The French game of Triboard et Bâbord (‘Starboard and Port’) is a 19th-century dice gambling game for two players.

Equipment

The game is played using a board and a single die, and six tokens to mark the spaces on the board. The board contains six symbols, which are also printed on the die. These are similar to those used in the game of Crown & Anchor.

A board with three symbols on each side: on the top, labelled “port” in French, a club, an anchor, and a spade; on the bottom, labelled “starboard” in French, a diamond, a sun, and a heart.
The board for Tribord et Bâbord (🅮)

The game was published by the L. Saussine company of Paris in 1880 (printed by Roche and illustrated by a B. Coudert).a[227]

Play

The following rules are derived from Richard (2019).

Before play begins, the players decide on the amount of money that each stake is worth (or the game can be played for points), and also who is to play as Tribord (‘starboard’) and who is to be Bâbord (‘port’).

On a player’s turn, they have three attempts at rolling the die.

Each time they roll one of their own symbols, they mark it with a token. A symbol can only be marked off once.

The first time a player marks off one of their symbols, their opponent pays them 1× the stake, the second time (called radoub, ‘refitting’ the ship), they are paid 2×, and the third time (called the prise, ‘capture’), they win 4× the stake.

If they roll a symbol that is already marked off, they are paid 1× the stake.

Each time they roll one of their opponent’s symbols, they pay them 1× the stake (this is called the écueil, ‘reef’).

If a player doesn’t manage to roll a single one of their own symbols in their three attempts, this is called naufrage (‘shipwreck’), and they must pay their opponent 3× the stake in addition to any payments already made.

The rules supplied above do not state when the game ends, but a straightforward method would be to end it as soon as one player has completed the prise by marking off all the symbols on their side.

See also

Crown & Anchor uses a similar board, and was perhaps the inspiration for this game.

References

  1. (). ‘’. Bibliographie de la France vol. 69 (2nd series) (17), April 24, 1880. Paris, France: Ministère de l’Intérieur.

  2. (). ‘’. Le Vieux Papier (429): pages 515–525.