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Shuanglu (Shwan-Liu, Ssang-Ryouk, Sunoroku)

Period(s)

Modern

Region(s)

Eastern Asia, Northern Asia, Southeastern Asia

Description

Shuanglu is a race game known from East Asia that is similar to European Backgammon. References to it in Chinese sources date to the first millennium CE.

Rules

The game is played on a board with twelve points on either side. The points form a continuous track in a horseshoe shape; each player progresses in opposite directions (one from their bottom right to the top right, the other from their bottom left to their top left. Each player has 15 pieces. The starting position is as such, number the points from the origin of each player's track: Point six: five pieces Point 8: three pieces Point 13: five pieces Point 24: two pieces Play begins by each player rolling one die; the player with the highest roll plays first and plays the numbers on this first roll. Players move according to the number on each die by moving one piece the number on one die and other the number on the other die, or by moving one piece the total number of both die. It is customary to move two pieces when doubles are thrown. Players cannot end their move on a point with multiple opposing pieces. If a player ends the turn on a point with one opposing piece, that piece is placed in the middle of the board (not on a point) and must reenter the board according the the next die roll, counting the origin point as a move of 1. They cannot reenter on a point with two or more pieces. No other pieces can move until all of the pieces belonging to that player are removed from the center. When all of a player's pieces are on their final 6 points, they may start removing pieces from the board. They can do so by rolling a 6 to move from the 6th point, and so on down to 1. Players must use all available moves presented by the dice. The first player to remove all of their pieces wins.

Culin 1895a: 499-500.

Origin

East Asia

Reference

Murray 1951: 36, 115-116; Culin 1895: 79-81.

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Sources

Culin, S. 1895. 'Chinese Games with Dice and Dominoes.' Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution 1893 Including Report of the U.S. National Museum: 495–537.

Culin, S. 1895. Korean Games with Notes on the Corresponding Games of China and Japan. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.

Murray, H.J.R. 1951. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Identifiers

DLP.Game.305

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