Tablero deGucci is a modern version of a medieval merchant's game called Tablero deJesus, originally played with coins but adapted by the Gucci Clan of An Tir to use shots of beer. The rules are not absolute, for ultimately Tablero is a game of honor and generosity.

REQUIRED ITEMS: A board with 49 squares (7x7), seven shot glasses, a pair of dice and two bottles of beer each for both players. A bar towel is considered standard equipment.

OBJECT: To drink your opponent's beer.

THE PLAY: The board is set up as shown, and each player fills the three glasses on their baseline (row closest to player). A third person

(traditionally the highest ranking lady present) rolls The Queen's Number. The purpose of the Queen's Number will be explained later. If the players are alone, they each roll one dice, the total being the Queen's Number.

To start, each player rolls one die, and the person rolling the highest number has the choice of either bringing the center glass to his baseline, filling it, and rolling first, or passing the dice to his opponent who fills the center glass on his baseline and rolls first.

With each roll the player moves the glasses up and down the columns to the numbers on the dice, and continues to roll until he rolls a 7, 11 or 12 where he must pass the dice to his opponent. He must move if he can, and must move two glasses. If he finds himself unable to complete a move, no glasses are moved and he must pass the dice. When he lines up a row, the glasses are his to drink, the empties go on his opponents baseline for him to fill, and the dice are passed. The first person to run out of beer loses. If a player runs out (is unable to fill a line) before his opponent cracks his second beer, it is a skunk.

Rolls a 4-2, then rolls double 4s, then rolls double 2s to drink six

Anytime a player rolls the Queen's Number, in any combination, he selects a glass, toasts the queen (or just drinks it) and places it on his opponent's baseline for him to fill. Then the player proceeds with his move. Should the Queen's number be 7, 11 or 12, and a line be formed by placing the toasted glass on the opponent's baseline, the line belongs to the player who rolled the Queen's number.

Tablero, being a game of honor, allows the player to decide how long a line he may drink. It is honorable to drink a line of six, the odd glass remaining full and in place when play resumes. If a person is losing badly (ie: unable to fill the next line without being skunked), he may drink a line of five without disgrace. Winning on a line of seven reflects great honor and is a gesture of deep respect.

A line must be unbroken to count, and no person can win because his opponent is unable to pour a Queen's number. (In this situation, the players may appeal to the gallery for a fill, or the player can pour it himself. If there's no one to fill it, it may not be downed, but in either case the glass of choice goes to the opponent's baseline before proceeding.)

Should a player, who already has a line of five or six, be attempting to make a longer line, and leave a drinkable line to his opponent by rolling a pass number, the opponent, as a matter of honor, would not drink the line but continue to try and make a line of his own hand.

A player may not make a line on a baseline.

A player can make a line on the diagonal, but it must be all seven glasses.

You spill, you fill. (this is the only time a glass is not filled on the baseline)

It is considered of highest form, after making a line, to offer the first glass to "My most worthy opponent" or some such salutation. A player may give out shots to his opponent and spectators, but is obliged drink at least half of the glasses himself. Should somebody wish to play Tablero but, God forbid, have an aversion to beer, they may, at the beginning of the game, appoint a designated drinker to consume their winnings.

STRATEGY: The best strategy is listen to the dice, go for moves you think the dice will give you. Often a player gets preoccupied with making a diagonal, when he could be working on an easier line of six. If you are trying to form a line of seven, don't be caught with only one glass out. When you roll next, you will have to move one glass back out even if the other comes in. Sometimes this situation can't be avoided and it is known as a crossbow. Don't get in a situation where you need a 7,11, or 12 to make a line, it's very frustrating when you roll it.

Most of all, pay attention to which glass you choose to toast the Queen. A glass on your opponent's baseline could set you up for a line.

In the first diagram, you need a 3 - 2 to fill the diagonal, but instead you roll a 2 - 2, which happens to be the Queen's number. Wisely you choose the third glass, toast good health to the Queen, place the glass on your opponent's baseline to fill, then move the 2 - 2 and make your diagonal. Winning on a diagonal is especially good form, and to do it with the Queen's number is a real class act. Enjoy!


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