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Ceramic Liubo players


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Board Games

The two men in the picture are playing an ancient Chinese board game called liubo. We do not know exactly how this game was played.

Three of the main types of board games are:
race games like ludo, where the winner has to get to the finish first;
war games like chess, where one side defeats the other in order to win; and
counting games where the person with the most pieces or money at the end wins.

Some games need great skill, but some just need luck, often in the throw of a dice. As you look at the example board games see if you can work out whether they are race, war or counting games, and whether they need luck, skill or both. The answer is at the end.

For parents

These model figures were made to be put into a tomb, and depict their owner playing liubo in the afterlife. Liubo was believed to be popular among immortals, as well as on earth. The board is marked with divination symbols and the game pieces represent the animals of the four directions.

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