II. page 1
The recent great contribution to the history of India, published
by Mr Wheeler, gives a complete insight into this interesting
topic; and this passage of the ancient Sanskrit epic forms one of
the most wonderful and thrilling scenes in that most acceptable
 The History of India from the Earliest Ages. By J.
Talboys Wheeler. Vol. I.--The Vedic Period and the Maha Bharata.
As Mr Wheeler observes, the specialties of Hindoo gambling are
worthy of some attention. The passion for play, which has ever
been the vice of warriors in times of peace, becomes a madness
amidst the lassitude of a tropical climate; and more than one
Hindoo legend has been preserved of Rajas playing together for
days, until the wretched loser has been deprived of
everything he possessed and reduced to the condition of an exile
or a slave.
But gambling amongst the Hindoos does not appear to have been
altogether dependent upon chance. The ancient Hindoo dice, known
by the name of coupun, are almost precisely similar to the modern
dice, being thrown out of a box; but the practice of loading is
plainly alluded to, and some skill seems to have been
occasionally exercised in the rattling of the dice-box. In the
more modern game, known by the name of pasha, the dice are not
cubic, but oblong; and they are thrown from the hand either
direct upon the ground, or against a post or board, which will
break the fall, and render the result more a matter of chance.