Chupu Game

 

Chupu is an ancient chess game played in China. It is so named because the dice used in the original game were made of simaruba. It is also called the Play of Five Wooden Dice since a set of five wooden dice are adopted.

Chupu is similar to the flying chess of today. A set of five dice in black or white are used, with sharp ends and flat middle part resembling squashed almond. The dice are painted black and white respectively on both sides, with a calf drawn on the black side and a pheasant on the white. They can be put in six different combinations for six corresponding prizes. If full blacks or four blacks with one white are got, another throw can be taken, or it can be deemed as a pass, while other combinations shall not count.

Records of people playing Chupu are frequently seen in ancient Chinese documents, from which we could imagine its popularity. Li'ao in the Tang Dynasty once wrote an article The Play of Five Wooden Dice describing the ancient Chupu game.

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