How to play: Hazard at Claremont Landscape Garden

Toy money in the Thatched Cottage at Claremont Landscape Garden, Surrey

Amongst the toys and games on the table in the Thatched Cottage, you'll find a couple of dice and some pretend paper money. You can use these to play Hazard, an ancient English gambling game that is believed to date as far back as the 12th century.

Supposedly first played by the crusaders while they were laying siege to the Arabian castle Hazart, it became hugely popular during the 17th and 18th centuries. Despite the complicated rules, it was soon played all over Europe and was later exported to the Americas where it developed into Craps.

You will need

Two dice, stakes (Claremont paper money)


  1. The first player, known as ‘the caster’, starts the game by placing his stake in the centre of the playing area. Any other players who wish to bet place their stakes in the centre, and the caster accepts the bets by knocking.
  2. Once the bets have been accepted the caster throws the dice to establish a ‘main point’. This must be a total of 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9. If he fails at the first attempt the caster continues throwing the dice until he does.
  3. Once the main point is established the caster throws the dice again to establish a ‘chance point’ which must be a total of 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10.
  4. The caster wins if: when throwing for the chance point, he rolls ‘a nick’. A nick is a total of 11 when the main point is 7, a total of 12 with the main point of 6 or 8, or a throw of the main point itself.
  5. The caster loses if: on the chance point throw he rolls ‘an out’. An out is a total of 2 or 3, known as ‘a crab’, or a total of 12 with a main point number of 5, 6, 8, or 9.
  6. If a chance point is established he continues rolling until he either throws the chance point again and wins or until he throws the main point again and loses.
  7. If the caster wins then he takes all the stakes in the centre. If he loses, then each of the players take their stake back with an equal share of the caster’s.
Although the Claremont cash won't get you very far in the café, why not head there to celebrate your victory?