Shut the Box
Also known as Canoga or "Batten down the Hatches", this is the old gambling game for as many players as you like. Players throw the dice and choose to shut either the numbers thrown or the sum of the numbers thrown. Each player tries to close all the numbers and thus shut the box!
Also called by a bewildering variety of alternative names such as "close the doors", it isn't known where this old game originated. Most theories point to a source in Northern France; some specify Normandy and the Channel Islands as the specific location and claim that it has been played there for at least two hundred years. There is only evidence for it within England from the middle of the twentieth century, it having reputedly been brought to the South of England from the Channel Islands in 1958 by a Mr. 'Chalky' Towbridge.. The game is apparently also popular in Zambia!
An old pub gambling favourite, Shut the Box uses two dice and a special wooden playing tray. In the most common version, the tray features the numbers 1 - 9 in a row, each of which has a hinged cover and a turn involves repeatedly throwing the dice and shutting or covering a number or pair of numbers each throw. The turn ends when no numbers can be covered upon the throw of the dice at which point the player's total is calculated. The ultimate aim is to completely cover all numbers or "shut the box" which results in the best possible score of zero.
For more information, see the Online Guide to Traditional Games page on Shut the Box