How to play hazard

Hazard was a common dice game in the 18th century, and is the predecessor of craps. The term for a bad throw in Hazard, which is a 2 or 3, was "crabs." The rules vary a little from source to source and time to time, but this is one set of basics.

One person starts as caster, but all may wager. The greater the number of players, the greater the possible win or loss for the caster.
The caster calls a main (ie. says a number, but it must be 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9, the only possible mains) and puts a stake on the table. If he wins, the others will have to cover that original bet. The others can make their own bets now and at any other point between throws, and if the caster accepts a bet, he will put down the same amount to cover it.
When the betting is over, he throws two dice. If he throws his main, he "nicks it" and wins all bets on the table, plus the other players must cover his original stake. Otherwise, any throw between 4 and 10 becomes his chance.
Once he has a main and a chance, he rolls until he rolls one of them again. After the first roll, main loses, chance wins. But there are special throws.
At any point, a roll of 2 or 3 loses.
If main is 6 or 8, then 12 wins.
If main is 5, 7, or 9, then 12 loses.
If main is 7, then 11 wins.
If main is 5, 6, 8, or 9, then 11 loses.
It wasn't a game for dummies -- unless they wanted to lose a lot of money.

Another explanation of Hazard.
To read about divination by dice.
To keep up to date with new and reissued fiction by Jo Beverley, ask to be on Jo Beverley's e-mailing list, e-mail here which only receives a few messages a year.
And/or to join the chat list e-mail here.

Back to the Hazard excerpts
Back to the site menu Back to the home page