Knuckle Dice

Pig Knuckle Bones – Original Dice

Knuckle bones were perhaps the original dice, thrown to divine the will of the gods. Or maybe that’s just a good excuse for gambling.

Katya Examining the Throw

The dogs toss the bones a lot. It passes the time in the evening around the camp fire when they’re not chasing off coyotes. They also eat the bones so I must then give them a new set. The impermanence of being.

Full House!

Since each knuckle bone is unique it changes the simple probabilities of commercial manufactured dice. Gambling creates a need to understand probabilities. Perhaps playing with such unique dice leads to advanced mathematical abilities.

We cook pig’s feet, also known as trotters, to make soup and stew stocks which are high in nutrients and gelatin – great for thickening and for our joints. The knuckle bones come out very cleaned. The dice above are aged, almost antique, in their look because they have been sitting on the warming stones on top of our wood stove.

Outdoors: 30°F/13°F Mostly Cloudy
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/63°F
No fire for five days

Daily Spark: I, like God, do not play with dice and I don’t believe in coincidences. -V to Evey in V is for Vendetta

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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6 Responses to Knuckle Dice

  1. Emily says:

    Roll the bones! Love those little history lessons you give Walter!

  2. Luise says:

    Hello Walter!
    I love those knuckle bones! I do a lot of Viking reenactment and of course, when in gear play “authentic” games. One of my favourites is the bone throwing game, which I’ve always used those knuckle bones for:

    You take 5 knuckle bones (or any other five bones of the same size!) and throw them down in front of you, on a sheet or the floor or table.
    1st round: You throw one bone up and while it flies, snatch one bone from the four on the ground with the same hand you have used to throw the first bone. Then catch the flying bone again, again with the same hand. If you succeeded, the bone you snatched is out and you put it aside. Now throw again one bone up, snatch one of the three and catch the flying bone. Go on until you have snatched all the bones on the floor/table. Then you go on to the next round.
    If you drop the flying bone, then it’s the next player’s turn.
    2nd round: As before, your throw one bone up, but this time you snatch two bones at a time from the ground!
    3rd round: As before, but you snatch three bones at once and then one bone.
    4th round: Snatch all four bones!
    5th round: Now you take all five bones in one hand. Throw one bone up, drop another bone on the floor and catch the flying bone with your bone-holding hand. Go on until you have dropped all bones.
    6th round: Drop two bones at once.
    7th round: Drop three bones and one bone.
    8th round: Easy! Drop all bones! :)
    9th round: Like first round, but between throwing the bone and snatching a bone, you have to clap your hands!
    10th round: Like seconds round, but with clapping the hands.
    11th round: Like third, clap hands.
    12th round: Like 4th, clap hands.

    I don’t know if the game goes on after that, I’ve never played that far. Just be creative and think of something after that if you like.
    An advice: Keep your eyes always on the flying bone and have your hand near the bone you want to snatch when you throw it!

    Have fun playing and let me know how far you make it!

  3. Brittian says:

    Any chance you sell your incredible knuckle dice?

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