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Old Dec 30 2007, 06:18 AM   #1
Thea
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Default Gambling on Pern

After watching the lottery last night, I started thinking about the various types of gambling on Pern, and I tried to make a list, but I'm having a bit of a mental block. I know there is horse racing, although I can't remember if there was betting on it, and I know that Bitra was famous for it's gambling, but not whether there were any specific games mentioned.

Can anyone help me?

(Apologies if this has been discussed before.)
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Old Dec 30 2007, 10:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

Interesting question, Thea. And I don't think it has been discussed before.

Gambling at the (All) Weyr Games springs to mind immediately; but it might be that such is mentioned for the first time in Dragon's Fire.

In Dragonseye/Red Star Rising you can read the Bitrans (surely they were not alone in this, just the worst) were "Always gambling. On the most ridiculous things, too, and for the most bizarre wagers." when it is suspected that Vergerin gambled away his succession...

A very well known fact is people are betting on the outcome of Hatchings (although officials - like Robinton in The White Dragon - felt they could not be involved that way).

That's what comes in mind at the moment
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Old Dec 30 2007, 11:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

I remember in Red Star Rising/Dragon'sEye that the other members of Hall Domaize all warn Iantine about not getting involved in any gambling. I'm sure there were other examples, but I'll have to give it a bit more thought. I'd forgotten about Vergerin, though. Makes me wonder what kind of gambling they'd be doing, too.

Thanks, Hans!
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Old Dec 30 2007, 12:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

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A very well known fact is people are betting on the outcome of Hatchings (although officials - like Robinton in The White Dragon - felt they could not be involved that way).

That's what comes in mind at the moment
Actually, Robinton was betting on a mating. The open flight that D'ram had called.

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Old Dec 30 2007, 03:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

True, GH, that's correct. It was the open mating flight, not a Hatching, at which it was said. Silly me.

But... if that's the case, they jst be betting at Hatchings too, right?
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Old Dec 30 2007, 04:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

Well if they're guessing on dragon colors, seems to me it follows that they'd be betting too! And I can't imagine that no one was betting on runner races, such as the one in Moreta...
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Old Dec 30 2007, 04:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

I would imagine that there would be gambling games involving dice, cups and cards. I wouldn't be able to provide you with any concrete quotes for those, I'm afraid. But I'm sure cards are mentioned more than once?

Interestingly, both the Catholic and Jewish faiths traditionally set aside certain days specifically for gambling

Edited Addition:

I just checked my DLG and have this:

From the section on Fort Weyr.
"Dragonriders enjoy gambling. Fort dragonriders like a good dice game and have reinvented craps and otehr games of chance. Like all Weyrs they play dragon poker."


From the section on Benden Weyr.
"Gambling followed man into the stars. The dragonriders amuse themselves at odd moments in the evening by practicing gambling tricks and sharping each other at games of skill. ..... Dragonriders will bet for money on practically anything, especially complicated wagers on the outcome of Hatchings. Such things are winked at, because Leaders know their men have to have some outlet."


From the section on Bitra Hold.
"Bitra has a reputation among those who like to gamble for having the highest concentration of card manipulators and sharpers of Hold or Weyr on Pern. If anybody is looking for a cutthroat game of dragon poker or poly-dice, Bitra is the best place to look. With one another Bitrans play mah-jongg and other games at which it is difficult or impossible to cheat, but outsiders are far game to all Bitra's skills.

To be fair, they have also kept alive many other games of skill and strategy brought to Pern by the Ancient Timers, although a stranger had better make sure he knows all the rules before play begins. Tarok, chess, pinochle, chase board games, backgammon, go, and a hundre others are mentioned in the copious records kept by generations of Bitran Lord Holders."


It also gives a description of Dragon Poker cards, which I can type upon request! There are a couple of mentions of gambling on runner races, but nothing in particular or of note.

Last edited by Gidget2; Dec 30 2007 at 04:57 PM.
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Old Dec 30 2007, 05:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

I thought I remembered references to card games but what were the cards made of before they reinvented paper? As to gambling in general, people who are inclined to gamble will find something to bet on. The color of the first egg to hatch, whether or not it will rain, how many berries are in a jar, just about anything can be a cause for a wager of some sort. I guess it would follow that dragonriders would be gamblers at least to some extent, after all, they routinely risk their very lives and the lives of their dragons fighting thread.
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Old Dec 30 2007, 07:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

I know that dragon poker was played a lot.
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Old Dec 30 2007, 09:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

@Sandi ..thats a good question...pershaps they made cards out of thin pieces of thin hard woods that were on Pern. Like Iantine used in Dragonseye to paint his portraits of Chalkin on. OR....
[QUOTE] U.S. Deagonseye (on Iantine and his use of paper)

1.The expression was too much for the artist in Iantine andhe flipped open his pad and sketched the scene.

2.He did a rapid sketch of that in a corner of the page. At the rate he was going, he'd use up even this generous supply of paper.

3.As quickly as he neatly could, he filled his last empty page with a montage: the train entering the Weyr Bowl, people rushing out to meet it, the goods being exhibited, deals being made, with the central portion the scene of the trail bosses discussing shelters with the Weyrleaders. He held the pad at arm's length and regarded it critically.

4.He couldn't resist and flipped over pages to where he had made a sketch of her oiling Morath.

5.He pressed the paper against her, pushing it at her when she continued to resist.

6.More paper, mainly," Iantine said in a tentative tone.

7.You'll need a good deal of paperand plenty of pencils.


@Sandi.Perhaps they had a small amounts of paper...but it was not widely or normally used. They would have used hides for many things...even to write on...but possibly they would have had some small quanities of paper that was used for cards and the like.
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Old Dec 30 2007, 10:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

I think they still had paper at the time of Dragonseye. They even had a couple of functioning computers at the start of the story. I was thinking about 9h Pass Pern when I said that.
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Old Dec 31 2007, 03:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

Thanks, everyone. I thought there might have been dice and cards, as well as the betting on dragon colours/mating flights, but my books are all over the place whilst I'm sorting out to check.

Thanks again!
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Old Dec 31 2007, 04:06 AM   #13
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

The next question is... does anybody know a referebces to dice adn/or cards from the books themselves? (not counting the DLG)

And, poly dice... those are dice with more faces, right?
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Old Dec 31 2007, 09:03 AM   #14
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

You don't need wood to make paper, and the wood you use needn't be all that spectacular. Wood was used a lot on Pern for furniture, carts, tools and instruments, so I would imagine that there would have been a certain amount of wastage left over for pulping into paper that was then used to make paper for artists.

But the wood pulp can be 'fleshed out' with old rags and anything that is fibrous that have cellulose present.

I am thinking that poly dice would be much like these (although which one is anyone's guess!)
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Old Dec 31 2007, 02:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

Hans: all useable dice are polydice. A uni-die is an impossibility in our spacetime framework.
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Old Dec 31 2007, 02:42 PM   #16
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

And those mah-jongg tiles could be wood or bone... Hmm, going to have to include it in a role-play now, I like that game. Single-player though.
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Old Dec 31 2007, 04:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P'ter View Post
Hans: all useable dice are polydice. A uni-die is an impossibility in our spacetime framework.
How fine an axe do you generally need for hair-splitting???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenrider Tresa View Post
And those mah-jongg tiles could be wood or bone... Hmm, going to have to include it in a role-play now, I like that game. Single-player though.
I love mah-jongg! I've never seen it written about specifically on Pern - that I can remember anyway!
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Old Dec 31 2007, 06:36 PM   #18
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

Gidget 2: the handle MUST be fine enough to be tied into a gordian knot.
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Old Dec 31 2007, 07:29 PM   #19
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Default Re: Gambling on Pern

Paper can be and often is made from all sorts of things, including dryer lint. What I meant was that it was not made on Pern for centuries until it was re-invented and called "leaves." At least that was the impression I got. They seemed to do practice writing on sand tables and slates and things they wanted to preserve were recorded on skins.
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Old Dec 31 2007, 07:32 PM   #20
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Re: Gambling on Pern

Quote:
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[I]With one another Bitrans play mah-jongg and other games at which it is difficult or impossible to cheat, but outsiders are fair game to all Bitra's skills.
It is nigh to impossible to cheat in Mah Jongg, that's for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenrider Tresa View Post
And those mah-jongg tiles could be wood or bone... Hmm, going to have to include it in a role-play now, I like that game. Single-player though.
It's possible that a solitaire-like game evolved using Mah Jongg tiles on Pern, as it has on Earth, but it really shouldn't be named mah jongg as it's entirely different. *pet peeve* But if Mah Jongg is really fairly exclusive to Bitra (which is reasonable given the complexity of the game), then your average Pernese person likely has never seen the tiles before...

Quote:
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I love mah-jongg!
Real Mah Jongg, or the solitaire game using mah jongg tiles?

I love real Mah Jongg, I was taught by my husband's family and do pretty well usually. We had a lovely game after Christmas, and in a rare turn of event my husband made quite the killing while I was a distant second.
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Old Jan 1 2008, 08:56 AM   #21
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Real Mah Jongg, or the solitaire game using mah jongg tiles?
No, you have utterly got me there, Cheryl - I meant the solitaire game. There was a club started where I used to live that offered several different variants but I was never able to go to any of the games I would love to learn the full game!

Sandi, you're right - I had completely forgotten about the fact that much was made of paper's 'reinvention' in the 9th Pass! I wonder what happened to it ...... although I'm guessing that's a subject for a different Thread!!
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Old Jan 2 2008, 08:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Paper can be and often is made from all sorts of things, including dryer lint. What I meant was that it was not made on Pern for centuries until it was re-invented and called "leaves." At least that was the impression I got. They seemed to do practice writing on sand tables and slates and things they wanted to preserve were recorded on skins.
While in DF, DSinger and DSong we see mention of sand tables, slates, and hides, it really doesn't make sense that they do not have some type of pulp based sheets. Considering that there has been some type of writing medium on Earth since time immemorial (and at the moment I'm thinking Ancient Egypt and their papyrus as the most 'famous' writing medium), and considering that Pern was settled by people who originally had all that knowledge at their hands, and considering how inventive mankind is, I can't imagine that they don't have some type of pulp-based 'paper'.

I can see clay, sand and slate being used for short-term thoughts, then being transferred over to something more permanent. And, it's possible that hide held up better than pulp sheets, so hides were used for archival records.

But I believe that for temporary-permanent use, pulped sheets were used.
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Old Jan 2 2008, 09:31 AM   #23
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I hope that this works properly!! This is what I posted back in July about vellum and papyrus and things, and paper is discussed a bit earlier in the Thread. No definitive answers were reached!
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Old Jan 2 2008, 10:09 AM   #24
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Off Topic discussion in the other thread, Gidget linked to, please!
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Old Jan 2 2008, 11:04 AM   #25
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Hans, would it be possible for you to snip us a new Thread using the last few posts from that other Thread, please? Paper really needs its own Thread!!
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Old Jan 3 2008, 11:01 AM   #26
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Thanks, everyone! I've found out where all of my books are, so I'll be able to find out if there are any named types of gambling during my reread.
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Old Jan 4 2008, 02:49 PM   #27
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m glad you were able to find your books
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