted the games in newspapers, books, and magazines. This title is considered one of the classic foundational texts for playing and winning checkers.
Another excellent guide to playing checkers, for all grades of players, containing the early history of the game and methods and conduct of play. It also shows the beginner how to start his game with elementary positions and as he advances step by step can hold his own with the most expert player. It appeals to the expert for its high-class analysis and excellent problem department. It also contains corrections of published play that are highly important.
This is a facsimile reprint of the original 1922 edition.
Fraser discusses how to play in “Two-Move,” “Three-Move” and “Go As You Please” checkers. The former involve pre-arranged (but randomly assigned) moves for the first two or three turns of the game, which is intended to keep play fresh. Fraser colorfully utilizes the metaphor of Dante’s Inferno to describe the heavenly ease of free-play checkers, the purgatory of Two-Move, and the hell of Three-Move checkers.
This is a facsimile reprint of the original 1959 edition.
Ethnographer Stewart Culin was well known for his studies on the history, scope, and variations of board games throughout the world. This is a facsimile reprint of his article on the African game Mancala and its variations in Asia, the Caribbean, and elsewhere. This first appeared in the Report of the U. S. National Museum of 1894.
This booklet serves as a good starting point for ethnography/cultural anthropology students who wish to learn the origins of this popular game, and will interest serious board gamers as well.
Backgammon doesn't always get the attention it deserves, but Millard Hopper's easy-to-read guide will help any board game enthusiast learn to play and win this ancient game. He covers the basic rules, the three main ways to play (a running game, a blocking game, and a back game), and specific strategies for winning game play.
This is a facsimile reprint, originally published in 1941.
One of the oldest board games, backgammon doesn't have as many detailed studies on play-by-play tactics as do chess and checkers, but this classic text fills the bill for both beginner and intermediate players. Besides the rules for backgammon (and a multiplayer variant, chouette), you'll learn strategies for every stage of the game right from the opening moves.
This is a facsimile reprint, originally published in 1940.
ANCIENT GAMES (ANCIENT GAMES FROM AFRICA,
EUROPE, AND ASIA)
Ancient Games (first published as an instructional booklet in 1936) offers basic instructions and game board details for over twenty board games (and several variations) from Africa, Europe, and Asia. Games like Wari, Helma, Halma, Reversi, Ruma, Wu-fu, Chongkak, Go Moku, Nine-Men's Morris, and Yoot are included. (Several of these are related to Mancala.) These would make great projects to create and play for children and adults alike.
Pitcherino: A Provincial Variation of the Modern
Game of Pitch Descended from the More Ancient Game of All Fours
A light narrative description of Pitcherino, a regional Texas variant of the card game Pitch, itself a descendent of All Fours. Written with dry wit and eighteenth-century stylings. This is a facsimile reprint of the original 1930 text (which was privately published in a limited edition of 150 copies).