Dayakattai, a thrilling game of cutting and racing

The sound of the long, rectangular brass dice reverberates on the wooden table. “Six and two. You can cut him...and play vettaatam,” instructs 83-year-old Namagiri Lakshmi to her grandson Vijay. Welcome to Dayakattai, a traditional Tamil dice game.

In a race-to-the-finish game (a predecessor to Ludo) you have four rectangles filled with squares that your pieces need to traverse. You start with six pieces in your ‘home’ territory, and you have to pass all the coins through the opponents’ territories and come back home. You can bring the pieces onto the board only if you roll a dayam and you need to ‘cut’ any opponent at least once. The bonus — you get an extra roll of the dice if you get a one, five, six or 12.

In Pagade, which is similar to Dayakattai, you can ‘cut’ the opponent’s pieces and send them back to the start box. However, there are eight safe zones where other players cannot cut you................Read more


Source: The New Indian Express

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